QuarkXPress 8.0 First Look

As much as the 7.0 revi­sion of QuarkXPress was about com­plex, inter-related pub­lish­ing work­flows, the new ver­sion announced today is about a much-needed new look and a host of tools aimed square­ly at graph­ic design­ers. Quark wasn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly wrong to focus on the hard-core pro­duc­tion mar­ket in the last cou­ple of ver­sions, but nei­ther were design­ers wrong to con­clude the XPress inter­face was look­ing a lit­tle behind the times.

The suc­cess the Adobe Internet jug­ger­naut hath wrought is tes­ta­ment that com­mon inter­face design, pre­dictable tool sets, and cross-application sup­port is just as impor­tant as how well an appli­ca­tion fits in to the dai­ly demands of a production-heavy envi­ron­ment (where XPress has remained strong). And that pub­lish­ing pro­duc­tion is now a glob­al busi­ness chal­lenge need­ing a single-software solu­tion, not a bunch of market-priced ver­sions to sup­port multi-lingual out­put.

QuarkXPress 8 User Interface

A vari­ety of the new menu, palette, and tool designs from var­i­ous parts of XPress 8.

So in some ways XPress 8 is an admis­sion by Quark that Adobe is now set­ting the stan­dards for how design­ers work. XPress 8 is much more “Creative-Suite like” in how it looks and works. But I’m glad to say Quark didn’t just copy a few inter­face ideas or set­tle on some stan­dard key­board short­cuts. By going back and re-focusing on the lit­tle stuff, they’ve actu­al­ly made some giant strides for­ward.

Updating the user inter­face in a prod­uct like QuarkXPress is a bit risky, as many users have hung on pre­cise­ly for the rea­son that they don’t like or want to change. But…

Read the rest of Gene Gable’s first look at QuarkXPress 8.0 at Creativepro​.com.

Pariah Burke

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

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7 Responses

  1. mjenius says:

    Glad to see that Quark is address­ing the issue that they are actu­al­ly com­pet­ing against the whole Creative Suite and not just InDesign. Even some of the best Quark design­ers I know would be crip­pled if you took away pho­to­shop and illus­tra­tor.

  2. Gifted says:

    A stun­ning update I am very impressed with the improve­ments, actu­al­ly makes using Quark a fun process.

  3. mjenius says:

    I’ll have to try out Quark 8. Hope they fixed three things that always baf­fled me on Quark 7.

    1. Why does it paste objects on the page above the one that I’m actu­al­ly work­ing on?
    2. What is up with align tool?
    3. When import­ing pic­tures, why does it reset the file loca­tion after two imports? (is it a pref­er­ence I can change?)

  4. Bill says:

    I have just briefly played with the demo. I’d say XPress 8 is most def­i­nite­ly a step in the right direc­tion, but not it’s not enough to make me aban­don InDesign.

    Why does Quark not see the val­ue in a ded­i­cat­ed Links Palette? I don’t want to go to a menu and call up a dia­logue box sim­ply to check the sta­tus of my links. This is one of about 4 or 5 things that leave me shak­ing my head.

    Also, Quark need to GIVE XPress 8 away to Colleges if they want any hope of mak­ing up the ground that they’ve lost. Make it easy for schools to teach XPress again… If all of the new grads only know InDesign, what soft­ware do you think that they are going to buy?

  5. Ryan says:

    I think it’s rather sad for Quark. I’m not say­ing XPress is bad or any­thing, but I sure don’t see the sup­port for it.

    I enjoy get­ting nearly-free train­ing online like at Lynda​.com or TotalTraining​.com but here’s a fun­ny thing.… Lynda has­n’t released an “essen­tial” train­ing for quark since Version 6 and Total Training released noth­ing at all. However, InDesign has seen much more sup­port in online train­ing, at least for me.

    Just like Bill said in the pre­vi­ous post, if I can’t learn it, why should I both­er buy­ing Quark over InDesign that I already know how to use (from online train­ing)?

    QuarkXPress 8 looks too much like a visu­al update, rather than a func­tion­al one, but I real­ly have not used it all that much com­pared with XPress 7 with our school’s graph­ic depart­ment.

    I agree, Quark had bet­ter step up their game to stay on the top…

    Many of my teach­ers say “Getting to the top may be easy, but stay­ing there is cer­tain­ly much hard­er.”

  6. Eugene says:

    Nice arti­cle. Thanks. :) Eugene

  7. Keith says:

    Having used Quark 8, (i could list the few pro’s and the huge list of cons, but whats the point) its just quark 7, but with a new inter­face.. thanks for not lis­ten­ing to your users.. glad to see that Quark Inc. still havent changed, still want to charge over inflat­ed upgrade prices for what is essen­tial­ly quark 7!!

    If you have more mon­ey than sense then upgrade.. i am sure you will be dis­ap­point­ed!

    Quark is like hot­met­al, and soon like hot met­al it will be part of our his­to­ry.