Speaking of which … Yesterday afternoon, Quark posted its free v6.5 updaters to its web site. You can only upgrade to 6.5 if you have Quark 6.1; if you never ran the 6.0 to 6.1 updater, you'll have to do that first. (Instructions and links are detailed on the Quark site.)
QuarkXPress 6.5 Update Page:
The download is 160MB, so if you don't have a high-speed connection, you'll probably prefer to have Quark send you the updater on a CD. It's free, but it will take 8 weeks to get to you.
There's one 6.5 update file for Mac 6.1 users, but two different 6.5 updaters for Windows 6.1 users. Depending on how Windows users "got to" 6.1 (buying 6.1 or updating their 6.0 to 6.1), they'll have to use a different installer. All the grimy details and "how to tell what you have" instructions are on the site.
I just downloaded and installed 6.5 this morning, so this report is very preliminary. Haven't used it for any real jobs yet.
What's New in 6.5
Quark 6.5 includes a number of bug fixes, a few enhancements to existing features, the very cool QuarkVista XT, and the "I guess it's a good thing" Citrix support.
For the list of bug fixes, see this page:
For the list of new or unresolved bugs, go here:
In the program itself you can now create guides on the Master page pasteboard that appear in the document pages' pasteboards. Also, you can now group tables with other items or tables. And you can include Bleed settings in your Print Styles. Not too much there, I guess we'll have to wait for v7 to see a solid set of enhancements across the board.
QuarkVista is a new XTension (created by Quark, not licensed from a third-party) that allows you to apply Photoshop-like effects, filters and color transformations to imported raster files (in the usual TIFF, EPS, etc. formats). Of course they don't call it "Photoshop-like," they call it "expensive image editing software"-like. Well I guess they could be talking about Jasc's Paint Shop Pro, which at $100 is not the cheapest thing around.
You access the Vista capabilities via a new palette, Picture Effects. The color adjustments and filter effects you apply can be turned on and off, and many can be tweaked via an Edit dialog and a handy Preview checkbox. I'll probably write more about Vista in future issues.
While Quark has often said that in version 6.5 you'd be able to import native Photoshop files and turn their layers on/off right in Quark, the feature — a version of alap's ImagePort XT — apparently wasn't ready in time for 6.5's release. All .psd files are greyed out in my Get Picture dialog, and users on the Quark forum are reporting the same. I checked around and was assured that Quark will post an announcement and a download link for it in the near future.
The headscratcher, for me at least, is Quark 6.5's "support for Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server and Terminal Server users." If I knew of a single Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation server-using art department, I'd be more enthused, I'm sure. I'm just glad I can type the thing. Very possibly there are a ton of large installs where they use this set-up, otherwise why would Quark bother. (So if you're one, no offense, and congratulations on the new feature.)
When you get 6.5 you can also get a pre-selected package of 40 free OpenType fonts (the Std kind, with far fewer glyphs than the Pro kind) from Linotype. They're a good mix of text, display and script fonts, many of which you probably don't have already.
To get the fonts, go to the link in the ReadMe file and enter your Quark serial number. You can find your serial number in the Quark Environment dialog … hold down Option/Alt while choosing About QuarkXPress.
Always paranoid about "free" software, I read through the Linotype license agreement, and it appears that the fonts are embeddable in PDFs. When I made a couple PDFs with the Linotype fonts (from InDesign, just to make sure they weren't tied to Quark somehow … did I mention I was paranoid?) they worked just fine.
The download comes with an Extras folder that contains a few free XTs that have been available from the Quark site for a while, like PDFBoxer, as well as a few stock template packages. But it also includes a 6-month fully-enabled demo of FontAgent Pro, currently the favorite font management program among the cognoscenti. I may just give it a whirl.