QuarkXPress 7

QuarkXPress 7


Quark has done a nice job of updating the user interface. The most significant improvement is a retooled Measurements palette that obviates the need to open dialog boxes when you need to modify objects. When you move the pointer over the Measurements palette, a row of icons pops up along the top of the palette. Clicking an icon changes the controls displayed in the palette. For example, when you're working on text, you can not only apply character and paragraph formatting, you can also modify tab settings as well as text box settings such as frame, text runaround, and drop shadow. When a picture box is active, you can use the Measurements palette to make almost all of the modifications available in the Modify dialog.


Also new is the ability to create palette groups and palette sets. A palette group is a collection of palettes that works like a single palette. You can drag the title bar of a palette group to move it, double-click the title bar to collapse it, or click the close button to hide it. It's easy to add and detach individual palettes from a group, and you can alternately expand or collapse any palette within a group by clicking the arrow next to its name. The Palette Sets feature lets you name and save the position of all open palettes and libraries. For example, you can create a palette set for working with text and another for working with pictures. You can also assign a keyboard shortcut to a palette set for quick display.


The synchronization concept, introduced in version 6, is expanded to include all text or pictures, formatting, and box attributes. This feature, however, remains hampered by the necessity to synchronize all the text in a box rather than just selected text. Tables are improved in QuarkXPress 7 as well. You can break tables across columns and pages, add synchronized header and footer rows, rotate tables, and make quick selections for easy formatting.


The bottom line. If you've remained loyal to QuarkXpress, you now have many more reasons to stick with it. However, it's unlikely that former QuarkXPress users who have jumped ship for InDesign in recent years will feel compelled to switch back. The battle between QuarkXPress and InDesign is forcing both Quark and Adobe to improve their products. It will be interesting to see how Adobe responds to QuarkXPress 7 when InDesign CS3 is released next year. Jab or haymaker?


The Measurements palette offers significant improvements.


CONTACT: 800-676-4575, www.quark.com
PRICE: $749, $249 upgrade
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.4 or later
Many new and improved features, enhanced interface. Less expensive that previous versions.
QuarkXPress Passport is required for multilingual hyphenation and spell checking. No blending modes. Steep learning curve for some new features. Performance is occasionally sluggish.





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