Design Buzz Logo Affiliated Business News
15
Article Slider image: Rating: 

Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5





Body: 

Pros: Vastly better picture previews, lots of feature improvements.


Cons: Performance can suffer with lots of high-resolution pictures.


Rating: 8/10


 


When an application as mature as QuarkXPress gets a new version number, you can expect a few big improvements and a whole lot of smaller ones. For big improvements in version 10, Quark chose to take on graphics display and handling, and a complete rewrite of their code for Mac OS X. Then they tackled a long list of user-requested smaller improvements, and added a few surprises.



Here’s a partial list of improvements:


• An entirely new “Xenon” graphics engine, which provides crystal-clear, pixel-accurate previews of all page items, including imported graphics such as PDF, EPS, PSD, AI, TIFF, JPG, PNG, and more.


• Full PDF transparency (“pass through”) support.


• Support for HiDPI displays, such as Apple’s Retina display.


• Rewritten for Mac OS X as a native Cocoa app, with dramatic speed improvements and access to special OS X features such as Recent Items, Dictation, File List in Dock, etc.


• Master pages can now have Layers!


• Palettes that automatically dock to the edges of the display, and automatically show/hide.


• Full-screen display of your document.


• An improved Measurements palette that completely replaces the old Modify dialog.


• A Quick Response Code (QR Code) generator.


• East Asian typography in all editions of QuarkXPress 10.


• Import pictures and hyperlinks from Microsoft Word documents.


• Maintain QuarkXPress formatting when updating linked tables from Excel.


• Copy and paste items while retaining Layer information.


• A new Print Preview with thumbnail page previews.


• Select a Key item for Space/Align to align to.


• Highlight missing fonts.


• Easily join, extend and close paths created with the Pen tool.


• Apply a style sheet to the current paragraph as you create the style.


• Flip shapes horizontally or vertically.


• Set default tool preferences from existing objects.


• More than 50 additional productivity enhancements.


Any one of the features above can justify the upgrade cost, depending on how you use QuarkXPress.


Quark claims that QuarkXPress 10 has a “Native and deep understanding of image and vector files: PDF, AI, TIFF, JPG, PNG, PSD, and more.” To demonstrate their improved image preview, here’s an example of a photo in the standard display quality in QuarkXPress 9 vs QuarkXPress 10:


 


Some additional benefits arrive with the new Xenon graphics engine: other page items such as gradients, blends and patterns also now look pixel-perfect, and QuarkXPress 10 can manipulate TIFF color channels and clipping paths directly.


When you need to precisely position elements on the page in relation to a graphic, you’ll appreciate the vastly improved imported PDF display — unlike InDesign, when you move a PDF graphic it remains sharp and detailed. Also, because QuarkXPress 10 now understands PDF at a deep level, QuarkXPress objects can now interact with transparent objects in imported PDFs.


Here’s an imported PDF file as seen at the standard display quality in QuarkXPress 9 vs QuarkXPress 10 (high-resolution previews are always on in version 10):


 


Unfortunately, if you work with a large number of high-resolution pictures in a lengthy document, moving around can get a bit sluggish (depending on your hardware, operating system, color management settings and so forth). I tested performance by importing about 200 high-resolution TIFF images into picture boxes on 16 pages (12 per page), and found that the first time I scrolled from page to page, it took from three to six seconds to view the new page. Also, the first time I clicked to see page thumbnails, it took 27 seconds for them to display. Subsequent scrolling was faster, possibly due to some kind of image caching. Quark plans to release a fix for this behavior in October.


The Measurements palette also received an overhaul, finally eliminating the old Modify dialog box. Now, everything you could formerly do in modal dialog boxes is available under these reorder-able tabs:


 


While some users will cheer at having everything in one place, some old-time users are likely to squawk about having to learn a new way of interacting with page items.


Working with color swatches in QuarkXPress is now a lot easier, due to the GIANT color swatch picker:


 


The Print Preview dialog now not only shows actual thumbnails of your pages, it also shows how the page will fit (or not!) onto your current paper choice:


 


Those who work with east Asian languages will be thrilled that all editions of QuarkXPress 10 now support advanced east-Asian language features. Here’s an example of using Chinese characters alongside western characters in a book I’m working on:


 


If your clients or co-workers use Microsoft Word, importing their work into QuarkXPress 10 is a lot smoother because QuarkXPress can now import inline pictures and hyperlinks. That’s a huge improvement.


Quick-Response Codes (QR Codes) are all the rage, so QuarkXPress provides a simple way to create one right on the page. Just type in a URL, a phone number, a mailto: or any other text (or a complete address VCard containing name, phone number, email and website) and QuarkXPress fills a picture box for you: 


 


The QR Code picture box contains native QuarkXPress rectangles, so you can resize the QR Code without losing clarity, and you can change its color by using the standard color controls in QuarkXPress. Unfortunately, when moving the QR Code on the page you’ll experience the same delays as when moving picture boxes (see above), but Quark promises a fix will be released in October.


For several versions now, QuarkXPress has let you add complex interactivity to page items. Previously, it output to Flash format, but QuarkXPress 10’s interactivity features are now all about HTML 5: 


 


If you use QuarkXPress with App Studio to create apps for mobile devices, you’ll enjoy several new features, such as “Page Flip”:


  


If you’re not familiar with App Studio, here’s a diagram of what you can give it, and what it can export to (click to enlarge):


  


Some important things got left behind:

With this rewrite of the code base, QuarkXPress 10 will only open QuarkXPress files back to version 7. If you have documents last saved in version 6 or earlier, you’ll want to keep a copy of QuarkXPress 8 or 9 handy to open and re-save those. QuarkXPress 10 also drops support for exporting to Flash, Blio and HTML 4 (HTML 5 is SO much more capable!).


Bottom line:

I’m not going to get into the question of whether QuarkXPress is “better” than its competition — that totally depends on what kind of work you do. If you use QuarkXPress, you’ll find that version 10 has a giant number of large and small improvements that will make your work more efficient, and open up additional project opportunities for you.


 


System Requirements:


Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and later (including 10.9 Mavericks)


Windows 7 and 8


 


Hardware requirements: 


Mac: Intel processor, 2 GB RAM, 2 GB hard disk space


Windows: 2GB RAM, 1GB hard disk space


 


Price:


$849 (upgrades: $349 from version 8 or 9)


Discounts for non-profits and education


http://shop.quark.com/am/


 



Liked This? Read These!










Quark Announces QuarkXPress 10

Latest version of XPress offers a new graphics engine, Retina display support, and more than 50 feature enhancements.
Read More


Quark Offers “Buy QuarkXPress 7, Get QuarkXPress 8 Free” Promotion

Today Quark announced QuarkXPress® 8, the next major release of the industry standard page-layout and design software that delivers superior design power through a new, modern and intuitive interface... Read More




Turn a QuarkXPress Document into a Web Page with BeyondPress


Version: 4.1
Operating systems: Macintosh, Windows Read More


Page Layout Tips: InDesign Techniques for QuarkXPress Users

This story is taken from "InDesign for QuarkXPress Users."
Read More










Join Our Newsletter:


What is Design Buzz?

Design Buzz is a community for all those involved in designing, developing and running websites, web mastering, etc. Here are featured new design trends, news and events, design articles, design software, webmaster tips and tricks, creative tutorials and hand-picked design stuff from all over the world.

Latest Comments
Affiliated Business RSS Subscribers