QuarkXPress quarterly update release 15.1 is available

New features exclusively for QX Advantage members


On 31 October 2019, Quark Software announced the availability of its QuarkXPress release 15.1 release. The update is the first quarterly feature release to QuarkXPress through the Advantage Program. While QuarkXPress can be purchased outright and buyers can buy the new version when they feel they need for newly added features, the company has to keep continuously upgrading the software. New features maintain the application’s edge as an all-purpose professional tool for page layout, web design, mobile app creation, and photo editing.

QuarkXPress Advantage is a new program from Quark that offers membership for ongoing updates and feature additions to QuarkXPress, unlimited tech support, and, apparently, some exclusive offers. The Advantage membership is claimed to be different from ‘the handcuffs of subscription software’ or the SAS model. Included in the 15.1 release are several new features and enhancements exclusively for QuarkXPress Advantage members.

New features in Item Styles

QuarkXPress 15.1 introduces new features in Item Styles, which allow a user to define an item style with functionalities like Auto Grow Text Boxes, Multiple Border Selection, and Custom Dashes and Stripes. The width and height of a text box can be set to ‘Auto’ to enhance templating for text boxes. Multiple and specific border configurations for any box with width, line, style, or color can be added. Custom-created dashes and stripes can also be added while creating an Item Style. You can also Find and Replace custom-created Dash and Stripe in Item Find and Change.

Convert InDesign files to QuarkXPress Project

InDesign files can be seamlessly converted to QuarkXPress projects. Multiple options are available to either automatically search InDesign files by running a Smart Scan for bulk conversion or by browsing individual files. The destination folder can also be specified, and there is a switch or toggle for selecting and deselecting individual files for conversion.

Multiple borders in item style.
Multiple borders in item style.

Last line indent for Table of Content

An indent spacing specifically for page numbers in the Table of Contents can be defined. A Right Indent value in the paragraph style sheet while building the TOC can be specified. With this feature, only page numbers will be allowed in the Last Line Indent spacing.

Object Browser Palette for Flex

Selecting boxes in nested containers has been made easier. A new palette allows you to choose and move around objects with ease.

Rich Copy & Paste from MS Word

Text content can be copy-pasted with the same formatting as-is from an external application. The following attributes will be retained: Text formatting (font, font style, text style, color, indents, and spacings), and Tables and Footnotes without any loss of content elements or their styling. Rich copy and paste is a feature that we would also like to see implemented for Open Office files. We mentioned this to the Quark developers that we met earlier this year. When text content files’ italics and bold typestyles are retained on the page, an extra round of proofreading and corrections is obviated.

Auto naming of colors

The new features include the choice to auto name new colors. The automatic color name displays the color space components along with their actual values. Further, the color names are dynamically updated on changing the color component values in the color dialog.

Enhancements for Windows and support for Mac OS 10.15

For MS Windows users, the text rendering on the document canvas is faster with quicker font loading in the dialogs and palettes. Invoking and switching fonts in the Glyph palette, the Preferences dialog, the Character style sheet have been improved. There are performance improvements in invoking the Measurement palette and for switching tabs in it. The 15.1 release also supports the new Apple Mac OS 10.15 (Catalina OS) and is notarized by Apple after passing all the security checks on the new OS.

Flex improvements

With the 15.1 updates, Quark users can apply hyperlinks in any kind of boxes, including groups and flex containers. Any item from one container can be copied and pasted directly into a second container by using the paste options. Child items can be rearranged in the flex container by using shortcut keys (Ctrl or Command Up/Ctrl or Command Down) or by using the Move Up, Move Down menu available in the Item Menu.

Endnote as hyperlinks

Endnote markers can be hyperlinked to Endnote text in the exported PDF files from QuarkXPress. Users can click on the hyperlink to view the endnote instead of navigating manually through the document.

Progress indicator for spring loading

The progress bar indicator for uploading of images now lets the user know the status and progress on spring loading.

The Advantage Program

QuarkXPress Advantage members can update their version with Release 15.1 through the auto-updater when they launch QuarkXPress or by downloading the update manually. The Advantage Program gives customers a lifetime license to QuarkXPress, including updates with new features every quarter and premium technical phone support. Advantage membership is available online or from Quark’s authorized resellers, such as Clavis Technologies in Noida in the Delhi/NCR.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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