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QuarkXPress icon.png
QuarkXPress 9.png
QuarkXPress 9.0 on Windows 7
Developer(s) Quark, Inc.
Initial release 1987
Stable release 2015 (11.2) (October 9, 2015; 43 days ago (2015-10-09)) [±]
Operating system Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows
Available in multilingual
Type Desktop publishing
License Proprietary
Website QuarkXPress

QuarkXPress is a computer application for creating and editing complex page layouts in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) environment. It runs on Mac OS X and Windows. It was first released by Quark, Inc. in 1987 and is still owned and published by them.

The most recent version, QuarkXPress 2015 (internal version number 11.0), allows publishing in English ("International and U.S."[1]) and 36 other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Korean, Russian, French, and Spanish.[2]

QuarkXPress is used by individual designers and large publishing houses to produce a variety of layouts, from single-page flyers to the multi-media projects required for magazines, newspapers, catalogs, and the like. QuarkXPress once dominated the market for page layout software, with over 95% market share among professional users. As of 2010, one publisher estimated that US market share has fallen to below 25% and Adobe InDesign has become the market leader, although QuarkXPress still had significant marketshare.[3][needs update]

Version 8 screenshot


The first version of QuarkXPress was released in 1987 for the Macintosh. Five years passed before a Microsoft Windows version (3.1) followed in 1992. In the 1990s, QuarkXPress became widely used by professional page designers, the typesetting industry, and printers. In particular, the Mac version of 3.3 (released in 1996) was seen as stable and trouble-free, working seamlessly with Adobe's PostScript fonts as well as with Apple's TrueType fonts.

In 1989, QuarkXPress incorporated an application programming interface called XTensions which allows third-party developers to create custom add-on features to the desktop application. Xtensions, along with Apple Computer's HyperCard, was one of the first examples of a developer allowing others to create software add-ons for their application.

After QuarkXPress 3.3, QuarkXPress was seen as needing significant improvements and users criticized it for its overly long innovation cycles.

The release of QuarkXPress version 5 in 2002 led to disappointment from Apple's user base, as QuarkXPress did not support Mac OS X, while InDesign 2.0 did, launched in the same week. At the same time, Quark CEO Fred Ebrahimi exclaimed that "the Macintosh platform is shrinking," and suggested that anyone dissatisfied with Quark's Mac commitment should "switch to something else."[4][5]

Only with Version 6 did QuarkXPress support Mac OS X; however, the first really adopted version was QuarkXPress 7 (which was also a Universal Binary application).

Quark started to lower its pricing levels in 2004. In December 2006, Quark licensed the Windows version of QuarkXPress 5 to be distributed for free on the cover of a UK computer magazine, Computer Shopper, with the idea of enticing consumers to upgrade to later versions.

Having arrived late with a Mac OS X version, Quark took a different approach to porting to Intel-native applications on Mac (Universal Binary), and released its Universal Binary version 7 months before Adobe ported InDesign.[6]

With QuarkXPress 8 and 9, the product seems to listen more to its user base, as reviews worldwide became more positive and several Mac magazines gave awards to QuarkXPress, even best product of the year (MacWorld Awards 2011: Grand Prix Winner[7]).

Use and features[edit]

The package provides the basic functionality of font, alignment, spacing, and color, but it also provides its users with professional typesetting options such as kerning, curving text along a line, and ligatures.

A QuarkXPress document contains text and graphics boxes. The boxes can be reshaped, layered, and given varying levels of transparency and text alignment (runaround).[8] Both box positioning and graphic or text positioning is allowed within a box with an accuracy of one-thousandth of an inch.

Color control allows the full-use of printing-press standard Pantone or Hexachrome inks, along with a variety of other color-space options. Draft output can be printed on conventional desktop printers. Process color (CMYK) separation films can be produced for printing-presses. QuarkXPress also offers the ability for composite work-flows, both with PostScript and PDF output.

QuarkXPress offers layout synchronization, multiple undo/redo functionality, XML and web page (HTML/XHTML) features, and support for direct PDF import and output. Documents can be verified (pre-flight) before printing. This high-level print preview automatically identifies conflicts and other printing problems. Adobe has a similar feature in InDesign.

Composition zones feature makes it the only desktop application with multi-user capabilities by allowing multiple users to edit different zones on the same page. Composition Zones pushes collaboration a step further than just simultaneous text/picture (as possible with Quark CopyDesk since 1991), as it allows layout and graphic elements to be edited outside the layout application.

User-defined rules, output specs, and layout specs can be used for intelligent templates and enable resource sharing (for example, server-based style sheet definitions).

