QuarkXPress 7

QuarkXPress 7

 

The ability to share specified areas called Composition Zones within a layout among multiple QuarkXPress users is one of the most touted new features in QuarkXPress 7. Think of a Composition Zone as a picture box whose picture is a QuarkXPress layout. Composition Zones open up interesting workflow possibilities; for example, an art director could use composition zones to assign different sections of a magazine to several layout artists. While the art director works on the master layout, the layout artists can simultaneously work on their sections. Whenever a layout artist saves a composition zone, the composition zone is immediately updated in the master layout. Unfortunately, when you create a composition zone, the resulting QuarkXPress file doesn't include a page picture, which means the layout artist who works on it can't see the surrounding page.

 

While it's a relatively simple concept, the implications of Composition Zones are huge, and implementing Composition Zones into a workflow is not trivial. For example, a Composition Zone could contain a layout that, in turn, includes a Composition Zone that contains another layout with an EPS graphic created elsewhere which uses several fonts and spot colors, and so on and so on. In such a scenario, file management could become a nightmare. For workgroups, Composition Zones offer tantalizing possibilities, but we're not convinced this feature will have the impact some are predicting.

 

Job jackets are QuarkXPress 7's answer to the preflight feature in InDesign. A job jacket is an XML file that contains detailed information about a project's anatomy, including such data as colors, style sheets, color management settings, print settings, page size, page count, contact information, and so on. A job jacket surrounds a QuarkXPress file with information used by the various people who interact with the file, from art directors and layout artists on the front end to prepress personnel on the back end. Unlike preflighting, which usually occurs at the end of the design process, a job jacket can be implemented when a project begins, helping ensure that the project stays within predefined parameters during the design process. Designers, be forewarned: Creating and using job jackets is not easy - the feature is aimed at art directors, production managers, and service bureaus. That said, the ability to standardize all aspects of a project from initial creation to final output is extremely useful.

 

 

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