Working with columns of tabbed text in QuarkXPress can be tedious, since there is no tool to select all the text in a “column”, and you can’t move more than one tab at a time. Also, there’s no way to add up a column of numbers.
If you often work with layouts containing tabbed text, you’ll save tons of time with the following XTensions, which are now available for every version of QuarkXPress:
Meadows Publishing Solutions has a Grabber collection of XTensions for QuarkXPress 4/5/6/7/8/9 for Macintosh that let you select and modify text by simply dragging a marquee around any area of the page. The text can be in different text boxes, in a vertical column, or anywhere else in a rectangular selection.
Copy Grabber lets you copy and paste an entire column of tabbed text from one location to another.
Text Grabber lets you change text attributes by dragging a marquee around the text. It’s great for changing a tabbed column of text without affecting adjoining tabbed columns. You can even repeat a change on a new selection, by pressing a keyboard shortcut.
Tab Grabber lets you move columns of tabbed text by dragging a marquee around the text, and then entering a “nudge” value, which will be added to all existing tab positions inside the marquee. You can also change the tab alignment or the fill character at the same time.
Each XTension costs $225, but are also available in a bundle for $450.
A fourth Grabber XTension, Math Grabber ($595), lets you drag a marquee around any column of numbers and perform a calculation, inserting the resulting values automatically. Use it to instantly calculate prices in foreign currencies or apply percentage discounts or markups, with specified precision.
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.