Quark only just announced the upcoming availability of QuarkXPress 2018, the next new full version of Quark’s graphic design and page layout software. Coming on 16 May 2018, QuarkXPress 2018 will bring creative professionals new typography, and print and digital publishing features necessary to meet daily creative and productivity demands.
The new features and functionality in QuarkXPress 2018 fall into a few main categories: typography, professional print and digital publishing, streamlined user interface (UI), and customer wish list features.
Rather than hide OpenType options in multiple submenus, OpenType is now easier to access, use, and control.
QuarkXPress 2018 is going to be the first layout application that fully supports Color Fonts (Emoji icons on smart phones are examples of color fonts). QuarkXPress supports Color Fonts in SVG, SBIX and COLR formats and can be used in print, PDF, and digital outputs.
Font listings have been overhauled to help designers make the best typographic choices. Font Family and available Font Styles (Roman, Bold, etc.) are now listed in two separate combinations and can be mapped to the type styles buttons P/B/I in the palettes and dialogue.
Users will now be able to choose between five hyphenation strictness levels – for example, hyphenate everywhere it’s grammatically correct or only hyphenate compound words. Select the strictness level that is best for the publication – or decide for each individual paragraph.
Professional Print Publishing
- Direct InDesign IDML Import: Quark says that an increasing number of InDesign users are switching to QuarkXPress, so the company deemed it was time to make it easier to migrate. The new native InDesign IDML Import in QuarkXPress 2018 converts InDesign IDML documents directly into the QuarkXPress format.
- The callas PDF Print Engine: The best PDF technology on the market – the callas PDF engine containing Adobe’s PDF Libraries – means higher-quality PDFs, PDF/X and PDF/A, driven by two of the best PDF technology providers.
- Tagged/Accessible PDF: Accessibility compliant PDFs are not just important but often mandatory. HTML5 is an obvious choice. However, workflows often require accessible PDFs. The new PDF engine, combined with new tools for accessibility, make this possible.
Unlimited Digital Publishing
QuarkXPress 2018 expands on the ability to create unlimited iOS single apps by adding support for creating unlimited single apps for Android devices – completely free, directly from the desktop, without the need for a server or login, and at no additional cost. You do need a Google Play Store Developer Account, which does have associated costs.
HTML5 Publications and ePub now export even more items as native HTML5 elements. This includes support for type styles (Outline, Shadow), Tables as HTML tables, Anchored text boxes, grouped boxes and Tables, non-solid rules, footnote separators and Index entries as Hyperlinks.
New responsive HTML5 Preview options are available when authoring in QuarkXPress 2018, including: Page Preview, Layout Preview, Project Preview.
Add interactivity, for example, Buttons, Animations, Audio and Video to groups.
Other new features
On the Mac, a new floating measurement palette provides access to all controls and attributes, is keyboard addressable and includes all previous shortcut keys. And yet other new functionality includes:
- Digital-to-Print Conversion (Digital First Workflow)
- Span Footnotes over Columns
- Different frames for each side of a box
- 10 to 1000% Print Scaling
- Flip Groups…
QuarkXpress 2018 reminds me of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. They all compete with Adobe, have innovative features but avoid becoming bloatware and don’t force users’ arms when it comes to licensing.