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QuarkXPress 2016 review: New features help your documents look their best

Jay J. Nelson | May 27, 2016
Converting PDF, EPS, Adobe Illustrator, and Microsoft Office items to native QuarkXPress items highlights this fast, stable upgrade.

You can now pinch, zoom and rotate items using gestures on your Mac’s touchpad.

Quark finally added a Fit Box to Text feature, so that if your text is shorter than the box, or if it overflows the box, the box will resize to fit the text. This feature even balances text in boxes that have multiple columns of text.

As you drag an item, indicators conveniently appear to show you its spacing in relationship to other items. This makes it easy to align and uniformly space items. In QuarkXPress 2016, guides now appear that show when the edges and centers of text columns and gutters align with other items, even in multi-column text boxes.

The Find/Change feature now remembers your most recent searches and allows you to search for nonbreaking spaces and characters.

Content variables can now wrap onto multiple lines just like regular text, which is useful for longer headers and for created/modified/printed slugs.

Print experts will appreciate support for ICCv4 color profiles.

Still missing in action

Quark dropped out of the features arms race with InDesign many years ago, instead focusing on providing the features most requested by its users. For example, QuarkXPress still lacks a Links palette. To determine the name and location of an imported graphic, you still need to open the Usage dialog. (Granted, you can select one or more picture boxes on a page first and when you open the Usage dialog those pictures are highlighted in it for you. Conversely, when you click on an item in the Usage dialog you can click the Show button to be taken to that item in the QuarkXPress document.)

Another feature from InDesign I’d like to see in QuarkXPress is multi-place: the ability to load the cursor with multiple graphics files and then click to import each one. In light of QuarkXPress 2016’s new ability to convert PDF files to native objects, being able to quickly import each page of the PDF could save time.

Bottom line

QuarkXPress 2016’s new ability to convert objects and pages from other programs makes this version a vital upgrade for any user. The ability to export HTML5-based publications with interactivity will make modern publishers happy, and the dozen or so smaller improvements add efficiency to an already fast and efficient program.

 

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