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.

Partic-ular Content

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.

Pariah Burke

Author, consultant, trainer, guru: Digital Publishing, ePub, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark. Empowering, Informing, Connecting Creative Professionals™

You may also like...