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QuarkXPress 10 to gain Xenon engine, Retina support, UI changes

updated 11:35 am EDT, Wed July 24, 2013

Publishing software switches to Cocoa code base

Quark has formally unveiled QuarkXPress 10, the next edition of its design and layout software. The release incorporates a number of major improvements, such as a long-awaited switch to a Cocoa code base. The change should help boost performance, and make it easier for Quark to support future versions of OS X.

Paired with the architecture overhaul is a new graphics engine, dubbed Xenon. The technology is said to improve rendering of pixel- and vector-based images as well as PDFs, and increase speed through features like support for multiple cores and processors, SSE3, and advanced vector extensions.

The user interface has been revised as well. It now supports Retina displays for instance, and can operate as a fullscreen app. When working with multiple displays, palettes can be moved to one side while layout sits on another. In any mode palettes can now be docked to screen edges, hidden, and/or snapped to windows. Users can configure Palette Sets, and work faster with added shortcut keys.

A new page navigator allows quick scanning through page thumbnails thanks to extra navigation options and command keys. The heart of the updated software's interface has become the Measurements Palette, which in v10 replaces the functions of the Modify dialog, including earlier shortcut keys.

Among other upgrades are a QR code generator, universal support for east Asian typography, PDF pass-through transparency, and the ability to reorder layout tabs. QuarkXPress 10 is slated to ship in "mid-to-late" August. People buying or upgrading to v9 can get 10 for free; until 10 launches, existing owners of v9 can get a 20 percent discount via pre-order. QuarkXPress is normally $849 new, or $349 as an upgrade from a previous release.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    Switch to Cocoa codebase? What is this, 2003?

  1. philbot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-15-08

    Too little too late - we've all switched to Adobe now, Quark

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08


    LOL .... yes, indeed ... most of these old dinosaurs have been dragging their feet for years. Quark made the catastrophic mistake of writing the whole thing in Java, which cost them dearly in performance (and sales), and of course, Adobe has been writing all their apps in Air (which is re-badged Java).

    I think Quark is smartening up though .... recently they've been making a few smart decisions .... let's hope they don't screw this up.

    You know it's really sad that the majority of Quark users still prefer version 3.3.2 after 20 years !!! Speaks volumes about their competence and management.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    @shawnde: "let's hope they don't screw this up" - far, far, far too late for that.

    They've been screwing it up all the way since 1997. To me it's one of the great marvels of the industry that this company and their product still exist.

  1. Tralthamidor

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-07

    The only reason Quark is still around is because of all of the corporate & government employees that keep upgrading and refuse to learn INDD. That's why the Quark interface never seems to change even after 15 years...

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    @Tralthamidor: No. That is not the only reason. I know a few highly qualified InDesign users that still long for Quark to get their act "back" together. Quark did many things pretty darned well, and InDesign doesn't have some of those things yet!

  1. jreades

    Junior Member

    Joined: 02-02-99

    The list of improvements reads like the list of things I was waiting for in early 2002. QXP 3.x *was* a great layout system (further to a previous comment) -- I had it generating business cards for an entire company in seconds (with a database link) and the flow of text between layout boxes was much more intuitive. InDesign does that *now*, but it certainly wasn't very good at most of that for the first few years after it was released. QXP also had a whole slew of convenient, customisable short-cuts that I've never managed to find in IND. However, even if they are getting things sorted, quite how the people who make Quark have managed to stay in business escapes me... I'd have a *really* hard time justifying to my organisation why I need a 'new' layout tool when Adobe's "Print Design Bundle" is altogether more affordable on a per-app basis.

  1. revco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-10-05

    I like prefer it over InD. I find it faster and its interface is better thought out. I hope v10 doesn't disappoint.

  1. GAH

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-01-13

    I think Quark are going to miss a fantastic opportunity to win back lost customers. It's pointless enticing people to upgrade to this new version when there isn't a single review out there, or a demo to try. When that happens all the discounts will have gone. It should have looked at what InDesign can do, replicated it, then blown it out the water with this version. As a freelancer I do as I am requested, and no one asks for a job to be made up in Quark, it never happens. They needed to have done to InDesign what InDesign did to them a decade ago.

  1. andi*pandi


    Joined: 06-19-00

    Quark still exists? Wow.

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