Quark Announces Some New Features That Will Be Available in QuarkXPress 7

2005
May
17

XPress 7 to have job tickets, automation, transparency support and more Press Release Denver, Colo.–(QUARKvsINDESIGN.com)–May 17, 2005–Quark Inc. today announced that it will further its commitment to collaboration and interoperability by building many powerful features of the QuarkXPress 7 software on open standards. The powerful upgrade will combine more design features with job-driven workflow capabilities [...]

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XPress 7 to have job tickets, automation, transparency support and more

Press Release

Denver, Colo.–(QUARKvsINDESIGN.com)–May 17, 2005–Quark Inc. today announced that it will further its commitment to collaboration and interoperability by building many powerful features of the QuarkXPress 7 software on open standards. The powerful upgrade will combine more design features with job-driven workflow capabilities and multi-channel publishing to deliver simply faster creative development and print production — transforming the business of creative communications.

As a member of the Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG); the International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4); International Color Consortium (ICC); the Networked Graphic Production (NGP) initiative; and the Print On Demand Initiative (PODi); Quark supports standards developed with customers and other vendors to serve the needs of creative communications industries.

Job-driven workflow automation
QuarkXPress 7 will provide simply faster production, enabling creative and output professionals to define job parameters that provide centralized control and streamline design, layout, and production processes.

Built on industry-standard JDF, QuarkXPress 7 will allow users to set specifications to control a job from start to finish using a Quark Job Jacket. A Quark Job Jacket will incorporate detailed workflow and prepress information directly into a QuarkXPress project. This will help control every aspect of the publication, from design to output and beyond.

A Quark Job Jacket is a container for all the specifications for an entire print publishing process. It contains the information about the job itself, contact information, resources required, layout intent, rules, output specifications, and more. All the guidelines, rules, and settings for all the processes will be saved in the Quark Job Jacket to prevent errors during the publication’s creation and output processes.

Centralized job jackets will let art directors, marketing managers, and print service providers specify parameters for design, content, production and output — providing control and consistency from job initiation to final production. Changes in project specifications will be made to the job jacket and will be automatically updated to all projects that use the job jacket as a resource.

Quark Job Jacket elements in QuarkXPress will be compatible with JDF elements; they can be mapped to JDF elements and vice versa. JDF is an XML-based file format that provides control over and automation of print publishing production and streamlines information exchange between applications and systems.

QuarkXPress 7 will also offer comprehensive rule-based preflight capabilities to ensure that files are output-ready at any point in the design process.

Further streamlining production and eliminating duplicated effort, QuarkXPress 7 will provide instructions that ensure that all the elements needed for production — fonts, colors, images, and more — are automatically embedded with the output file for right-the-first-time, every-time printing with PDF/X compliant output.

Multi-channel publishing and content personalization
QuarkXPress 7 will help content creators publish multiple print and Web layouts, quickly and reliably, from the same content. Users will be able to create multiple document types, sizes, and media; leverage and reuse any content, image or design element; streamline development processes through open standards; and take advantage of one-to-one content personalization.

QuarkXPress 7 will allow creative professionals to design compositions that can be merged with content from different sources and create output to send to presses with minimal prepress production costs. Support for output in Personalized Print Markup Language (PPML) will add database publishing features to QuarkXPress 7. In PPML, all the static content, multiple instances of same static content, synchronized content, and master page elements will be recognized as reusable objects, drastically improving throughput time.

The ability to automate database publishing through industry-standard PPML support will make QuarkXPress 7 the ideal tool for creating graphically rich, personalized communications materials based on variable data.

More design features
QuarkXPress 7 will provide tools for simply faster creativity, combining the latest design features in an intuitive, standards-compliant product. The release will have new and enhanced features to control transparency, images, and colors; and to accurately visualize graphics and work with OpenType fonts.

With new transparency features to be included in QuarkXPress 7, users will be able to specify the opacity of the elements that make up any items or content in QuarkXPress — text, pictures, blends, boxes, frames, lines, tables, and more. QuarkXPress 7 will have greater control over transparency than other applications by managing opacity levels for any color element of an object rather than on an object-by-object basis. The transparency features will also enable the creation of dynamic, soft drop shadows, as well as the ability to mask pictures with soft edges using alpha channels — including native Photoshop transparency in PSD or TIFF format.

