QuarkXPress is a desktop publishing software for creating and editing complex page layouts in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) environment. It runs on macOS and Windows. It was first released by Quark, Inc. in 1987 and is still owned and published by them.
The most recent version, QuarkXPress 2017 (internal version number 13.0), allows publishing in English ("International and U.S.") and 36 other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Korean, Russian, French, and Spanish.
QuarkXPress is used by individual designers, large publishing houses and corporates to produce a variety of layouts, from single-page flyers to the multi-media projects required for magazines, newspapers, catalogs, and the like. The more recent versions have added support for ebooks, Web and mobile apps. QuarkXPress once dominated the market for page layout software, with over 95% market share among professional users. As of 2010, one publisher estimated that US market share has fallen to below 25% and Adobe InDesign has become the market leader, although QuarkXPress still had significant market share.[needs update]
The first version of QuarkXPress was released in 1987 for the Macintosh. Five years passed before a Microsoft Windows version (3.1) followed in 1992. In the 1990s, QuarkXPress became widely used by professional page designers, the typesetting industry, and printers. In particular, the Mac version of 3.3 (released in 1996) was seen as stable and trouble-free, working seamlessly with Adobe's PostScript fonts as well as with Apple's TrueType fonts.
In 1989, QuarkXPress incorporated an application programming interface called XTensions which allows third-party developers to create custom add-on features to the desktop application. Xtensions, along with Apple Computer's HyperCard, was one of the first examples of a developer allowing others to create software add-ons for their application.
Although competitors like PageMaker existed, QuarkXPress was so dominant that it had an estimated 95% market share during the 1990s. After QuarkXPress 3.3, QuarkXPress was seen as needing significant improvements and users criticized it for its overly long innovation cycles.
The release of QuarkXPress version 5 in 2002 led to disappointment from Apple's user base, as QuarkXPress did not support Mac OS X, while Adobe InDesign 2.0 did, launched in the same week. At the same time, Quark CEO Fred Ebrahimi exclaimed that "the Macintosh platform is shrinking," and suggested that anyone dissatisfied with Quark's Mac commitment should "switch to something else." InDesign CS cost $699, while QuarkXPress 6 cost $945. Adobe Creative Suite (2003) included InDesign, so customers buying the suite for Photoshop and Illustrator received InDesign for free. Only with Version 6 did QuarkXPress support Mac OS X; however, the first really adopted version was QuarkXPress 7 (which was also a Universal Binary application).
Quark started to lower its pricing levels in 2004. In December 2006, Quark licensed the Windows version of QuarkXPress 5 to be distributed for free on the cover of a UK computer magazine, Computer Shopper, with the idea of enticing consumers to upgrade to later versions.
Having arrived late with a Mac OS X version, Quark took a different approach to porting to Intel-native applications on Mac (Universal Binary), and released its Universal Binary version 7 months before Adobe ported InDesign.
With QuarkXPress 8 and 9, the product seems to listen more to its user base, as reviews worldwide became more positive and several Mac magazines gave awards to QuarkXPress, even best product of the year (MacWorld Awards 2011: Grand Prix Winner).
The package provides the basic functionality of font, alignment, spacing, and color, but it also provides its users with professional typesetting options such as kerning, curving text along a line, and ligatures.
A QuarkXPress document contains text and graphics boxes. The boxes can be reshaped, layered, and given varying levels of transparency and text alignment (runaround). Both box positioning and graphic or text positioning is allowed within a box with an accuracy of one-thousandth of an inch.
Color control allows the full-use of printing-press standard Pantone or Hexachrome inks, along with a variety of other color-space options. Draft output can be printed on conventional desktop printers. Process color (CMYK) separation films can be produced for printing-presses. QuarkXPress also offers the ability for composite work-flows, both with PostScript and PDF output.
QuarkXPress offers layout synchronization, multiple undo/redo functionality, XML and web page (HTML/XHTML) features, and support for direct PDF import and output. Documents can be verified (pre-flight) before printing. This high-level print preview automatically identifies conflicts and other printing problems. Adobe has a similar feature in InDesign.
Composition zones feature makes it the only desktop application with multi-user capabilities by allowing multiple users to edit different zones on the same page. Composition Zones pushes collaboration a step further than just simultaneous text/picture (as possible with Quark CopyDesk since 1991), as it allows layout and graphic elements to be edited outside the layout application.
