Let QuarkXPress Do Math For You

Longtime QuarkXPress users know that you can type simple math equations into any field of the Measurements palette and QuarkXPress will do the math for you.

For example, if you need to add an extra two points to the width or height of an item, just select the item and type in +p2 after the existing number in the width or height field. (Example: 2.56″ +p2) Or, to double its size, type in *2. (Example: 2.56″ *2) To reduce it by half, type in *.5 or /2 (Example: 2.56″ /2) And so forth. You can also use this technique to change an object’s location, or to figure out the decimal equivalent of a fraction such as 5/8 (Just type 5/8!).

What’s supremely cool is that the unit of your adjustment doesn’t need to match the existing unit of measurement — you can add points to inches, or centimeters to picas. Just type in the unit after the number: in for inches, cm for centimeters, pt for points, or p for picas.

But Planet Quark reader Father Pachomius noticed that this trick also works in the Guides palette! Here’s what he discovered:

I just wanted to position guides on a letter-size page (66p) to divide it vertically into four equal spaces, so I dragged out the first guide, double-clicked on it, then in the dialog box for “Location” typed “66p / 4” for the first guide, “66p / 2” for the second, and “66p * .75” for the third, and it placed guides at a quarter, half, and three-quarters of the page height.

Thanks a ton for this handy tip!