Projects versus Layouts in QuarkXPress

By Jay J. Nelson

Back in QuarkXPress 7, Quark changed the way files are structured. Previously, QuarkXPress documents were similar to those by other applications: Each document had one page size and orientation. But in QuarkXPress 7 and beyond, you no longer have “documents.” Instead, QuarkXPress creates what it calls a project that can include multiple layouts. (You can think of a layout as what was previously a document.)

Each layout can be a different size and orientation (portrait or landscape), so you can keep different parts of a project or campaign together. For example, a client’s business card, letterhead, and envelope can each be a layout within the same project. Or, for another example, a restaurant’s menu, table tents, happy-hour specials, and signage can each be a layout within one project.

A QuarkXPress project can contain two types of layouts: print and digital. This allows you to use one project to create content for various media — such as print, PDF, ePub, native apps, Kindle books, and HTML5 publications.

By grouping them together like this, QuarkXPress also lets you share content among these layouts. For example, the colors and fonts can be consistent across those layouts, and you can even use QuarkXPress’s Synchronization features to ensure that if you change, say, an address or phone number on one layout, that address or phone number changes on all of them.

Because of this fantastic capability, every project has at least one layout. Each layout has its own name (similar to how documents in other applications have their own names), and you can add new layouts to the open project by choosing Layout→New.

Each layout can contain as many as 2,000 pages, and can be as large as 224″ x 224″ in size (or 112″ x 224″ for a two-page spread). A project can contain an unlimited number of layouts.

You can work with multiple open projects, each containing multiple layouts. Feel free to open as many projects as you need, although you are likely to work on only one or two at a time.