QuarkXPress 8 to target Adobe's Creative Suite this August

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Quark, Inc. is preparing to release a major new version of its flagship QuarkXPress software this fall, aimed at cementing its lead in the market for professional desktop publishing against Adobe's rival InDesign product, AppleInsider has learned.



People familiar with the release say the new version is slated to take on the publishing features of Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash in a revamped, standardized, and polished package that will temporarily be offered as a free upgrade to new buyers of the existing QuarkXPress 7 ahead of the 8.0 release in the August timeframe.



How Adobe Forced Quark to Compete



QuarkXPress 8 will closely follow the release of Quark 7 in 2006, which delivered OpenType, PDF/X, and Unicode features all pioneered by InDesign. Back in 2002, Adobe caught Quark napping and beat it to market in releasing the first desktop publishing tool native to Mac OS X. Adobe subsequently began eating into Quark's business by bundling the relatively new InDesign with its popular Photoshop and Illustrator in the Creative Suite package. It has since added Flash to the mix, which it acquired when buying Macromedia in 2006.



Quark was a year behind in offering a native version for Mac OS X, but has since scrambled to catch up. It beat Adobe in delivering native support for Intel Macs with a Universal Binary distribution of QuarkXPRess 7.01 that arrived eight months ahead of Adobe's universal version of InDesign CS3 (5.0). Â*



Over the last year, Quark has also delivered official support for Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard via point updates. The latest version of InDesign 5.0.2, released in January 2008, still does not properly support Leopard. Adobe reports in its update notes that the application may unexpectedly quit under Leopard and offers no workarounds for the issue. Quark is now aiming to maintain its lead with the new 8.0 release poised to take on Adobe's popular Creative Suite.



The New Look of QuarkXPress 8



According to people familiar with Quark's plans, the next version of QuarkXPress will deliver more intuitive layout tools and an updated interface designed to allow users to do more with fewer clicks. The new version will also use more standard keyboard shortcuts intended to be more familiar to users who work between several applications, and should add resizable thumbnail page navigation (below).







Hey Hey, It's Adobe



In addition, the update is expected to expand native support for Illustrator and Photoshop files, which is currently a strong feature advantage for InDesign. QuarkXPress 8 should even see the addition of new standardized Bézier pen tools (below) expressly designed to "reduce reliance upon Illustrator," according to those people familiar with Quark's planned marketing push.







The existing version similarly added picture effects intended to minimize the need to use Photoshop. In version 8, the Picture Content Tool (below) will allow users to crop, scale, and rotate graphics within a picture box using standard controls, obviating the need to do basic graphics tasks in an external editor.Â*







Quark is further including authoring tools for Adobe's Flash to help develop interactive web layouts in SWF directly within QuarkXPress (below). Adobe's Open Screen Project should make further support for creating Flash content easier for third parties, but Adobe faces some hurdles along the way, as noted in AppleInsider's recentÂ*Flash exposé.







International House of Text



QuarkXPress 8.0 will also add improved international publishing features that include support for typographical layouts in 39 languages, including expanded support for East Asian languages such as Japanese, Korean and Chinese (below). It should likewise leverage a universal file format, making it easy to exchange documents between regions.







Version 8 moreover brings flexible and easy to use tools for creating shadows and transparency effects, PDF/X Plus export via pre-loaded Quark Job Jackets, and "what you see is what you get" font selection menus (below).







Another new addition is user modifiable Design Grids (below) for applying custom baseline settings for text in individual boxes to adjust the look of hanging characters. Settings can be saved as a Grid Style, and linked to a Style Sheet for easy updating throughout a project.Â*







Item Styles (below top) similarly make it easy to develop document wide consistency with item attribute search and replace features (below bottom).











Buy 7 Get 8



In advance of the new release, Quark hopes to spur sales this year with an offer for a free upgrade to the new version 8 for users who buy QuarkXPress 7 prior to the new update's release. The significant upgrade costs Quark has previously charged its users have left many customrs on previous versions. According to sources familiar with Quark's marketing plans, the company will aggressively pitch the version 8 upgrade to users of both QuarkXPress 6 and 7. Offering the future version 8 upgrade for free to new buyers of Quark 7 should also help migrate Quark's installed user base up to the most recent version now, in an effort to stave off defection to InDesign, which many designers get for free when they buy Adobe's Creative Suite 3.



