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    Russell Viers is a Transition Expert in the publishing world. Since 1997 he has helped newspapers and magazines adapt to changes in the industry. Read more...

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  • Archive for June, 2006

    Quark XPress 7.0 vs. Adobe InDesign. Why?

    Monday, June 5th, 2006

    It’s a busy week in our industry when Adobe talks about the features of a yet-to-be-released InDesign CS3 the day before Quark releases XPress 7.0.

    From early reports, it looks like Quark has finally had a decent upgrade, and it is causing a lot of discussion in the industry.


    That’s not a rhetorical question, I really want to know. I need help comprehending why so many people in the design, print, newspaper and publishing world are sticking with Quark through so much. We haven’t offered this much loyalty to any company in the past.

    We dropped typesetters for computers in no time in the mid-80s. We dropped PageMaker for Quark overnight in the late 80s. We killed SyQuest drives for Zips in an afternoon.

    So why all the love for Quark?

    Who literally changed our world with PostScript, ushering in the computer age?

    Who changed our industry a second time with PDF?

    Who gave us Photoshop (be honest…who doesn’t LOVE Photoshop)?

    Who changed our industry, albeit with lesser impact, with Open Type, Transparency in layout software, and incorporating industry standards in a usable way into all of its software (including PDF X-1a, color standards and more)?


    What has Quark given us? Page layout software that was better than anything on the market at the time…then a bunch of mediocre or poor, yet expensive, upgrades since. Add to that the years of poor support and they haven’t done much for us.

    On top of that, they’ve ignored or been slow to adapt to the industry.

    For starters, when XPress 4.0 was released, it had no PDF support, either for placement or creation. It wasn’t until InDesign was released that they got on the ball and gave us something in Quark 4.1.

    And what about XPress 5.0 released not OSX compatible?

    And XPress 6.0 with no transparency support, even though transparency had become more than common in our industry, including PDF transparency support.

    So here we are at version 7.0. I ordered it. I got it quickly, in a couple of days (6.0 took three weeks), nice packaging and a bevy of new features the trades are saying are impressive. I’ll let you know.

    But back to the bigger picture. The new macs were released AFTER InDesign CS2 was released. And CS3 will not only be able to run natively on the new Macs when released, they will have a bunch of new features to go with it.

    Bottom line: Has Adobe ever let us down? Has Quark? I don’t think your choice of software should just be XPress vs. InDesign…it should also be Quark vs. Adobe.

    Hands down, Adobe has not only created our industry as it is today, they continue to revolutionize it.

    I LOVE InDesign, and CS2 just rocks. I LOVE Photoshop, and CS2 just rocks. I am absotely in LOVE with Illustrator, and CS2 just rocks.

    As for QuarkXPress?

    So help me here, I’m asking for your help in understanding this continued love for QuarkXPress. I just don’t get it.

    Unless it’s the Stockholm Syndrome.