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Quark users prove as elusive as sub-atomic particles in printing industry

Tuesday, 17 September 2013
By Patrick Howard

Once mighty industry design and layout software seems set to collide with the reality of its minimal market share as the company rolls out the latest version, QuarkXPress version 10.

There must be some printing industry professionals using QuarkXPress in Australia but they are proving hard to identify. As the elementary particles of the same name in physics are never directly observed, so a search for users of the software has drawn a blank.

Neither the distributor in Australia, Scholastics, nor major computer graphics training provider, CTO, was able to provide a pointer to a graphic design or printing company still using QuarkXPress. A quick ring around printing companies also drew blank. According to a leading industry graphics trainer, she has not had a request to teach Quark for over three years.

Undaunted, the company has released the latest version of QuarkXPress 10 today, claiming the software has been completely redesigned and listing more than 50 feature enhancements. In a press release Quark, headquartered in Denver USA, said the latest version is new inside and out for designers who love print and live digital.

Quark’s drive to get back into the game following Adobe’s victory in the layout wars cannot be written off. The software, first launched in 1987, was known as the most powerful desktop publishing program in existence in the 1990s. At a time when competitor Adobe was struggling to come up with a replacement for its PageMaker layout software – eventually launching In Design – QuarkXPress commanded almost total market share in the publishing and prepress industries. It was particularly strong in large enterprises with multiple seats.

A series of questionable marketing decisions as well as being blindsided by Adobe’s launch of the cheaper Creative Suite that included such industry standards as Photoshop and Illustrator, saw Quark lose out in the battle for the desktop.  Since then it has had some success in other markets but has failed to regain its once dominant position in Australia and New Zealand. Quark today claims a user base of three million worldwide.

According to Scholastics, the local Australian reseller, there has already been some interest in the new software, which is available for sale now.

Among the reasons being promoted by the company for the industry to come back to QuarkXPress 10, the new software includes;

  • Modern architecture: QuarkXPress 10 is a native Cocoa app that leverages the latest OS X features, offers maximised performance, and can rapidly support new OS X releases.
  • New Quark Xenon Graphics Engine: The state-of-the-art graphics engine renders rich PDFs, Photoshop and TIFF images and uses its Adaptive Resolution feature to deliver designers the most appropriate on screen resolution in real-time.
  • HiDPI and Retina Display Support: Every element of QuarkXPress 10 has been optimised to take full advantage of high-resolution Retina displays like those found on the Mac Book Pro.
  • Advanced Digital Publishing Options: QuarkXPress 10 continues to support ePub and Kindle, as well as out-of-the-box HTML5 authoring for App Studio, the leading cloud-based solution for creating iOS, Android, and Web apps.
  • QR Code Creator: Generate, style, and colour vector Quick Response (QR) codes directly within QuarkXPress.
  • East Asian Typography: Now every edition of QuarkXPress 10 supports East Asian typography, including vertical story text, phonetic text reading (rubi) font sets, character grids and more.
  • More than Fifty Feature Enhancements: PDF Pass-Through Transparency, Print Preview, Bezier Tool Enhancement, Layers Enhancements and much more.

“We set out to modernise QuarkXPress 10 – not just technologically, but from a usability perspective too. Every update and new feature will offer designers more precision, more flexibility, and a more intuitive design space,” said Gavin Drake, vice president of marketing, Quark Software.

A complete overview of QuarkXPress 10 is available here.

If you are a QuarkXPress user in Australia and New Zealand click here to let us know what it is about the software you like that keeps you coming back for more.

QuarkXPress 9 vs QuarkXPress 10 Pixel Comparison

3 Responses to “Quark users prove as elusive as sub-atomic particles in printing industry”

  1. September 17, 2013 at 7:17 am,

    Xanthee
    said:

    lets hope their customer service has also been improved

  2. September 18, 2013 at 8:44 am,

    Luke R
    said:

    I run a digital print shop and we have not had a request from a Quark user since 2004.

  3. September 19, 2013 at 8:35 am,

    Leo Zwart
    said:

    When Quark offered an Upgrade this year we took them up and therefore received a second program to be used on another system as we had multiple files of old jobs that we could upgrade which has had it’s benefits. The other point is that you have an Installer program/Disc which is better than been held to ransom with the Cloud versions of Creative Suite and you can do your own trouble shooting. We will most likely Upgrade to the New Quark in a few months. By the way we do have Creative Suite, we have no choice.

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