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Quark Emphasizes Openness and Collaboration in the Next Release of Quark Express

Press release from the issuing company

PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05 CHICAGO--Sept. 9, 2005-- Quark Inc. today announced that it will make it easier for creative professionals to work together and minimize production errors through a host of feature enhancements in QuarkXPress 7, the next version of its award-winning publishing software. Through "composition zones," "Job Jackets," and other new and enhanced features, QuarkXPress 7 will make desktop collaboration simple, consistent, and efficient. With composition zones, page layout artists, editors, and other creative professionals can work on the same page simultaneously and view each other's changes automatically. Using Job Jackets, workgroups can share specifications across workstations, and the Synchronization palette allows teams to maintain consistent design through the synchronization of text, pictures, and item attributes. "The enhanced graphics capabilities of QuarkXPress 7 make the design experience more satisfying than ever. With creativity flowing this naturally, creative professionals can work together more effectively, and QuarkXPress 7 makes parallel workflows a reality," said Juergen Kurz, senior vice president of product development at Quark. "By delivering these tools, QuarkXPress 7 will help customers achieve their creative goals while managing their businesses efficiently. We're excited to take publishing software to this next level." "As an XTensions developer for over 15 years, I've found that QuarkXPress 7 represents a quantum leap in the sheer volume of advanced functions and interfaces," said Donal O'Connor, owner of Compusense Ltd. "The collaborative features, Job Jackets, and transparency options alone will reinforce that QuarkXPress has always been, and remains, the world's leading publishing software." Effortless Collaboration In traditional linear workflows, contributors must wait for other team members to complete their work in a layout before they can work on their assignments. With QuarkXPress 7, team members can make changes to the same QuarkXPress page at the same time. QuarkXPress 7 composition zones are ideal for any fast-paced environment where people need to work on various aspects of a page or layout simultaneously. For example, a publisher might have two users working on a single article: one layout artist creating the overall look of the page, and another designing a fractional ad on the same page. A newsletter publisher might have a graphic designer positioning an article in a layout while an editor fits copy, adds captions, and enters corrections. Updates to zones within a QuarkXPress page appear in the layout artist's QuarkXPress project as soon as they are saved. With composition zones, QuarkXPress 7 will enable effortless desktop collaboration, which will reduce design, editorial, and production cycles. Confidence in Consistency In addition to promoting more efficient collaboration, QuarkXPress 7 will help workgroups obtain consistent output by sharing specifications across workstations using Job Jackets. The Job Jackets feature takes a revolutionary step beyond preflighting: it will help ensure that a print job adheres to its specifications from the moment it is created, and that it continues to adhere to those specifications all the way through until it rolls off of the press. Job Jackets expand the concept of job specification management beyond the realm of the individual user, allowing workgroups to maintain consistency between related projects -- even when changes in specifications occur -- by linking projects to synchronized, dynamically updated design specifications that include everything from style sheets and colors to page size and count. While workgroups collaborate on creative development, QuarkXPress will track predefined output parameters and eliminate time wasted reworking content to meet production specifications. Job Jackets take advantage of existing networks and open file formats to create a truly effortless design and productivity environment. They are based on the open Job Definition Format (JDF) standard, which provides a standard format for storing information about print jobs and facilitating the automation of many print-related processes. JDF files can include information about scanning, printing, binding, cutting, and even distribution, and can initiate processes in JDF-enabled automated systems via Job Messaging Format (JMF). Combined with the design-oriented information contained in Job Jackets, JDF becomes a comprehensive communications platform for the graphic arts industry. Synchronized Content QuarkXPress will also introduce new features to promote consistency and automate changes across layouts by synchronizing text, pictures, and item attributes, including text formatting, picture effects, colors, and drop shadows. The Synchronization palette will accept any type of item, including picture boxes, text boxes, lines, and text paths. When items are added to the Synchronization palette, users can specify what is synchronized: item attributes, content attributes, or content only. Changes to one synchronized item will reflect in all instances of that synchronized item, including on master pages. Accurate Color Quark is building on work done by standards organizations such as the International Color Consortium (ICC) to promote a uniform approach to color management, and is working to bring the benefits of color management to designers and output specialists by simplifying key aspects of color management. Traditionally, the biggest challenge of reaping the rewards of color management has been maintaining consistency over time and across diverse and changing workgroups. QuarkXPress 7 addresses the concerns of larger publishing groups by making color management settings portable and easy to set up, and addresses the concerns of smaller shops by providing a well-tuned set of default color management settings. New, easy-to-use previewing options make it easy for designers to see what they're doing with color while they're doing it, preventing problems later in the process, and helping ensure accurate output. Flexible Design With new transparency features to be included in QuarkXPress 7, users can specify the opacity of the elements that make up any item or content in QuarkXPress -- text, pictures, blends, boxes, frames, lines, tables, and more. QuarkXPress 7 will provide greater control over transparency than other applications by managing opacity levels for any color element of an object rather than on an object-by-object basis. The transparency features will also enable the creation of dynamic, soft drop shadows, as well as the ability to mask pictures with soft edges using alpha channels -- including native Photoshop transparency in PSD or TIFF format -- and will allow users to adjust masks on the fly in a layout. QuarkVista, which was first introduced in QuarkXPress 6.5, adds image editing effects to QuarkXPress. Users can correct images with adjustments to brightness/contrast, color balance, and hue/saturation, and create special effects with filters such as Gaussian blur, unsharp mask, and emboss. QuarkXPress 7 will improve these features, and add support for additional image file types, more sophisticated editing, and synchronized effects. Enhancements to QuarkVista will continue to expand work-in-place editing abilities while preserving the integrity of the original image, allowing use of a single graphic resource anywhere. QuarkXPress 7 will expand its access to special characters through Unicode support, OpenType support, and interface improvements that make it easy to insert special characters without looking up keyboard commands or resorting to third-party software. The release will offer full support for the multitude of characters and typographic features built into OpenType fonts, including special characters and fonts required by different languages. "Complete Unicode and OpenType support will allow us to substantially simplify the publication of multilingual documents. Typographical improvements such as automatic ligature replacement or the ability to save favorite glyphs make it easier to work with type, and is a substantial improvement to the product," said Sebastian Nafroth, owner of 3f8h.net. A New Window on Your Work In QuarkXPress 7, users will be able to see how detailed changes affect an entire page, layout, or project by splitting the QuarkXPress window into two or more panes or opening any number of new windows for a project. To maximize workspace, users will be able to create custom palette groupings that can be expanded, collapsed, and resized according to user needs. The Measurements palette will be improved with different tabs that change according to the selected item in the layout. Everyday features such as tab settings and item alignment have been redesigned so users can work faster and smarter. Better Tables Tables will be enhanced significantly in QuarkXPress 7, with new table grouping, table rotation, auto-fit, non-anchored continued tables, and header and footer rows features. It will also include handy features to select all even rows, even columns, odd rows, or odd columns in a table for formatting, which lets users shade every other row in a table easily to improve readability. QuarkXPress 7 will automatically resize table cells as necessary to accommodate data from an imported Microsoft Excel table.