The Latest Skinny on QuarkXPress 6.0

August 5, 2003 - 2:00am ||| 1 Comment | Add new

Quark has been shipping version 6 for over a month now (I got mine a couple weeks ago) and reports are starting to trickle in about what it's like from a real user perspective.

But *where* are those reports appearing? Not in the support section of the Quark site. There *used* to be a lively group of user-to-user forums (web-based bulletin boards) there, but if you go to their current support page:
…. you'll see there is no mention, let alone a link, to any online support forum. It's creepily Brave New Worldish: Not here, never existed, you're just imagining things.

For the thousands of us who had Quark's busy support forums bookmarked:
….. instead of a list of discussion sections and topics, we are greeted with this message:

"Due to the upcoming restructuring of the Quark web site forums will be temporarily unavailable. Forums will return in a reorganized forum to better serve you."

… and that's all she wrote, for the past few months.

Why did they take down their forums just when a major upgrade came out, depriving their customers of an easy way to share notes, report bugs, ask questions without having to wait for a TechNote? Sheer coincidence, of course.

Other Quark 6 Information Sources
The page layout community (unlike, say, the illustration or image editing or animation communities) is thinly and widely scattered in the Web realm. I've never found a web site just for people who use layout programs, like the many I've bookmarked for Photoshop, for example.

Most software discussion boards on graphic designer web sites don't show a lot of traffic, perhaps because the designers are too busy trying to get the software to work:

HOW Design Forums

Communication Arts Forums

Even so, woe betide the hapless Quark 6 about-to-upgrade/current-user who posts a legitimate question: The few threads with "Quark" in the subject attract dissatisfied ranters and InDesign converts who are aghast there's still people using it.

While I'm waiting for Quark's webmaster to come back from India and get the forum up, here are four sources I'm currently using to keep up with Quark 6 in the real world — that is, to hear from other Quark users and to share my own tips or post my own questions. (If you know of more, please let me know!):

1. The QuarkXPR Listserv
This long-running mailing list for Quark users is not only populated with hundreds of seasoned Quark veterans (users, managers, printers, consultants, trainers, etc.) from around the globe, it was recently revealed that <gasp> an actual live-from-Denver Quark manager is subscribed! He's just revealed himself and is already answering user support questions and revealing choice tidbits. (Read the next section for one such tidbit.)

By the way, the XPresso Bar ( which provides the listserv's subscribe link is an excellent source of XPress-related info as well.

2. MacInTouch's Quark reports
MacInTouch compiles "reader reports" on emerging Mac-related hardware and software. The link above is to Part III of the Quark 6 report, and has links to Parts I and II. The user e-mails that make it into the reports have some great info.

3. MacDesign Online
One of the few web-based discussion boards where you can ask a Quark 6 question and not get flamed.

4. MacFixit's "Troubleshooting QuarkXPress 6.0" Report
A more edited and authoritative version of MacInTouch's reports (which are mainly reader e-mails), the ones from MacFixIt are updated daily with late-breaking news and links to solutions. But to access their reports, you need to subscribe ($24.95 per year) to MacFixIt. The link to the QuarkXPress report above will invite you to log on or subscribe before you're shown the report.

Quark 6 Tips and Tidbits
Here are a few things I've learned over the past few weeks from these sources:

— Quark's free XT "Edit Original" for version 6 brings back the ability to double-click on an imported picture and have the original image open in its default application:

— Within the next month, Quark will announce an "inexpensive" way for a customer with a single-user license to activate the same copy of Quark on a second computer, as long as only one copy will be used at a time (heard from various trusted sources).

— To regain the ability to use Command-Tab to move around the Quark 6 toolbox (OS X uses Command-Tab to switch applications and you can't turn it off), you can install PullTab, an open source freeware utility. However, you need to also install APE (for "Application Enhancer," also freeware) which PullTab requires.


Comments (Subscribe to Comments RSS)

1 December 13, 2012 - 1:43am by Virgie (not verified):

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