Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Returning To QuarkXpress 9.5

Awhile back I wrote about my frustration with Adobe's InDesign, a desktop publishing program after years of using QuarkXpress, the leader until they stumbled in their biggest market, the Mac graphic design market when it took them three tries to be compatible with the new Apple OS.

For many years you had to run two operating systems on a Mac, OS 9.2 and OS 10.0 when using Quark. The Mac OS got faster and while Adobe made the change Quark seemed to take forever. So you used PhotoShop or Illustrator and even Word using say Mac OS10.2 and you ran 9.2 with Quark. It was not a pretty picture. Stung by the loss of leadership from their clunky PageMaker to Quark, Adobe came out with InDesign that was also a dog for a few iterations but seized the moment when Quark seemed to drag its feet.
The Quark Interface

However, now that I have been using Quark again, the frustration level was just too high with InDesign 5.5, I am happy to say that while the documentation is very light, many of the old commands still work and I have learned a few new ones along the way. I should point out that there is documentation and lots of video modules but I decided to wait as QXP 10.0 is due out any time now and so, I will watch those.

The other interesting thing is that Quark came right out and told every user and past users as well, that if they buy Quark now or in the future THEY will own the software.  They will not have to lease it or have to do anything in the cloud. It is theirs, pure and simple. Each license is good for two computers, in my case the iMac and laptop. That seems fair enough. Adobe has made headlines with its new policy of leasing the program to you on a monthly or yearly basis. You will NEVER own a version of it again. Not only that, you better have a fast wi-fi connection because you will ALWAYS BE WORKING in the cloud. The argument is that you will always have the newest version and will never have to download updates again. Microsoft is trying this. Ask them how popular that has been.

I don't know about you but that idea of not only NOT owning what I am paying for but having to do everything in the cloud is scary. Can you imagine, and I live not more than two miles away from Southern California Edison's HQ and we have outages all the time, you are in the final moments of a crucial product launch and suddenly your screen goes dark? Or the wi-fi dies for some reason? Can you? Before you upgrade to Adobe's new cloud, give that a thought.

I create a newsletter for my art teacher and I finally switched that over to Quark. It took about half the time I expected and while things have changed it didn't take long to understand what was going on. If you were ever a user, keep those old manuals. They seem to still work. Every command I could pull from this rusty old brain or research from my old 7.5 books worked. How gratifying. If nothing else, they have great support now and you do all your work on your own computer. You pay for it once and you're done.

Another wonderful feature, I did it once, was with Quark you can do a layout and export it as HTML. True, you had to open and link things with Dreamweaver (surely the seven stages of hell) but the design work could be done in an old friend. The new version allows for eBook design and even things for iPads and such. You may be able to do all the linking there as well.

Check them out online. I am finally a happy (desktop publishing) camper!

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