Today Quark released their QuarkXPress 8.1 updater as a free download for users of QuarkXPress 8 on Mac OS X and Windows. We’ll be highlighting the improvements and new features in the next few days, but for now here is Quark’s description, followed by their press release.
This update improves PDF output capabilities and introduces features that make the page-layout process even more intuitive and productive. QuarkXPress 8.1 introduces a ‘Native Transparency’ mode for creating PDFs which can offer designers faster and more flexible PDF output support and provide greater control over their PDF workflow process. This release also renovates spell checking, adds the ability to paste text without formatting, and improves productivity with Scale functionality. QuarkXPress 8.1 also fine tunes Usability and Item Styles. In addition, it can help prevent errors by reporting faux font styles such as bold or italic. This version readies QuarkXPress for Snow Leopard and Windows 7 compatibility, and the Windows version of this release adds a Welcome Screen.
Denver, CO — August 4, 2009
Quark Inc. today announced the release of the QuarkXPress® 8.1 updater which is now available to existing QuarkXPress 8 users as a free download from the Quark website. This latest update improves PDF output capabilities and introduces features that make the page layout process even more intuitive and productive. QuarkXPress 8.1 introduces a ‘Native Transparency’ mode for creating PDFs which can offer designers faster and more flexible PDF output support and provide greater control over their PDF workflow process.
Erwin Danis, Premedia Director at Roularta Media Group said, “We have been collaborating closely with Quark on this release and have been testing QuarkXPress 8.1 in a live production environment. In fact, we are already using it to produce the front covers of all of our 130 magazines and are extremely happy with the results. As both a publisher and a printer, we are in a unique position to understand both sides of the coin and realize the significance of these new improvements. We are extremely impressed with the new native transparency feature, as not only does it improve performance of PDF export, but it gives us the ability to address color management and other processes that may need to be modified in the PDF. Having this greater level of control has had a major impact on our PDF workflow.”
QuarkXPress 8.1 offers fast and flexible PDF output with its new native transparency mode which allows objects to which transparency has been applied within QuarkXPress to remain unflattened in the final PDF output. In addition, QuarkXPress is the only layout application that gives layer-by-layer controls in its output options – useful when you need to send content with multiple variants to an output provider within a single PDF.
“Greater control of transparency in PDF is becoming increasingly important to our users: enabling output providers to control processes like flattening, optional content and color management further downstream through native transparency, and layer support within PDF is a priority for us. The market is demanding more sophisticated PDF output capabilities and this is a major advance in that direction,” commented Dan Logan, Product Manager for QuarkXPress.
QuarkXPress 8.1 also addresses outstanding issues reported by customers and introduces a host of improved everyday design features that enable faster and more precise page creation. A new keyboard modifier makes picture drag and drop more precise and predictable. Item Styles and Item Find/Change now fully integrate drop shadows, and users can update Item Styles with a single click to reflect changes they make in the layout. QuarkXPress spell checking is now carried out with a new palette that enables users to save time by more easily adjusting their text as necessary while in the middle of the spell-checking process.
“This release demonstrates that Quark continues to deliver value to our customers by providing them with mid-cycle releases with significant added functionality at no extra cost. Quark continues to lead the way by supporting the latest operating systems and QuarkXPress 8.1 is no exception, as it is both Mac® OS X Snow Leopard and Windows® 7 ready. In addition, we continue to provide support for Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS X Leopard, Windows XP, and Windows Vista,” said Tim Banister, General Manager for Desktop Technology for Quark. “We have introduced extremely useful extra features in addition to the PDF enhancements and, in particular, our new scaling feature will bring added value to many of our customers. The Scale palette enables extremely precise numerical scaling of anything from a single item to an entire layout, so users can now rescale any content with a single click and redeploy it for use in a different print campaign or even online via HTML or Flash (SWF).”
Pricing and availability
Existing QuarkXPress 8 users can download a free update to QuarkXPress 8.1 from the Quark Web site at www.downloads.quark.com/SearchResults.aspx?pid=1&oid=0&ftid=2&&mid=2. QuarkXPress 8 is available directly from Quark and through Quark Authorized® Resellers. An upgrade to QuarkXPress 8 is $299 and full product can be purchased for $799. Users on QuarkXPress 3, 4 and 5 can also upgrade for the same low price of $299 until September 30. To purchase, visit the Quark Store at www.quark.com/sales/estore.html, or find your nearest authorized Quark reseller at www.quark.com/sales/desktop/resellers.cfm.
60-Day Test Drive and further information
In addition to being available for purchase, a free, fully functional 60-day Test Drive version is available for download from www.8.quark.com/evaluation.html. To learn more about QuarkXPress 8 please visit www.8.quark.com . For a complete list of issues resolved in QuarkXPress 8, please visit the Quark Web site at www.8.quark.com/techinfo/known_issues.html.
Quark Inc. led the first revolution in publishing with QuarkXPress®, desktop publishing software that rapidly became the industry standard. Today, not only does QuarkXPress continue to innovate in the desktop publishing market, Quark is revolutionizing publishing again. With Quark® Dynamic Publishing Solution, we are helping customers meet changing requirements and develop new revenue streams by extending the benefits of advanced technologies across the publishing process. Our dynamic publishing solution is setting a new standard in automated multi-channel publishing by combining the power of flexible layout and design with easy XML authoring and automated workflows for customized communications across print, the Web and electronic media.
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.