today offered an overview of the key features expected to debut with its forthcoming release of QuarkXPress 6, the company’s flagship desktop publishing software.
New features in QuarkXPress 6 will include “layout spaces,” collections of layouts that let users assemble print pages, Web pages and other content by size and orientation. Components like style sheets, colors, hyphenation settings and lists can be shared among layouts. The new Synchronized Text feature shares content between layouts in a QuarkXPress 6 project — text edited in one place will be changed simultaneously elsewhere in the project.
Output improvements include integrated PDF creation; support for DeviceN color space, which allows for composite color in output blends, multi-inks, colored TIFF images and other items while retaining spot color information specifically for in-RIP separations. Quark offered a practical example of how this can be used: Retaining spot colors in PDF files. And a new As Is color space feature lets you control how color space conversions occur.
A new Layers tab in the Print dialog box provides control over layer output, if you have to print multiple document versions, and it also displays inks used. Tables have been reworked in QuarkXPress 6: Users can now link text cells within tables, link tables to each other, or link table cells to a text box. Tables can have transparent cells and gridlines for placement over graphic elements, and you can define table order. You can also covert tables into groups of boxes that can be moved, rotated and reshaped.
Quark also noted that the new QuarkXPress will make it easier to re-use content for Web and print, with simplified conversion tools. Rollovers, menus, hyperlinks, font family management, form creation and preview and export controls have all been improved in the new version, and content can be tagged as XML without first having to create a Document Type Definition (DTD).
QuarkXPress 6 cleans up its user interface, too, with menu reorganization, more useful commands embedded in context menus, and other changes. And the software also features an enhanced Undo feature with multiple undo/redo capability and an expanded list of “undoable” actions. QuarkXPress 6 also offers full-resolution previews of on-screen images, to help designers position page elements more precisely.
QuarkXPress 6 will run natively on Mac OS X 10.2 or higher, according to Quark. The company’s preview of these new features fell short of announcing either pricing or an anticipated ship date.