QuarkXPress 5.0

The Good Lets you create tables easily; finally offers adequate Web-page layout tools; delivers precise color and type handling.

The Bad No multiple undo function; doesn't provide templates or fonts; lacks an integrated PDF export engine (you must purchase Adobe Acrobat separately).

The Bottom Line Quark is at the top of the desktop publishing food chain, and we recommend it for high-end projects. For a less expensive, nonprofessional solution, try Microsoft Publisher.

Editors' Rating
8.0 Overall

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Review

QuarkXPress 5.0

In the desktop publishing arena, QuarkXPress holds the top banana title, with good reason. The program offers precise control over typesetting and color handling and makes it easy for design professionals to lay out any sort of manuscript, from a magazine to a novel. Furthermore, after years of customer requests, Quark 5.0 finally sports a table-building tool and a complete set of Web-page design features. We do have a few complaints: we find Quark's chronic, incomplete PDF support frustrating. Nonetheless, this powerful program maintains its most-favored professional status among desktop publishers. Amateurs should try easier Microsoft Publisher 2002.In the desktop publishing arena, QuarkXPress holds the top banana title, with good reason. The program offers precise control over typesetting and color handling and makes it easy for design professionals to lay out any sort of manuscript, from a magazine to a novel. Furthermore, after years of customer requests, Quark 5.0 finally sports a table-building tool and a complete set of Web-page design features. We do have a few complaints: we find Quark's chronic, incomplete PDF support frustrating. Nonetheless, this powerful program maintains its most-favored professional status among desktop publishers. Amateurs should try easier Microsoft Publisher 2002.

New features; same face
In general, Quark 5.0 is the same desktop publisher (DTP) that professional designers know and love. The program still offers sophisticated, precise text and color handling. For example, you can define kerning (the spacing between letter pairs) and trapping (the amount of space between two adjacent colors). The tried-and-true document layout process hasn't changed a bit either. To set up a page, you must create boxes to hold text and graphics, then import these elements as needed. Nor have the palettes and toolbar altered much; you use them to access major functions such as colors, styles, and tables of contents. Version 5.0 finally supports layers, so you can easily organize objects, illustrations, images, and text boxes and hide or show individual layers as desired. On the downside, there's still no way to customize Quark's design environment. You can't create your own button bars, change key sequences, or rework the menus. Both InDesign and FrameMaker let you reassign key sequences, and FrameMaker even lets you create custom menus.

Finally, tables
Version 5.0 does contain some impressive new goodies, including a table creation tool. You won't need it to create a set of business cards, but you will need it to illustrate sales information or technical data. In Quark 5.0, you create tables by simply specifying the number of rows and columns you want. The tool also makes it easy to convert text to tables, add rows and columns, and combine cells into larger entities. To resize cells, simply click and drag them or use the Measurement palette to enter cell size numerically. Quark even lets you convert tables back to text lists if you wish. However, Quark 5.0 cannot import tables that reside in Microsoft Word documents. Instead, the import filter converts tables to tabbed text, which you then turn back into tables via Quark's table-creation tool.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $995
  • Brand Quark Inc.
  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC
  • OS Family Windows
  • Version 5.0
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