User-defined rules, output specs, and layout specs can be used for intelligent templates and enable resource sharing (for example, server-based style sheet definitions).
Version 6.5, released at the end of 2004, added enhanced support for the Photoshop format (PSD). The PSD integration and picture manipulation features led to QuarkXPress receiving a number of awards, such as the Macworld Editor's Choice for 2004.
QuarkXPress 8 introduced a completely new user interface, support for drag and drop, PDF 1.7 import, AI Import and a global file format. Design grids can be assigned to pages and boxes to allow unlimited baseline grids. Hanging characters can be applied and customized by character and amount to hang outside the box. This is the first version to include built-in Adobe Flash authoring. Designers can create Flash content including sound, video, animation and interactivity without programming. In October 2008, QuarkXPress 8 won the MacUser Award for Print Publishing Software of the Year.
With version 9 QuarkXPress extended its crossmedia publishing approach and can be used now to also export to eBooks (ePub3 and Blio) and native apps (for the iPad). With App Studio, which is shipped with QuarkXPress, designers can even create and design their own apps. Additionally QuarkXPress 9 offers cascading styles (stylesheets based on text content), callouts (anchored objects that flow with the text based on position rules), create complex ad editable Bézier paths using a wizard (ShapeMaker), bullets and numbers (with import & export from/to Microsoft Word) and more.
The Mac version of QuarkXPress 9 is for Intel processors only, making QuarkXPress 8.5.1 the last choice for PPC-based Macs.
QuarkXPress 10, was described by Quark as a major re-write of the software on the Mac platform in particular to move it from the older Carbon API to Cocoa. It also included a new, modern graphics engine, Xenon. During the lifecycle of version 10, new features included Retina Display support, PDF pass-through transparency, notes, redlining, increased zoom (8000%) and the ability to create HTML5 animations for inclusion in App Studio tablet and smartphone apps.
QuarkXPress 2015 was the first version to use a different naming scheme. It was completely 64-bit and added fixed-layout ePub and Kindle export as well as exporting layouts as PDF/X-4. Quark claimed to have added the top 10 of all user-requested features.
QuarkXPress 2016 included the ability to import and copy and paste from other applications and file formats to native QuarkXPress objects. The release also includes revamped digital capabilities including being able to create HTML5 Publications. Top user requested features include multi-gradient blends and a color picker tool.
The current version, QuarkXPress 2017, continues the new naming scheme and suggests a move to an annual release cycle. The headline features in this release include non-destructive image editing, various typography enhancements such as text stroking and text shading, responsive HTML5 and unlimited iOS apps for no additional cost (outside of the Apple Developer fees). Other user-requested features include adaptive layout conversion for print, smart quotes and proportional leading.
On March 1, 2018, Quark announced QuarkXPress 2018, stating it would be available on May 16, 2018, continuing its now familiar annual release cycle. The headline features in version 2018 include new OpenType controls, hyphenation strictness, support for color fonts, IDML import (to convert Adobe InDesign documents to QuarkXPress) and the ability to create unlimited Android apps for no additional cost (outside of the Google Play fees).
In the beginning of 2003 Quark released a server version of QuarkXPress, originally called QuarkDDS. Renamed in 2006 to "QuarkXPress Server"., the product is now primarily sold with Quark Publishing Platform - the central hub of the company's content automation solutions. QuarkXPress Server is a Java application that takes content components (text, images, video, data, charts, etc.) and automatically assembles them into different formats from PDFs to responsive HTML and Web apps. As the content is assembled into templates using granular content components, the output can be highly customized for different audiences in terms of the content and the brand. The system relies on XML.
Quark Interactive Designer is an extension and tool for creating Adobe Flash context from QuarkXPress documents. It enables the export QuarkXPress projects in SWF (Flash) file format. This allows documents created for print or web production to also be output as a Flash advertisement. No knowledge of timelines or ActionScript is necessary for this purpose. Since QuarkXPress is natively capable of creating HTML projects, this allows web designers to design and build their HTML and Flash elements and combine them all in a single application. Resulting files can be exported as SWF Flash files or standalone Projector applications for macOS or Windows. Quark Interactive Designer makes use of palette-based actions, similar to those found in Powerpoint, in order to animate text and graphics. It also allows some use of button triggered behaviors and embedding of QuickTime and Flash Video, and audio files.