Buried Treasure on Quark.com

March 30, 2007 - 1:48pm ||| 0 Comments | Add new
Assume that the good folks at Quark have written up a number of free PDF white papers for QuarkXPress 7 users. Let's say that each white paper covers a complex topic specific to the new version, like Transparency or Job Jackets or Color Management. Primary source information available nowhere else. In-depth how-to's and workarounds written by Quark themselves, content that anyone working with QuarkXPress 7 files — from a newbie production freelancer to the company's pre-press manager — would give their eye-teeth to get their hands on.

Where should Quark post these PDFs for downloading? Go to Quark.com and see if you can find them. They're not on the home page. They're not in the Desktop Support pages, nor any other sections in Support. They don't show up in the Technical Support Database. Missing from the Downloads pages. Maybe in Training > Tips and Tricks? Nope.

But I did see them, once. Searching the site this morning, kicking myself for not bookmarking the page way back when, I feel like Captain Ahab in search of the White Whale. "Aye, matey, the PDFs be near, but they be shy, like a new bride. You scoff, sir, but I tell ye, 'twas nought but two months ago that I first laid mine eyes on them, fair to bulging with screenshots they were. Aye, they be wily creatures, but I can smell them, circling about … Drink, ye harpooners! Drink and swear, ye users that surf this scurvy site —The white papers will be ours! Arrrr!"

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Harpooned At Last
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Of course, as a current QuarkXPress 7 user, I don't even think to click on the Products link. I already own the product, I already paid for it, why would I look at the Products section. And of course, that's where the white papers are! They're listed in a sidebar called Resource Center, which only appears when you click on the QuarkXPress link in the Products section.

QuarkXPress Resource Center
http://www.quark.com/products/xpress/resourcecenter/

Methinks their web team forgot to include Resource Center in their Support and Training areas. Arrrr.

At the Resource Center you'll find five valuable white papers on special QuarkXPress 7 topics: Color Management, Creating EPS Files, Creating PDF Files, Quark Job Jackets, and Transparency. If you click the sixth link in the sidebar, "Documentation," another page appears listing three more PDFs: "QuarkXPress 7 Best Practices: Transparency" (a duplicate of the other Transparency white paper, so don't bother), "QuarkXPress 7 online glossary" (23-page PDF of Quark jargon and pre-press terms and their definitions), and a seven-page "QuarkXPress 7 Best Practices for Migration" (useful info for upgraders).

I was going to discuss the contents of the five white papers in more detail here, pointing you to the "must-read" pages in each, but the search for them wore me out. Just download them and read them yourselves, okay?

I need a drink … whar's me rum …

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Back at that Tips & Tricks Page…
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There actually is a great amount of useful tutorials and tips in the Training section at Quark.com:

QuarkXPress 7 Training Demos
http://www.quark.com/service/desktop/training/training_videos.cfm
Ten Flash videos covering various QuarkXPress 7 topics like Job Jackets and Composition Zones. Registration (free) required.

Insider's Guide to QuarkXPress 7 (PDF with 250 tips)
http://www.quark.com/service/desktop/training/tips/archive.cfm
A nice compilation of tips for QuarkXPress 7, and many tips apply to earlier versions as well. This PDF is available in English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish; and for each language you can download either a high-res (over 40 MB because of chapter opener artwork) or a low-res (700K, lower-res art) version. Don't bother with the high-res, there's no screen shots for any of the tips in either one.

QuarkXPress Tips
http://www.quark.com/service/desktop/training/tips/archive.cfm
Right below the links to download the Insider's Guide (above), there are sixteen links to web-based how-to's such as "Apply Split-Screen View" and "Apply an Embossed Effect to Text." Each technique has step-by-step instructions and a color screenshot or two.

Quark Interactive Designer Movies
http://euro.quark.com/en/service/desktop/training/lynda/
A series of eighteen Quicktime video tutorials on the Quark Interactive Designer product, presented by Ted Locasio and produced by lynda.com

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And Free XTensions
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Starting the week of April 2, QuarkXPress 7 users can download the full set of ALAP's XPert Tools Pro XTensions from Quark.com and use them free of charge. (It appears that QuarkXPress 6 users will still have to pay for them. Get the message?) The XPert Tools Pro package includes XPert Guides, XPert Item Styles, XPert Scale, and nine more useful add-ons. Details are here:
http://www.quark.com/products/xpress/xtensions/products/xptpro7/

Quark 7 users also get to download three XTensions for XML workflows for free: Avenue.quark, XML Import, and Item Sequence:
http://www.quark.com/products/xpress/xtensions/xml_xtensions.html

Quark 6 users still have a few freebies, like the Output Enhancements XTensions that help streamline output to printers, imagesetters and PDF:
http://www.quark.com/products/xpress/xtensions/output_enhancements.html

Also, the venerable Vista XTension is still available. That's the QuarkXPress 6 XTension that lets you do image manipulation right in Quark:
http://www.quark.com/products/xpress/xtensions/quarkvista.cfm

If you've done the free upgrade to 6.5, you can install the PSD Import XTension and import native Photoshop (.psd) images complete with layers, channels and paths:
http://www.quark.com/products/xpress/xtensions/psd_import.html

Finally, I'm wondering if any Quark 6.5 Mac user/DesignGeek reader has installed the free Quark Filter for Spotlight. It's been available for awhile, but since I'm not a Spotlight fan I never downloaded it. According to the web page below, once it's installed (requires Mac OS 10.4), you can use Spotlight to search for text in any QuarkXPress file created in versions 3 through 6. Interesting! It might work with 7 too, I don't know. If you're finding it useful, let me know!
http://www.quark.com/service/desktop/downloads/details.jsp?idx=604

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