updated 08:05 am EDT, Thu May 29, 2008
QuarkXPress 8 unveiled
Digital publishing giant Quark on Thursday unveiled QuarkXPress 8, the latest version of its page-layout and design software, which boasts a newly redesigned interface and simplified workflow. Quark says that the overall user experience has been refined, allowing users to quickly grab, rotate, and scale images in real time, without needing to type numbers or switch between tools, for example. QuarkXPress 8 also features an enhanced Bézier pen tool, which encourages illustration directly within the application.
QuarkXPress 8 has an enhanced workspace, providing buttons to access master pages, export to PDF, EPS, SWF, and HTML, split-view buttons, enhanced contextual menus, and a customizable active pasteboard. Users can design across print, web, and Flash-based media, as well as incorporate sound, video, animation, and interactivity into their layouts through built-in tools.
The new version provides finer control over typography, giving the user access to advanced text features such as hanging characters with paragraph-by-paragraph control, multiple presets, and the ability to create and share custom hanging character settings. Users can also modify baseline grid settings, apply unique grid settings to individual boxes, and use a Grid Styles dialogue to keep complex documents consistent.
QuarkXPress 8 also represents a larger push into international publishing, with support for eastern and western typography in over 30 languages in one global file format. All versions of QuarkXPress 8 share the same dictionaries, include hyphenation functionality, and can import, format, and output East Asian text.
A "Plus" edition of the software will enable in-depth formatting of East Asian text, with access to dozens of East Asian Features, such as more than 20 additional OpenType font features, user-friendly character spacing, true ideographic grid with character count, and the ability to apply grid styles at the page or box level.
In addition to native Photoshop support, the application can now import natively from Illustrator. WYSIWYG font rendering, advanced guide management, simultaneous control of formatting multiple items, import support for PDF 1.7 and earlier, GWG-based output styles and Job Jackets support are also new.
While specific pricing and availability was not released, Quark is currently running a promotion for users who purchase QuarkXPress 7 from May 29th to August 1st, 2008, are eligible for a free upgrade to v8.0 when it ships. QuarkXPress 7 currently sells for $800.