updated 10:40 am EST, Wed January 16, 2008
Quark Interactive Designer
Quark on Tuesday announced that Quark Interactive Designer 1.02 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Quark Interactive Designer allows designers using QuarkXPress to create Flash (SWF) layouts for the Web without having to code. The release of Quark Interactive Designer 1.02 follows the November 2007 release of QuarkXPress 7.31, a maintenance release of the professional design software that is optimized for Mac OS X Leopard. QID users can create rich, interactive tours, online advertisements and design-driven presentations using QuarkXPress 7.
"Quark is dedicated to providing the Mac(R) community timely updates to our software that support the Mac OS. Quark Interactive Designer 1.02 now offers designers Flash authoring capability that works in conjunction with QuarkXPress 7.31," said Tim Banister, Quark's general manager of QuarkXPress. "Mac users working with Leopard will find Quark Interactive Designer valuable not only because it allows for the creation of Flash layouts without writing code, it also enables users to repurpose print work for the Web and offers innovative design functionality."
The software features interactive buttons, animations and dozens of predefined actions for transitioning pages, playing sounds, sliding objects and creating interactive menus. The update is free for existing users, while the full version is $200. The software runs on Mac OS X 10.4 or later and requires QuarkXPress 7.2 or later.
Quark Labs highlight XTensions
Quark also announced Quark Labs, a new portal featuring innovative QuarkXPress 7 XTensions that are not initially being released as commercial products. Designed as a testing ground for QuarkXPress technology and a community for QuarkXPress users and developers, Quark Labs offers free access to technology previews, proofs of concept and both new and familiar XTensions. XTensions featured on Quark Labs are built to enhance a user's experience with QuarkXPress 7 and increase productivity by automating common user actions. New XTensions include Welcome Screen, Image Drag and Drop 1.0b, and ShadowCaster 3.3.
- Welcome Screen is a navigation screen that appears immediately upon launching QuarkXPress 7. It allows users to open recent projects, create new projects, create new libraries and more without clicking through a variety of menus or options. It features training videos, an RSS feed of Quark-related news and is currently available for English-language Mac environments.
- Image Drag and Drop 1.0b: A long-time wish-list item for QuarkXPress users debuts as a technology preview on the site. Image Drag and Drop 1.0b allows users to drag images from almost anywhere -- folders, their desktop -- and drop them into a QuarkXPress 7 document. The source code for this technology preview will also be available on the site.
- ShadowCaster 3.3 is "one of the most popular QuarkXPress XTensions of all time," according to the company. The XTension adds transparency, blend modes and special effects such as shadows, glows and bevels to QuarkXPress layouts. Version 3.3 is compatible with QuarkXPress 7.
Quark said that the site will be updated with new technology previews, concepts and XTensions and that "in the near future updates to the site will include enhancements for the Mac OS experience" as well as third-party application compatibility add-ons.