A major barrier to entry for many graphic designers and creative professionals to upgrade to Mac OS X will be lowered soon: Quark Inc. announced Tuesday that it will ship QuarkXPress 6 for Mac OS X next week.
Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller told MacCentral that the announcement is evidence of "a rekindling of the relationship" betweeen Quark and Apple, which he admitted has had its rocky moments in recent years.
"This is one of the biggest, most important applications in the creative space," said Schiller. "There are now more than 6,000 apps running on Mac OS X, but this was the last big one."
QuarkXPress 6, Quark's flagship desktop layout software application, introduces new features like project files, collections of layouts that can vary in media type, size and orientation. Stylesheets, colors, hyphenation settings, lists and other properties can be shared between layouts.
Synchronized Text has also been added: This feature lets users share content between layouts in a project. As a result, "synchronized text" edited in one location is changed elsewhere in the project simultaneously. Other new features include full-resolution preview and multiple undo.
QuarkXPress 6 also introduces new print output features like support for PostScript Level 3 functions including DeviceN color. PDF creation is integrated into QuarkXPress as well. XML tagging is now more intuitive, and the new version includes an industry-standard XML parser with enhanced error handling.
Susan Friedman, vice president of corporate business development for Quark Inc., also noted her company's strong desire to continue working with Apple. "We're going to work on a lot of projects in the future," she said.
QuarkXPress 6 is the first step in a major effort to bring Quark technologies to the OS X platform, according to the two companies. Friedman noted that Quark will also bring its Quark Publishing System (QPS) to OS X.
Quark vice president of R&D Kamar Aulakh painted in broad strokes Quark's plan to bring QPS to Mac OS X -- the company plans to make key components available during the next calendar quarter, with other components available by the first quarter of next year, including QPS's Server component.
So, with QuarkXPress 6 available for OS X beginning next week, are there are any major hurdles preventing creative professionals from migrating to Jaguar? "I don't think there are any," said Friedman, noting that Quark already has transition teams in place to help the company's customers switch. And many third-party developers are already ready to go with OS X, as well, according to Aulakh.
"We published our XTension APIs, and XTension developers have had them for a while," said Aulakh. "Some have been more proactive than others. We have more than 25 developers ready to ship out OS X-ready XTensions when QuarkXPress 6 for Mac OS X ships, and hundreds of other XTensions that are in process."
In manufacturing right now, QuarkXPress 6 ships next week for a list price of US$1,045. Users of QuarkXPress 5 can upgrade for $199; the upgrade price for users of QuarkXPress 4 and 3 is $299 and $499 respectively. QuarkXPress 6 will require Mac OS X 10.2, "Jaguar," or later.
This article was updated with comments from Apple and Quark personnel, and details on Quark Publishing System and Quark XTensions.
This story, "QuarkXPress 6 for Mac OS X to ship next week" was originally published by PCWorld.