To qualify for the free upgrade to the new QuarkXPress 8, users will need to present proof of purchase of the existing version 7 between May 1, 2008 and August 1, 2008, when the program will expire. Version 8 is planned for release around the same time in August.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,830member
    Good for them.



    I'm an InDesign (and former Pagemaker) user, but I have no desire to be held hostage by Adobe.

    Already, Adobe foregoes any recent Mac advances with OS X in favour of maintaining parity with Windows.



    If QXP 8 is compelling enough, I may consider switching.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    This is good. I haven't used Quark since 2003, when I realized that booting into OS 9 was just too annoying and Adobe CS was just a more efficient package. These features seem strong enough for most users, especially with decent Photoshop alternatives like Pixelmator now available.



    I'll have to see if this is worth it instead of upgrading to CS4 in a year or too.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    Good for them.



    I'm an InDesign (and former Pagemaker) user, but I have no desire to be held hostage by Adobe.

    Already, Adobe foregoes any recent Mac advances with OS X in favour of maintaining parity with Windows.



    If QXP 8 is compelling enough, I may consider switching.



    Funny, just eight years ago everyone was jumping to InDesign because Quark had the page layout market held hostage. In 2001, QuarkXPress still looked and functioned like some kid's Hypercard-built school project. Serious competition from Adobe with the introduction of InDesign is what forced Quark off their butts and made them try to be competitive again. Hopefully, someone can return the favor for Adobe, who has little to no incentive to advance Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash or Dreamweaver.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Sorry, but I refuse to send any money Quark's way. I hate XPress and I don't even care if they end up putting out a superior product.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    Do you think you can alter the angle of a piece of type and keep it displayed as an anti-aliased vector? Wow, we really ARE making strides, huh?



    I have no faith in Quark whatsoever. Their previous limitations were a plague to the industry that shouldn't be forgiven. Moreover, their claims of no longer needing photoshop are laughable. The ability to scale, rotate and crop? Whoopdiedoo, you could do that in previous versions. Certainly not in an intuitive way, but that's hardly a NEW feature. Furthermore, if it were, it's embarrassing enough to keep out of a press release.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    bwhalerbwhaler Posts: 260member
    I suspect it's a too little, too late for Quark. Boy, did they mis-predict the market.



    But I wish them well. With Adobe rapidly becoming the new Microsoft, I hope Quark become a formidable competitor.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    For 95% of all DTP you'll ever do, Quark 6 is still easier to use than InDesign 5.0 is. It's also better for templating and maintaining documents.



    Adobe CS3 is a mess. It runs slow, crashes frequently, and has a terrible user interface. In short, it's everything that people didn't like about Quark. I will be happy to ditch InDesign. The only good thing about InDesign is InCopy, which allows your less-savvy coworkers to collaborate. Of course, you have to buy it separately. I assume Q8 will have something similar.



    Plus, Quark has the alien delete guy. That makes me smile every time.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    One issue it addresses is that the designers I know constantly switch between illustrator and indesign. If those two packages could be merged then that would certainly cut down a lot of work.



    However, the company I'm at will not buy Quark on a whim when our design team are familiar with and like the CS Suite. It means a whole lot of relearning and unnecessary expense when it may turn out that it's still not as good.



    I also think that to simplify Photoshop to rotating, resizing, cropping etc is bad marketing. If that's all it has then it just shows their desperation to get back what they lost through their own negligence.
  • Reply 9 of 50
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    but does it do hanging punctuation? missing feature since 1987...
  • Reply 10 of 50
    zlydenzlyden Posts: 20member
    It is too late.



    It is already the same battle as Netscape Communicator vs. Internet Explorer, Freehand vs. Illustrator, WordPerfect vs. Word.



    They will not get a lot of new users, because the most of those already have InDesign (with CS bundle) on their computers and are not too anxious to spend another $1000. And they will not stop loosing existing users, because many of those still use Quark 4-5 (and keep an eye on InDesign to switch).



    If Quark wants to survive, they should stop this stupid "Standard"/"Passport" duo and sell what is now Passport for the same price (or cheaper) than InDesign. And yes, they should add to new version "export in Quark 4 format", putting it on top of the features list.



