IT Enquirer 28-page Report Compares QuarkXPress 8 with InDesign CS5

The IT Enquirer, a cross-media publishing industry website, has released the results of a new, free, in-depth report comparing Web and interactive capabilities in QuarkXPress 8 and InDesign CS5. The report examines the different approaches taken by both companies to interactive and Web design and provides a detailed comparison of both products, rating them on their Web and multimedia support.

If your job involves determining or recommending the most efficient tools for creating Web pages, Flash animations, electronic books and printed documents, this report will give you the factual data that otherwise is buried in hype (from either Adobe or Quark). One of my favorite quotes from the summary is this:

“With InDesign CS5 we believe it has become clear that apart from designing simple moving objects and some video, more complete web and interactive design is not something that Adobe is expecting layout designers to do in InDesign.”

And this: “Graphic designers can work in a more efficient and therefore cost-effective way with QuarkXPress 8, because they can take on projects that would otherwise require training in Dreamweaver and Flash Professional if they were to use InDesign β€” or handing off a project to a developer much sooner, risking design inconsistencies and higher costs.”

Below is further information from their press release, and how to download the free report:

The author tests and rates both products on their performance in creating 10 specific types of Web and interactive project that a print designer might want or need to undertake, such as portfolio or product microsites, banner ads, presentations and digital signage.

“We wanted to cut through the feature hype that software companies all too often propagate and look at what both products offered in practical terms to a graphic designer that works in print but wants to extend to Web and interactive design.” said Erik Vlietinck, author of the IT Enquirer Report. “The results somewhat surprised us. We expected with the enhanced Web and interactive functionality that has been added to InDesign CS5 that it would have either substantially closed the gap or even overtaken QuarkXPress 8 in these areas. While InDesign CS5 has certainly closed some of the feature gaps for interactive design, in reality QuarkXPress 8 came out on top in 9 of the 10 project types, matching InDesign CS5 in the other one.”

“QuarkXPress 8 has an edge when it comes to efficiently outputting content to multiple channels. It seems that Adobe considers InDesign CS5 an inferior tool compared to any Integrated Development Environment (IDE) hence the print designers are pushed out of the design process for Web and interactive very early on in the process. For anything more complex than exporting a digital magazine, users of InDesign CS5 are left in the cold and expected to either learn to code or hand-off the work to developers to do” continued Vlietinck.

“This is an area that is evolving very quickly.” said Vlietinck. “With Adobe’s well-publicised issues outputting from InDesign to the iPad and iPhone and Quark’s recent unveiling of Digital Publishing 2.0 to take their customers to digital devices and specifically their new partnerships around the Blio eReader, there will be a continued and rapid evolution in this area over the next 12 months. Desktop publishing is no longer just about print. It’s increasingly important to be able to design for and output to digital including the new generation of digital devices that lend themselves to design-rich layouts. With the right tools, print designers are very well placed to benefit from this revolution.”

The Executive Summary can be found at: