In his feature presentation Jurgen Kurz, Quark Inc.’s vice president of product management, said the company was happy to be at this week’s Macworld CreativePro Conference & Expo to celebrate the release of QuarkXPress 6 and because of their “passion” for the Mac platform. He spotlighted QuarkXPress 6 and talked of other solutions coming to Mac OS X.
“QuarkXPress 6 is built for Mac OS X,” he said. He even used Apple’s Safari Web browser in this demo.
QuarkXPress 6 is now shipping. It has a retail price of US$995 and a upgrade price of $199.
“We’ve been bombarded with orders, so if you’ve ordered version 6.0, be patient,” Kurz said. “It’s coming.”
He said it offers a “beautiful” Aqua interface and native Mach-0 performance, as well as intelligent font management, synchronized text for sharing content across projects, multiple undo/redo capabilities, layout spaces that help manage complex projects, direct PDF export, full-resolution preview for minimal pixelation and precise positioning, the ability to manage layers during the print process, and extensive AppleScript support.
“All of the new features of QuarkXPress 6 you’ll see here today have components that allow them to be AppleScriptable,” Kurz said.
One of the goals in creating QuarkXPress 6 was to provide new tools for creative productivity. Apart from porting the application to Mac OS X, version 6 revs the tools for cross-media publishing to support XML, HTML, PostScript, and PDF because “publishing isn’t just about print anymore,” Kurz said.
Still, version 6.0 offers most of the familiar keyboard shortcuts and menu items of previous versions so moving to the Mac OS X native version will be easy for long-time users. Kurz said that OS X native XTensions — software add-ons for XPress — would hit the scene soon.
“The future has arrived, and, after all, the future is just an XTension of the present,” Peter McClark president of Glueon Inc., a maker of XTensions, said when joining Kurz onstage. “… Most of the code we have for XPress 4 and 5 extensions are included in version 6.”
Kurz said that Quark was working with developers of XTensions to make certain they arrive as quickly as possible. Also, in looking to the future, he said that all components of the Quark Publishing System will be on Mac OS X by the first quarter of 2004. Then there’s the Quark Dynamic Document Server (QuarkDDS), which provides the capabilities of XPress on a server for collaboration. Based on QuarkXpress 6.0, QuarkDDS 2.0 will be Mac OS X compatible and should arrive in six months.
Quark will also be releasing the Quark Content Manager, a new enterprise solution for corporate content management, for Mac OS X. Finally, a proofing tool is also in the works.
“The bottom line is that we’re committed to bringing out great products for Mac OS X,” Kurz said.