To enhance color management in QuarkXPress, new controls will improve on-screen simulations for soft proofing. For example, users will be able to preview how RGB prints to CMYK on-screen or how CMYK prints in grayscale. Creative professionals will be able to manage their source colors and output specifications within the QuarkXPress software. Quark will make color management simple so more users will be likely to embrace it and start benefiting from soft proofing.

QuarkXPress 7 will expand its access to special characters through Unicode support, OpenType support, and interface improvements that make it easy to insert special characters without looking up keyboard commands or resorting to third-party software. The release will offer full support for the multitude of characters and typographic features built into OpenType fonts, including special characters and fonts required by different languages.

Open file format
Quark has also opened the QuarkXPress project by creating QuarkXPress Markup Language (QXML), a DOM schema for QuarkXPress projects. The structure of the QuarkXPress project is defined according to W3C DOM and XPath specifications so that developers can easily access, update, and create QuarkXPress project elements.

DOM makes all the content of a QuarkXPress project available as XML, which allows any application that understands the schema of a QuarkXPress project to access the QuarkXPress data and process it; it is a live representation of QuarkXPress projects as XML.

About Quark
Quark Inc. (www.quark.com) is a leading developer of tools and technologies for collaborative content workflows from the desktop to the enterprise. Quark has been providing award-winning software for professional publishers since its flagship product QuarkXPress changed the course of traditional publishing. Today, as Quark software is used by millions of customers around the world, the company is guiding the creation of vital open standards to promote productivity and interoperability throughout the industry. With a new generation of products and solutions, Quark is helping its customers create, manage, personalize, and distribute content to a variety of media formats and devices at low cost. Founded in 1981, Denver-based Quark Inc. is privately held.

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9 Responses Discussing “Quark Announces Some New Features That Will Be Available in QuarkXPress 7”
  1. that’s sound really excting.. JobJacket.. hmmmm

    #1
    18 May 2005
    09:45 PT
  2. I haven’t gone through the whole article, but i am preety sure we guys are in for a revolution….. No software in publishing domain is boast up of Job Management feature… Quark is really keeping up with the promise… Keep up the good work.. Free Customer support, Dual licensing policy, Interesting feature set…… Welcome back Quark.

    #2
    18 May 2005
    09:49 PT
  3. I was about to buy CS2 but this announcement really made me waittt.. This feature set really seems interesting.. i have been on XPress for the last 7 years…. currently, thinking of upgrading to MacOS X… I had a choice between XPress 6.5 & Indesign.. but with 7.0 in store with some of interesting features…. & if quark keep doing a good job on customer support front…. i’ll definetlty think for getting back to XPress ways…. Welocome back Quark

    #3
    18 May 2005
    09:57 PT
  4. NOTICE From Editor:

    All three of the above comments are from the same IP address and sent within minutes of each other.

    #4
    18 May 2005
    10:17 PT
  5. Nice to see three out of the Four Quarksters of the Apocalypse show up. It took you a day to reply. Why so long? B-)

    Some good-natured mockery to follow. Please make a note of it!

    Janes Mann:

    that’s sound really excting.. JobJacket.. hmmmm

    So very laconic so suddenly. Better watch out; someone’ll turn a hose on you. Your unbridled enthusiasm could very well lead to dancing.

    Robert Iouse (if that’s your real name):

    I haven’t gone through the whole article, but i am preety sure we guys are in for a revolution….. No software in publishing domain is boast up of Job Management feature… Quark is really keeping up with the promise… Keep up the good work.. Free Customer support, Dual licensing policy, Interesting feature set…… Welcome back Quark.

    Whooh-talk of revolution again…I feel faint. Always get my vapors when they talk of sedition.

    Anyway.

    “Job Management” is indeed an interesting concept. Not unheard of, but interesting. I get the idea that automating the Job Jacket concept could indeed facilitate better workflow-I don’t really see why it shouldn’t. Of course, the Quark-only workflow has the advantage of it.

    So, the question again-will it be good enough to return converted InDesigners to the Quark fold? Depends on how they implement it.

    Lisa Collery:

    I was about to buy CS2 but this announcement really made me waittt.. This feature set really seems interesting.. i have been on XPress for the last 7 years…. currently, thinking of upgrading to MacOS X… I had a choice between XPress 6.5 & Indesign.. but with 7.0 in store with some of interesting features…. & if quark keep doing a good job on customer support front…. i’ll definetlty think for getting back to XPress ways…. Welocome back Quark

    First things first, Lisa. Upgrade to OS X. Don’t wait anymore. There’s no real reason not to. If you’re still on XPress V5.anything, It’ll run in classic environment. You can have your Quark and Panther (or Tiger, if you will).

