QuarkWatch: Quark Particles on PDFs, Free PDFBoxer XTension
Quark's free monthly newsletter discusses Quark's commitment to PDF and offers a free XTension
The May edition of Quark, Inc.‘s e-newsletter, Quark Particles, is all about Quark’s take on PDF and the nature of its commitment to to it. Featured is a QuarkAlliance partner who specializes in PDF, a timely tutorial, a link to an XTension that will include more information in XPress-generated PDFs, and the usual comment from the (now mononomial) Editor.
Quark has embraced PDF in V6, adding the Jaws engine for generating PDFs from within XPress itself. To underscore this, this month’s edition has the following examples:
- A piece about a company called Enfocus, based in Ghent, Belgium. This company was formed in the early ’90s with the mission of crafting PDF solutions for the Graphic Arts community.
- An article detailing the Ghent PDF Workgroup, an alliance who aims to firm up guidelines for the PDFs designers submit to service bureaux
- And a timely tutorial on importing and exporting PDFs in the XPress environment
Quark’s Free PDFBoxer XTension
Also in the issue is a link to a new, free XTension from Quark, Inc, PDFBoxer. It enhances XPress-generated PDFs by adding three attributes: CropBox, BleedBox, and TrimBox.
The brief readme provided with the XTension indicates that these are generated by PDFBoxer based on settings made in other parts of the program (presumably settings made in the Print dialog and such things as any crop marks that are created) and the action happens behind the scenes, in the PostScript stream enroute to the PDF creation engine.
Since it works in this way, PDFBoxer has no interface, adds nothing to any dialog boxes, and has no palette. Any review I make at this point must necessarily be limited to the observation that the XTension apparently works without affecting XPress launching or performance in any way (installed in Mac OS X 10.2.8, XPress 6.5, PowerMac 2-processor G4 1.25 GHz). As far as can currently be seen, if you are an intermediate-advanced PDF user who use these attributes in your work, this ought to be an improvement.
My Opinionated Take
I’ve been fascinated with Quark Particles since its debut. Free corporate newsletters such as this must be taken on two levels-one, as an expression of a positive self-image of the company, and the other as a resource.
Quark Particles started out with a strange editorial voice. It seemed to bend over backwards to be cute; I remember the feeling of contrivance as I read the first missive from the so-called “Exahausted Editor”. With this issue I detect a subtle but needed shift of tone-the Editor doesn’t seem so “Exhausted” anymore (though he does seem to still be fond of his chaise). The goofy humor has been dialled back a bit, which makes the editorial a bit more readable.
Moreover I was impressed with this issue because it gives us some real meat-Quark and it’s Adobe-less approach to PDF, a very good tutorial (which I recommend) and the PDFBoxer XTension…in the words of Tom Peterson (a long-time Portland OR area retailer), free is a very good price.
With this issue, Quark Particles shows definite signs of becoming more than a mere keeping-up-with-Quark informational, but becoming a real user resource worth subscribing to.
Subscriptions are free; go to the Quark homepage http://www.quark.com, and click on the “Genuine articles from Quark Particles” link on the right sidebar. When there, look on the right sidebar of the newsletter home for the link to PDFBoxer.