Flex layouts, new table and spring loaded cursor

QuarkXPress 2019 – New features

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QuarkXpress 2019 - the new user firendly designing platform
QuarkXpress 2019 - the new user firendly designing platform

In its newly launched version of QuarkXPress 2019, which we have also started using for the past couple of weeks for our magazines, an interesting new feature is called flex layouts, claimed to be a first in digital publishing for graphic designers. We hope to report further as we explore the new version as well as its use by a major Hindi daily in the near future.

QX and Flex layouts let designers create responsive HTML5 web pages in a WYSIWYG environment. They do not require any HTML or CSS coding skills, which eases the work of graphic designers to start creating banner ads, leading pages and microsites and perhaps even eMagazines, direct mail and eNewsletters.

The software additionally gives fast access to table styles through a new user interface. Designers can access table styles from the measurement palette, offering finer control over formatting tables at the cell level, and unlimited opportunities to format borders and shading. The new table feature offers new styling rules for table, row, column and cell-level formatting along with text styling rules. Users may apply table styles to any table regardless of whether the table was created directly in Quark or was auto imported
from MS Excel. QuarkXpress 2019 supports all PDF accessibility standards so that the user can export PDFs that are compliant with PDF/UA (ISO 14289), PDF/A and WCAG 2.0 requirements. It also allows the export of images in JPEG, TIFF and PNG formats. The user may also use the presets to control the dpi, quality, color profile, and file format while exporting QuarkXPress
layouts. It offers the flexibility of specifying a different or no space between paragraphs within the same style sheet. The new version also allows users to enlarge and shrink textboxes automatically so that they are always as large as the text inside requires.

When a user creates or adjusts boxes and lines on a page, these often need to align to specific coordinates or to other objects. QuarkXPress is known for this level of alignment and control with calculations in the measurement palette and its dynamic guides. In some cases, designers are required to specify the exact coordinates of the center of a new box, or the space between the edge of a box and the spine without using complex calculations. In order to facilitate this, QuarkXpress 2019 comes with a 9-point reference grid selector allowing designers and layout personnel to specify the exact coordinates of the center point of an object and all four corners.

Usually while making pages, it takes time to individually import images, especially in image heavy layouts. QuarkXpress 19’s new spring-loaded cursor feature can help speed up the process by loading the cursor with multiple images or text files at once and populate existing boxes or create new boxes one at a time with a single click of the mouse.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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