What's New in QuarkXPress 2016 - dummies

What’s New in QuarkXPress 2016

By Jay J. Nelson

The biggest new feature in QuarkXPress 2016 is the capability to convert imported PDF, EPS, and Adobe Illustrator files to native, editable QuarkXPress objects. You can even convert objects or entire pages from Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), CorelDRAW, Affinity Designer, and other apps.

The program sports many other new features as well. You can export any QuarkXPress layout as an HTML5 publication, enabling you to create an app-like experience in a web browser or mobile device — complete with interactive objects and all the typographic control in QuarkXPress. You can create multicolor blends (gradients), each color with its own level of opacity.

The new Fit Box to Text feature resizes a text box so that if your text is shorter than the box, or if it overflows the box, the box resizes to fit the text. This feature even balances text in boxes that have multiple columns of text.

The new Color Picker (formerly only available as an XTension) lets you click any item (including imported pictures) to add new color swatches to your layout. You can access Stylistic Sets included in advanced OpenType fonts. You can enlarge the icons and labels on the Measurements palette by 50 percent.

QuarkXPress 2016 also offers improvements to existing features. In previous versions of QuarkXPress, for example, dynamic guides appear as you drag an item to show you its spacing in relationship to other items. This feature lets you easily align and uniformly space items. In QuarkXPress 2016, guides now appear that show when the edges and centers of text columns and gutters align with other items in multicolumn text boxes.

The Find/Change feature now remembers your most recent searches; also, it allows you to search for and change nonbreaking spaces and characters. Content variables can now wrap onto multiple lines just as regular text does, which is useful for longer headers and for created/modified/printed slugs. Print experts will appreciate full support for ICCv4 color profiles. And the QuarkCacheCleaner app now deletes the QuarkXPress Preferences file as well as the font and picture cache files used by QuarkXPress.

Windows users will be happy to have the modern, efficient user interface that Mac users have enjoyed in previous releases. And if you use a Mac, you can now pinch, zoom, and rotate items using gestures on your Mac’s touchpad.

Installing QuarkXPress 2016 on a Mac is now blissfully easy: Just drag it into your Mac’s Applications folder. In contrast to previous versions, which required XTensions to be rewritten for each new version of QuarkXPress, XTensions written for QuarkXPress 2015 also work with QuarkXPress 2016 (as long as the XTension doesn’t conflict with a new function).

And as opposed to Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress doesn’t require payment of an ongoing subscription — its perpetual license lets you use the program forever.

If you forget which features are new, choose Help –> What’s New to be taken to Quark’s website to find an explanation of the new features.