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QuarkXPress has always been the perfect tool for creating and publishing documents. In QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training, Jay Nelson—the publisher of Design Tools Monthly and a QuarkXPress expert—covers all the tools and features in this updated version of the program, from basic page layout to Flash integration and web page creation. Throughout this comprehensive training, Jay shows what's needed to produce professional-quality projects that integrate text, pictures, graphics, and tables. He also offers real-world page layout techniques that designers can apply to their own projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
I think the Picture Effects feature in QuarkXPress is incredibly cool. It lets you make edits to pictures on QuarkXPress pages that otherwise you'd have to go back to Photoshop to do. This picture here, for example, I'm going to zoom in on, started out as a color image. The little icon in the corner indicates that a picture effect has been applied to it. If I go to the Window menu and choose Picture Effects, we can see what was done to it. I'll get the Picture Content tool to select the picture right now, because it's in a group and click on it.
Now we can see that a Desaturate effect has been applied to that picture. If we turn it off, we can see the original image. But Desaturate is just one of many, many effects you can apply to a picture. In fact, QuarkXPress surveyed their users and ask them what are the reasons you need to go back to Photoshop to make changes to an image, and then they incorporated the 80% most common changes right here in the Picture Effects palette. The effects are bit-for-bit identical to what you'd get in Photoshop, but you don't have to switch to Photoshop and you don't have to save a new version of your file with the effects applied to it.
Imagine being able to use this picture throughout your document, making it grayscale in some places, color in others, any of these Levels, Curves and other changes made to it, and even with these filters applied to it. Again, you only have to keep track of that one original picture. The effects are applied as you output the project. Let's see what our choices are in the Picture Effects palette. The first column are what they call adjustments. These include things like Levels and Curves, Brightness and Contrast, etcetera.
The second column are filters. They include things like Gaussian Blur, Unsharp Mask, Emboss and the rest of these. If you've applied a sequence of picture effects to an image and really like it, you can save it as a Preset here, and then later on another picture, you can load it here. As I mentioned before, these are non-destructive edits to pictures. So after you've applied a Picture Effect, you can always go back and edit it with this button. You can remove effects here with the Trashcan icon and once you've applied a few effects, for example, we can change the Levels to something different. Click on OK.
You can then go back in and readjust the order in which these effects are applied to your image, just by dragging them up and down in the palette. If you click the little Disclosure triangle next to an effect, it'll tell you what it did and again, you can click the Edit button to go back in and change those in a different way. Now the Picture Effects palette has an additional helpful feature down here. If you mouse over any place in your picture, it will tell you the values of the pixel under your cursor.
This can be really handy when trying to pick out a color to create in QuarkXPress, to coordinate with a photo you have in the image. Let me zoom out and go to one of these colors here. Let's say I wanted this green. Well, all I need to do is apply any picture effect, even if it doesn't make any changes at all. For example, Levels is a good one. Just leave it unchanged. Click OK. Now the Info palette becomes available. As I mouse over any color here, it shows me what it's made of in RGB and CMYK.
So I can then go to my Colors palette and create a new color that matches this green. But let's say we've made a change to this picture that we do want to keep. I've already mentioned that this is a non-destructive process, meaning that the file on the hard drive has been unchanged. But what if you'd like what you've got and you want to share it with somebody else? You can export this picture into a new picture file with all the changes made to it. To do that, you can either go to the File menu and choose Save Picture > Selected Picture, and then keep all these changes that are listed here, or when you're doing a Collect for Output, there is a tab in there called Vista, and that allows you to save these Picture Effects to the files as you're collecting them for output.
I've heard a number of people say, why would you want to do image editing in QuarkXPress? Why don't you just do it in Photoshop? Well, like I said at the beginning of this movie, first of all, you only have to keep track of one picture file, no matter how many changes you've made to it. Secondly, you're working within the context of the page itself. So that if you need it to make this picture a little bit greener, or a little bit bluer, or a little bit pinker to coordinate with the other items on the page, you can do it right here and see the results as you're making the changes. To me, that's a huge benefit in a Page Layout program and I encourage you to explore the Picture Effects palette whenever you can.
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