Version 6.5, released at the end of 2004, added enhanced support for the Photoshop format (PSD). The PSD integration and picture manipulation features led to QuarkXPress receiving a number of awards, such as the Macworld Editor's Choice for 2004.

Version 7 added support for OpenType, Unicode, JDF, and also PDF/X-export. QuarkXPress 7 also added unique features, such as native transparency at the color level.

QuarkXPress 8 introduced a completely new user interface, support for drag and drop, PDF 1.7 import, AI Import and a global file format. Design grids can be assigned to pages and boxes to allow unlimited baseline grids. Hanging characters can be applied and customized by character and amount to hang outside the box. This is the first version to include built-in Adobe Flash authoring. Designers can create Flash content including sound, video, animation and interactivity without programming. In October 2008, QuarkXPress 8 won the MacUser Award for Print Publishing Software of the Year.[9]

With version 9 QuarkXPress extended its crossmedia publishing approach and can be used now to also export to eBooks (ePub3 and Blio) and native apps (for the iPad). With App Studio, which is shipped with QuarkXPress, designers can even create and design their own apps.[10] Additionally QuarkXPress 9 offers cascading styles (stylesheets based on text content), callouts (anchored objects that flow with the text based on position rules), create complex ad editable Bézier paths using a wizard (ShapeMaker), bullets and numbers (with import & export from/to Microsoft Word) and more.

The Mac version of QuarkXPress 9 is for Intel processors only, making QuarkXPress 8.5.1 the last choice for PPC-based Macs.

QuarkXPress 10, was described by Quark as a major re-write of the software on the Mac platform in particular to move it from the older Carbon API to Cocoa. It also included a new, modern graphics engine, Xenon. During the lifecycle of version 10, new features included Retina Display support, PDF pass-through transparency, notes, redlining, increased zoom (8000%) and the ability to create HTML5 animations for inclusion in App Studio tablet and smartphone apps.

The current version, QuarkXPress 2015, uses a different naming scheme than the versions before. It is completely 64-bit and offers fixed-layout ePub and Kindle export and can export layouts as PDF/X-4. Quark claims to have added the top 10 of all user-requested features.[11]

Server version[edit]

In the beginning of 2003 Quark released a server version of QuarkXPress,[12] called QuarkDDS. This enables page editing and page layout in a web browser. QuarkXPress Server is often used for web-to-print in corporate intranets to enable customization and ordering of printed materials, advertising automation workflows in advertising agencies, catalog generation for retailers and variable digital printing for personalized marketing. It enables companies to print copies digitally when they need them, often with customized content. The system relies on XML. The server is often embedded in print on demand software.

In 2006 Quark renamed QuarkDDS to "QuarkXPress Server".[13]

Version history[edit]

