QuarkXPress 7: Early Returns From Two Experts
The first impressions of QuarkXPress are in, and they’re already mixed.
QuarkXPress 7 is finally released into the wild, and the design community has finally begun to exhale.
While not necessarily representative of the creative reaction to follow, two early opinions are notable due to thier sources and what they say. Sandee Cohen and Galen Gruman are two names who should require no explanation; both are acknowledged layout application experts with deep experience (and published how-to books) about how to use InDesign (in Sandee’s case) and QuarkXPress (in Galen’s). Each professional’s reaction is as different as it is unexpected.
Sandee Cohen: Impressed by XPress 7
Sandee’s reaction is overall very positive: her initial impressions, published here at CreativePro.com, see the improvments (Composition Zones, transparency control, Job Jackets) timely and promising, and something that will keep Quark in the game (though she does agree that XPress is no longer the king of the mountain):
Will QuarkXPress regain its overwhelming dominance of the page-layout market? I think those days are over. Too many companies have already switched to InDesign. I don’t believe a company that switched to InDesign will switch again to QuarkXPress 7. There are just too many considerations and complications. And it’s not just InDesign’s own features that have made it attractive; it’s the integration between all the Creative Suite products.
But will QuarkXPress whither and blow away? Absolutely not!
Galen Gruman: We Waited For This?
Galen Gruman’s reaction (readable here at Macworld), however, seems as underwhelmed as Sandee Cohen’s was upbeat.
Taking a look at the same improvments that Sandee did he found them, while needed, unimpressive and largely counterintuitve. Job Jackets anc Composition Zones are good features but of limited appeal and, at best, counterintuitvely implemented. Most of the rest of the new features are “me-too” improvments matching InDesign’s functionality, though transparency did get high marks for being better than InDesign’s.
Overall, it didn’t seem worth the wait. As Gruman himself says in his review:
Unfortunately, XPress 7 does not represent a significant leap forward. The new release combines primarily me-too additions with some still-evolving original features that have limited appeal for Quark”™s broad base of print designers. Most of QuarkXPress 7″™s truly new features target workgroups, making collaboration easier.
However, that choice will likely disappoint many rank-and-file designers, especially if they”™re at smaller firms that don”™t work in large teams.
Two acknowledged experts. One celebrated workhorse application. Two differing opinions. Let the reviews commence!