Quark ships QuarkXPress 7

Quark on Tuesday announced that its much anticipated page-layout application, QuarkXPress 7, is shipping. The shipping version is not a Universal Binary, meaning it will not run natively on Apple's new Intel-based Macs.

During his presentation this morning in New York, Quark Senior Vice President of Desktop Products, Jurgen Kurz, confirmed that QuarkXPress 7 is a PowerPC application. Kurz said that an Intel-native version would be released this summer as a free update.

“We think this is a significant upgrade,” Richard Pasewark, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing,” told Macworld. “It’s where the market is going, and as more Mac users add Intel-based Macs to their workflows, we plan to support them.” Pasewark added that the Universal Binary version has been in beta testing since the beginning of May.

Based on the JDF standard, Quark will use what it calls the Quark Job Jacket, which incorporates detailed workflow and prepress information directly into a QuarkXPress project. Specifically, the Quark Job Jacket will contain contact information, resources required, layout intent, rules, output specifications and other information. Using this information will prevent errors during the publication’s creation and output processes, according to the company.

In addition to rule-based preflight capabilities to ensure that files are output-ready at any point in the design process, QuarkXPress 7 will also ensure that all the elements needed for production (fonts, colors, images, etc.) are automatically embedded with the output file for PDF/X compliant output.

Quark will also add database publishing with the use of Personalized Print Markup Language (PPML). Using PPML all static content, multiple instances of same static content, synchronized content and master page elements will be recognized as reusable objects. Reusing content elements, users will now be able to create multiple document types, sizes and media for multiple print and Web layouts.

With the new version, Quark is offering new transparency features, giving users control over the opacity of the elements that make up any items or content in QuarkXPress like text, pictures, blends, boxes, frames, lines and tables.

According to the company, QuarkXPress 7 will offer 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 — this includes native Photoshop transparency in PSD or TIFF format.

With the new version of QuarkXPress comes a new pricing structure. The full version sells for $749; upgrades from version 3 and up are available for $249. Educational pricing is also available—the full educational version costs $199, with upgrades priced at $99. Lab-pak seats cost $99, and upgrades to Lab-packs cost $89.

“This latest version introduces forward-thinking concepts and capabilities in response to evolving market needs and customer feedback,” Kurz said. “Based on the early response we’ve heard from customers and the critical acclaim QuarkXPress 7 has received from leaders in the industry, we believe QuarkXPress 7 will revolutionize the way creative professionals work.”

Quark has also extended its retail reach with this new release, with QuarkXPress 7 available at leading mail-order retailers, as well as Apple’s retail stores. Further pricing and product information for QuarkXPress 7 is available at the company’s Web site.

Quark unveiled the updated page-layout application during a press event in New York Tuesday morning.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time to add pricing information and further data on QuarkXPress’ Universal status.

Peter Cohen contributed to this report.

This story, "Quark ships QuarkXPress 7" was originally published by PCWorld.

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