  • QuarkXPress 1 (1987) - Mac OS only.
  • QuarkXPress 2 (1989) - First non-English versions (e.g. French, German).
    • QuarkXPress 2.1 (1989) - Enhanced typographic control, such as user-definable kerning tables.
  • QuarkXPress 3 (1990) - First version with measurement palette and support for libraries.
    • QuarkXPress 3.1 (1992) - First version to also support Windows.
    • QuarkXPress 3.2 (1993) - First version to support Applescript and color management.
    • QuarkXPress 3.3 (1996) - First version to support PPC natively. First Passport Version (optional).
    • QuarkXPress 3.32 (1996) - Support for QuarkImmedia. This is the last version which works on Windows 3.x (requires Win32s to be installed).
  • QuarkXPress 4 (1997) - First version with bézier curves. Notable interface improvements are pop-up tools and tabbed dialog boxes. Windows 3.x is no longer supported.
    • QuarkXPress 4.1 (1999) - First version to also support PDF and XML.
  • QuarkXPress 5 (2002) - First version to offer tables and to export HTML.
  • QuarkXPress Server (QuarkDDS) released.
  • QuarkXPress 6 (2003) - First version to support Mac OS X.
    • QuarkXPress 6.1 (2004) - First version with Excel Import filter.
    • QuarkXPress 6.5 (2004) - First version to also support the Document Object Model and features for picture retouching.
    • QuarkXPress 6.52 (2006) - Bug-fix release, released after release of Quark 7.
  • QuarkXPress 7 (2006) - First version to support OpenType, Unicode, PDF/X, Shadows/Transparencies, Job Definition Format and Composition Zones.
    • QuarkXPress 7.01 (8 August 2006) - First native version for Intel Macs (Universal binary), plus PPML support.
    • QuarkXPress 7.02 (2006) - Additional language support in Passport.
    • QuarkXPress 7.1 (2007) - Performance update.
    • QuarkXPress 7.2 (2007) - First version to support Windows Vista, additional languages.
    • QuarkXPress 7.3 (2007) - Increased UI localization and PDF support, improved performance and stability.
    • QuarkXPress 7.31 (2007) - Certification on Windows Vista, support for Mac OS X v10.5 ("Leopard"), enhancements to spell checking.
    • QuarkXPress 7.4 (2008) - non public release, only for QPS customers.
    • QuarkXPress 7.5 (2008) - Bug-fix release, released after release of Quark 8.
  • QuarkXPress 8 (2008) - New UI, drag-and-drop support, direct image manipulation, customizable optical margin alignment, multiple baseline grids, East Asian support, built-in Flash authoring.
    • QuarkXPress 8.01 (2008) - Spellchecker enhancements
    • QuarkXPress 8.02 (2009) - Five new languages and new Pantone libraries.
    • QuarkXPress 8.1 (2009) - Numerical scale, native transparency (PDF-X/4) and layers in PDF, improved spell checker and other feature improvements. Supports Snow Leopard and Windows 7.
    • QuarkXPress 8.12 (2009) - Bug-fix release.
    • QuarkXPress 8.15 (2010) (Mac OS X only) - Fixes activation issues on certain Apple hardware.
    • QuarkXPress 8.1.6 (2010) - Speed optimizations
    • QuarkXPress (2010) - Bug-fix release.
    • QuarkXPress 8.5 (2010) - Bug fixes, auto updater, DOCX import.
    • QuarkXPress 8.5.1 (2011) - Bug fixes, last Universal Binary version.
  • QuarkXPress 9 (2011) - Nested Styles, callouts (anchored elements outside text boxes), bullets & numbers, shape wizard, multi image import, ePub Export.
    • QuarkXPress 9.0.1 (2011) - Bug-fix release
    • QuarkXPress 9.1 (2011) - Addition of "App Studio", which allows to export multimedia apps for iPad out of QuarkXPress. First version to officially support Mac OS X Lion
    • QuarkXPress 9.2 (2012) - Export to ePUB 3.0, plus ability to create ePUB files from scratch. Improvements to App Studio, including iOS5 support.
    • QuarkXPress 9.2.1 (2012) (Mac OS X only) - Fix "missing icons" bug caused by Lion 10.7.3
    • QuarkXPress (2012) - Added support for exporting to the Retina iPad
    • QuarkXPress 9.3 (2012) - Export eBooks directly to Amazon Kindle format, plus other minor fixes including EPS and PDF color management.
    • QuarkXPress 9.3.1 (2012) - Compatibility with the OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) Gatekeeper feature.
    • QuarkXPress (2012) - Fixes a spellchecker crash.
    • QuarkXPress 9.5 (2012) - Allows the creation of 100% HTML5-based content on native apps and platforms such as Android.
    • QuarkXPress 9.5.1 (2013) - Adds page stacks, bugfixes
    • QuarkXPress (2013) - Bugfixes
    • QuarkXPress 9.5.2 (2013) - Download manager, bugfixes
    • QuarkXPress 9.5.3 (2013) - Fixes known issues with PDF export
    • QuarkXPress 9.5.4 (2013) - Support for OS X Mavericks
  • QuarkXPress 10 (September 2013)
    • QuarkXPress 10.0.1 (2013) - Support for OS X Mavericks and Windows 8.1
    • QuarkXPress 10.1 (2014) - 8000% zoom, smart guides, HTML5-based animations, image export, new book function[14]
    • QuarkXPress 10.2 (2014) - Speed Improvements, Notes, Redlining
    • QuarkXPress 10.2.1 (2014) - Bug fixes
    • QuarkXPress 10.5 (2014) - Support for OS X Yosemite
  • QuarkXPress 2015 (April 2015)
    • QuarkXPress 2015 Release 11.0 (2015) - 64-bit version only, over 5 meters max page size, fixed-layout interactive eBooks (fxl ePub), footers and end notes, text variables, custom paper sizes user-definable shortcut keys (Mac only), table styles.
    • May 2015 Release ( - bug fixes
    • July 2015 Release (11.0.1) - faster launch speed
    • Sep 2015 Release (11.1) - Support for Windows 10
    • Oct 2015 Release (11.2) - Support for OS X El Capitan

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Conversion tools with InDesign:

QuarkXPress Tutorials:

Plug-ins / Add-ons for QuarkXPress (called XTensions)