In QuarkXPress 8.1, Quark improved the Item Styles feature in several ways:
- Item Styles now support drop shadows, so you can ensure that any drop shadows applied to your items will be consistent across the Layout:
- You can now update an Item Style from an existing page item: just click the Update button on the Item Styles palette. This will update the Item Style to match the altered page item. Notice that when you hover your mouse over the Update button, it displays the attributes that are different about the new item.
By the way, you can also now search and replace attributes of Drop Shadows from the Item Find/Change feature (Edit> Item Find/Change):
Note that Item Find/Change lets you find items that have ANY combination of Drop Shadow attributes — not just the attributes that you want to change! In other words, you could find items with any Drop Shadow, and then change them ALL to a specific combination of Drop Shadow attributes. Or selectively change one item at a time as Quark finds them for you.
Here’s one more tip about the Item Find/Change feature: you can gang (combine) any combination of requests and perform them all at once. Here, I’m changing all 1 pt Frames to be 1.5 pt wide, and all Drop Shadows from 100% opacity to 80% opacity. The Summary tab shows the combination of all changes you’re about to make:
These Item Style and Drop Shadow improvements aren’t HUGE, but they will certainly be welcomed by anyone using Item Styles or Drop Shadows in a production environment.
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.