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QuarkXPress is known as a page layout application. A tool for combining text and graphics arranged however you like on one or more pages. It was invented and continues to be developed by a company named Quark Incorporated that has development and support offices on several continents. Much like Adobe or Microsoft, Quark offers multiple products, so most of the time I try to refer to QuarkXPress as QuarkXPress. Although I sometimes lapse into calling it Quark as many people do. QuarkXPress started out back in the late 1980s as a straightforward Page Layout application with advanced typographical features.
But it has evolved since then to include basic image editing, webpage design, and the ability to create interactive Flash files. These last two capabilities, web pages and Flash files, are particularly intriguing and unique to QuarkXPress. In essence, you can use your existing knowledge and skills in QuarkXPress to create web pages and Flash animations that look exactly as you want them too, without having to rely on the questionable asthetic skills of a web or Flash Developer. Another game changing feature was added in version 7 of QuarkXPress, Shared Content.
In essence, it allows several people to work at the same time on the same document and see each other's changes in real-time. The document you are looking at right now is a chart that Quark created to outline the features that have been added to QuarkXPress over the years. I have also included this chart as a PDF along with the exercise files for you to explore at your leisure. What's remarkable to me is that Quark has been able to add all these new features while still maintaining its admirable ease of use. Now that said, QuarkXPress 8 has a new interface that dramatically simplifies and consolidates its tool set.
If you've been using a previous version of QuarkXPress, some of it may seem unfamiliar, but Quark carefully considered every change to increase efficiency and productivity. I like it a lot, and trust that you'll find it more fluid and more fun to use. Many designers are not aware that QuarkXPress can also be used as the front-end of a sophisticated automated Page Layout system for books, magazines, websites, Flash animations, PDFs and even to generate content for hand-held devices. Several third party developers offer extensions and stand alone applications to enable these capabilities.
Quark itself offers several enterprise-level products to manage digital assets and combine them into QuarkXPress documents. They also have a publication production system named Quark Publishing System or QPS that lets Editors assign stories and layouts to writers and layout artists, for collaboration in real-time. At the other end of the product spectrum is QuarkCopyDesk. This is essentially a powerful word processor with basic layout editing tools. Writers and editors use it to edit and update layouts provided by an art director or other publication manager.
That way your company doesn't have to buy full copies of QuarkXPress for every user. A moment ago I mentioned XTension. This term spelled x-t-e-n-s-i-o-n-s refers to plug-ins that add new features to QuarkXPress. In years past Quark has offered a few of their own and there is a strong cottage industry of third party developers who produce XTensions. You can explore many of them, at the Power Exchange website. But this video training focuses on QuarkXPress 8. I'll leave you to explore the other options on your own.
I'm sure Quark will be very happy to show you what they are capable of, and the knowledgeable people at the Power Exchange are always happy to help you find a more efficient solution to your particular needs.
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