Quark 4.x (for Macintosh) has a bug where it gets confused about the paths to images used in a document. The symptom: When updating pictures in "picture usage", you will get the message "file not found", even when you tell it exactly where the picture is.

Solutions:

  • If you have any servers mounted on your desktop, put them away, and make sure you're not working on a remote document because that has been known to cause file-path problems with Quark as well.
  • If you open a document and it immediately pops up a warning about missing/modified images, do not click the default "update" button. Instead, click "cancel" and once the document has opened, go into "picture usage" and then update the images.
  • If all else fails, then the sure cure is to quit and relaunch Quark.

Note: It's also a good idea to regularly rebuild your desktop (hold down the Command and Option keys when restarting your Mac).

Quark XPress is simply the best desktop publishing program in existence. It's used by most professionals to do design ranging from advertisements to magazines and newspapers. Known for its steep learning curve and for its power, anyone who's interested in working in the print media ought to spend the time to learn it.

Common Objects

The most commonly used objects in a Quark XPress document are:

  • Text Box
  • Graphic Box
  • Text Path
  • Line / Rule- A rule is a line that is forced to be orthogonal.
  • Guides- Guides are your friends

Features

Some of my favorite features include:
  • Style sheets- When working on a newspaper, there are many repetitive tasks such as formatting stories, headlines, jumps, captions, pull quotes, etc. With style sheets, it's a breeze, and there are far fewer errors in formatting.
  • Baseline grid- All lines of text on a page should be on the same line vertically. A baseline grid makes this task trivial by insuring that text can only go at specific places. It's hard to explain, except to say that without it, stuff would be a lot more difficult and require more precision.
  • Keyboard shortcuts-There are keyboard shortcuts for almost everything. The most useful are the ones for making text bigger and smaller (option-apple-'>','<'). This feature alone makes the program insanely great.
  • Document Masters- Standard layouts can be saved and reused. No more worrying that page numbers and document headers will be incorrect.
  • Content libraries- Standard elements (feature boxes, photo boxes, reoccuring advertisements) can saved, and indexed and recalled easily by name.
I could go on forever about how Quark XPress is better than Pagemaker and Publisher. Compared to Quark, everything else is a toy. InDesign is decent, but now and again you run into issues with fonts and other things just when you least expect it. Stick with Quark if you can.

I use Quark XPress while working on The Triangle, the student newspaper at Drexel University, and I do not know what I would do without it.


Note: There used to be a section in here labeled "Major Problems", but it was deleted since they were addressed in Quark 6.

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