Converting Objects to Native QuarkXPress Items

By Jay J. Nelson

You can copy objects from many other applications and paste them into QuarkXPress as native QuarkXPress items, including Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Affinity Designer, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Apple Pages. And yes, you can successfully convert an entire InDesign page to QuarkXPress. Here’s how:

  1. Copy the items in their original application. Copying the items places them on your computer’s clipboard.
  2. Switch to QuarkXPress and choose Edit → Paste as Native Objects (or right-click and choose Paste as Native Objects).

    QuarkXPress converts the pictures, text, shapes, and lines in that file to native QuarkXPress items. If some of the items overlap in unexpected ways, try deselecting the two options in that dialog box (Ignore Soft Masks and Ignore Transparent Blend Modes) and then convert again.
    The original objects are converted to a group of QuarkXPress items.

  3. To edit individual items, choose ItemUngroup.

    If you have many items, you may need to repeat Item → Ungroup, or choose Item → Ungroup All to ungroup all groups within groups.

This capability to convert objects from other applications opens a whole new world of graphic possibilities. For the first time, you can use the Smart Art tools in Microsoft Office applications to create flowcharts and then fine-tune them in QuarkXPress. Same for charts and graphs in Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Microsoft Office. This capability could fundamentally change the relationship between corporate chart producers and page layout artists, because now a page layout artist can customize the charts created elsewhere without having to master the goofy appearance tools in Microsoft products.

For Windows users: When copying objects from some applications, you may get a better result if you copy them as a PDF file into the Windows Clipboard, with the most prominent example being Adobe InDesign. So make sure that you select the Copy PDF to Clipboard check box in the Clipboard Handling section of InDesign’s preferences before attempting to copy objects from InDesign and pasting them as native objects in QuarkXPress.

If you get only an image when you choose Paste as Native Objects in QuarkXPress (instead of an editable object), the application you’re copying from may be copying its objects only as images, and therefore QuarkXPress cannot paste them as items. To work around this problem, export the page from the original application as a PDF file and then import that PDF file into QuarkXPress, at which point you then convert to native items as described in the preceding section. This process will typically give you the items you want.