    If you want to wait for V7, no sin there. Lots of workflows, or so I am told, still run on V4.whatever. I think you’re missing out if you can upgrade to V6.5 but don’t. Actually, if you are in a position to and it’s practical to do so, I would suggest you mount both. It seems to be a time of change in layout, and I would humbly put forward that the better layout artists will be the bilingual ones.

    In all, this is the kind of word I was hoping for from the Four Quarksters. Nice to see someone putting thier money where their mouths are.

    One by one, then:

    Job Jackets: Like I said, the proof for this one will be in the pudding. I wait to see how it is implemented. It will be there, but will it be usable? Will it be good enough to make me think of using Quark instead of InDesign? It’s getting much less difficult to find service bureaux lately who serve InDesigners…locally, Oregon Lithoprint in Eugene and Revere Press in Portland accept .indd files without complaint. Will “Job Jackets” be a better bet than simple, clear communication with your service bureau?

    Multi-channel Publication
    Having what experience I have nearly completely in print I can understand the ability to repurpose assets as a concept but don’t have enough experience with it to competently comment on the nuts and bolts of it. However, in view of Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia and where it puts Adobe as a multimedia content tool forger, it can’t be too bad a move. I’ve never found Quark’s web toolkit particularly compelling, though.

    More design features…
    It’s nice to hear that Quark is going to make transparency integral to the program. It’s also nice to see that Quark is looking to make the interface more intuitive…once again, I think the interface is going to be a key battlefield and Quark has been very coy about how it’s going about moving in there.

    The idea of soft, on-screen proofing is, as far as I know, something of a Holy Grail. It can be very good if you have a properly calibrated monitor, but still never guaranteeable. And, it’s been available in InDesign for quite a while.

    OpenType and Unicode support…Good on Quark, but over due. And InDesign has already done it.

    With the exception of the electronic Job Jacket, the goal still seems to be feature parity. For those who like this sort of thing, this should be just the sort of thing they like.

    #5
    18 May 2005
    20:05 PT
  6. I would not be spurised to see some ” InDesign and JDF-news” pop up after this Quark news.

    #6
    19 May 2005
    03:25 PT
  7. Setting up JDF outside of InDesign (and Quark) has been around for a while via third-party software.

    Having it within Quark will make a workflow one-step more efficient–I’m not belittling that, mind you. Saving any step, especially one that involves a completely different application, is potentially a significant productivity improvement to workflows requiring that functionality. I’m all for the ability to specify JDF wrappers within the layout app instead of external to it.

    Cheers for Quark for innovating! As I’ve always said, the only way for QuarkXPress to remain a viable product in the market is through innovation.

    My only reservation about this is the fact that XPress 6.x PDF files are unpredictable and often flawed. As a professional Quark instructor, workflow consultant, user, and journalist covering, I see many XPress-generated PDFs that are unprintable and unviewable (not only in Acrobat, but also in OS X Preview and even Jaws’ own viewer). Most XPress 6.x users, in my experience, still have to print to Distiller or do the two-step PDF generation method. Hopefully the addition of JDF functionality means Quark is fixing its implementation of the Jaws PDF engine.

    #7
    19 May 2005
    08:46 PT
  8. QuarkXPress 7 will have greater control over transparency than other applications by managing opacity levels for any color element of an object rather than on an object-by-object basis.

    Now this is innovative. As I read it, one will be able to specify a single color in a full-color object to be semi-transparent or blend a certain way–currently only available by editing the source image in Pshop or Illustrator. So, for example, using the infamous Ducky.tif Photoshop sample file, instead of futzing with clipping settings, the white background could be removed by rendering the color white transparent. At the same time, Ducky’s yellow body could be set to a blending mode–hard light, maybe–while retaining non-blended, non-transparency on the red beak and black eyes.

    Intereesting. I’m quite curious to see this in action.

    #8
    19 May 2005
    08:55 PT
  9. [...] Peeling off more bulky layers of secrecy, first with a peek here then with a flourish of silk veils whispering to the ground in X-Ray’s second issue, Quark reveals a little more of XPress 7’s skin. [...]

    15 Jul 2005
    12:21 PT
    #9

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