    Otherwise it will be a slow decline for another 5-7 years, with the user base slowly shrinking to eccentric individuals and big publishing houses (who already invested too much in QPS, just to trash it).
  • Reply 11 of 50
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Looks like a lot of work has gone in to this app. Good job, and thanks for being competition to Adobe.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    As with everyone else - I think this is really good news. (I use both - ID and Quark.)



    I was chatting to someone the other day and we both agreed we probably wouldn't see Quark 8! Sounds like we were wrong.



    Possibly though it's too little too late. (Quark's story would make an excellent business studies case on how to lose a monopoly...) You don't forget having to pay an extra £150 on top of £700-£800 to be able to load it onto your laptop, the suggestion by Quark we should switch to Windows during the OS9 - OSX change over and the dogs that were Q5 and Q6 in a hurry...



    Hopefully they can pull something out of the bag though! Adobe are starting to get rather too comfortable for my liking.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    Good for them.



    I'm an InDesign (and former Pagemaker) user, but I have no desire to be held hostage by Adobe.



    Without one of the two, you'd be held hostage by the other one.



    Quote:

    Already, Adobe foregoes any recent Mac advances with OS X in favour of maintaining parity with Windows.



    It will make a difference, only assuming that Quark will use those features. Besides, what new OS X feature would help page layout software?
  • Reply 14 of 50
    I wish Quark luck, they have stumbled badly. But Quark could rebound, Adobe's transition with CS3 to Leopard/Intel was a mess also.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    tony1tony1 Posts: 258member
    Quote:

    To qualify for the free upgrade to the new QuarkXPress 8, users will need to present proof of purchase of the existing version 7 between May 1, 2008 and August 1, 2008, when the program will expire. Version 8 is planned for release around the same time in August.



    Too bad Quark knows nothing of this deal. I just called them and they had no information or do you have to wait for a secret email?
  • Reply 16 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Without one of the two, you'd be held hostage by the other one.







    It will make a difference, only assuming that Quark will use those features. Besides, what new OS X feature would help page layout software?



    QuickLook plugins

    Spotlight import plugins (be able to search for metadata)

    .Mac Sync plugin ( sync prefs between your desktopsnd laptop)



    Just a few off the top of my head.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    adamcadamc Posts: 582member
    I love QuarkXpress, their saved files are small but what I really hate is to attach the fonts together with the layouts. i hope with this version they got it right by being able to convert fonts to vector graphics.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Quark, Inc. is preparing to release a major new version of its flagship QuarkXPress software this fall, aimed at cementing its lead in the market for professional desktop publishing against Adobe's rival InDesign product, AppleInsider has learned.



    Quark has a lead to cement? I thought inDesign had surpassed it awhile ago.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    breadbread Posts: 2member
    "...aimed at cementing its lead in the market for professional desktop publishing against Adobe's rival InDesign product"



    Perhaps this delusional comment is indicative of the fools running the company?
  • Reply 20 of 50
    I use both Quark and InDesign very frequently. I still prefer Quark slightly, except for the hanging indent feature in InDesign. I find working with text and moving/scaling images t be quicker in Quark. I also find that IDCS2 and IDCS3 are still buggy and crash frequently, especially when pulling files over a network (CS2 is almost unusable!)



    I had occasion to meet some of the software designers from Quark last summer and speak to them about some "wish list" items and some things I didn't care for. #1 on my wish list is an easier, more intuitive drop shadow tool that is clickable, like Photoshop's. But the same goes for ID also. Why they would reinvent the tool instead of using Photoshop's I can't understand.



    Anyway, the Quark team seemed genuinely interested in moving Quark in better directions and were very interested in how I use Quark day to day.



    People who spew hate for either product based on what they remember from 2001 need to wake up and try them again. Quark is a MUCH better product in 6 and 7. Its transparency functions and drop shadows have really reduced my reliance on Photoshop to do some of those things. ID is just too pallette-heavy and is still REALLY slow.



    That said, I think Quark is moving in the wrong direction by trying to incorporate "interactivity" into XPress for Flash and web. It should follow Adobe's lead and roll out separate products for these purposes, if for nothing else than to avoid the bloat that these unnecessary things bring to XPress.



    The publishing market is ripe for a third-party dark horse to ride in and shake up both products with a simplified product that specializes in just print and is zippy and intuitive. Both Quark and Adobe (especially Adobe) need some addition competition to keep them honest and responsive.
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