Review: Quark gets close, but still no cigar


The new version of Quark’s desktop publishing software, QuarkXpress 8, may be superior to previous releases, but it still falls short of Adobe’s InDesign CS3 intuitive interface and usability.

This doesn’t mean that QuarkXpress is inferior to InDesign, the new release has many great changes. The biggest difference Quark users will notice is the new look of the interface. All original tools and functions are the same, but they are more aesthetically appealing. Let’s face it, Quark hasn’t updated their interface for nearly 20 years – this was way overdue. Not only has the interface changed, but now Quark has integrated the ability to edit flash without having to switch between programs.

Unfortunately you can’t edit files that you’ve saved in Quark with Adobe Flash. That’s OK, who would do that anyway, right? Another cool thing is you can build web pages, presentations and interactive web tools too.

The makers of Quark claim that you can work much faster with the new release. I disagree, it’s not faster than InDesign. I’m a designer, who works with different types of software, and I found this version of QuarkXpress easier to use then previous release. Still, some things are just impossible to do quickly using Quark. For instance, the “runaround” feature, which allows a user to run text around a image or graphic, is still difficult to use. InDesign makes this so much easier, with the push of a button you can wrap the text and that’s it.

Personally, I’m going to stick with InDesign. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally knocking Quark. The new release is awesome, but InDesign still reigns supreme in my book.

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The Guardsman