QuarkXPress Reviews

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Review 7/5/18

I've used Small Adobe InDesign iconAdobe InDesign for several years, I can confidently say I know how to do almost everything with it. Including how to write and load scripts, 3rd party plugins, etc. I also know how to use at a basic level Small Adobe Photoshop iconAdobe Photoshop, Small Adobe Illustrator CC iconAdobe Illustrator CC, Small Affinity Designer iconAffinity Designer

I read through almost all the docs I can find with quark express, PDFs, and lynda.com 2016 tutorials. Browsed through some of the official youtube videos.

Using quarkxpress just felt weird. I have a couple of gripes with it after a few hours of using the 2018 version:

  • The documentation is not very good. My bottom toolbar disappeared. I did numerous keyword forum searches and numerous google searches only to be brought to a 404 page. Example: https://quark.parature.com/ics/support/eolMessage.html . There should be a setting under toolbars > "windows" > reset toolbar, which is a standard feature in many software packages including all adobe products.
  • Performance under stress - I only had 3 or 4 pages with 2 linked excel tables, i had slight lag delays of 1 second which as a gamer this just drives me insane
  • Native panning controls are weird ergonomically. I'm super picky about these since I also play heavy intensive keybind video games. It could have adopted either Small Autodesk AutoCAD iconAutodesk AutoCAD, Small Autodesk Fusion 360 iconAutodesk Fusion 360, or Small Adobe InDesign iconAdobe InDesign panning styles, all of which are familar to me. E.g. middle mouse button doesn't let you pan around, you need to use both ALT and CTRL modifiers to pan/zoom, whereas adobe indesign ALT+Space is all you need for both pan/zoom.
  • Lack of features - I could not find a 2page master design layout at all anywhere. Just 1 page master
  • Tables are confusing. I can't reflow it into 2 pages like indesign. There's actually 2 types of tables, regular tables and inline. Inline tables can span across two pages... but editing them is not easy. Actually inline tables in quarkexpress are just indented tabs in adobe indesign.

Maybe my opinion of it might change though down the road though. I was looking for a simplified version of adobe indesign to handle a 2column multipage layout. Nothing crazy or complex that needed many styles or functionality. The final document could be dull looking so long as it was easy to maintain content wise.

Pros of quarkexpress

  • its one time payment
  • overall UI / config is okay

[Edited by Kagerjay, July 05]

[Edited by Kagerjay, July 05]

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This software works great. I switched to it from InDesign CC which kept crashing. Initially, I was put off by the "old school" interface, but once I really started working on projects with it, I noticed how well thought out all the details are. It looks like in version 2017, they have really listened to customers: whatever I wanted to do, there was a specific feature for it that made it intuitive and easy.

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Just tried the new 2018 Version, and it improves in areas I could not even have hoped for: it can now import all my InDesign CC files, and you can feel the attention to detail throughout : for example, in version 2017 I felt that the grid lines were slightly too thick on a retina display, not sufficient of an issue to report, but I am happy that they have made them thinner in version 2018. So, not only headline features have been worked on, but also the small details. Lovely.

Aggressive upgrading puts this two generations ahead of the competition, and it's subscription-free

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New versions in 2016 (added native conversion of PDFs from any application including MS Office, and HTML5 smart app output) and 2017 (native output of iOS apps, image editing, transparencies) put QX substantially ahead of its nearest (but highly popular) rival. It's also subscription-free.

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