A Nice Thing to Say About Quark…

by admin on June 14, 2008

Personally, I think the high point of QuarkXpress was 3.1, which was released in 1992 or some year like that. I still remember my service bureau days when the senior guys would cherry-pick all the Quark jobs and leave the junior guys with Painmaker and Corel.

BTW, which was worse, the first version of Corel for Windows 95 (fonts would explode on output. I.. kid.. you.. not) or Painmaker for windows 3.1 (film would come out portrait, no matter what setting you chose. You could drive your newbie operators insane if you ordered them to output landscape)?

Anyways, fun times. I could go on and on for ages bashing Quark. But this post is unusual in that I this post is to praise Quark, not to bury. You see, I just did a Quark upgrade on one of the Macs today in the shop.

Oh, you think. Is that all? Well, before you think it's no small accomplishment, just read my post on upgrading to CS3.

How long did it take to upgrade Quark? It asked for the serial number (on the box) and then the serial number of the last upgrade (found by checking the "about Quark" menu). Once those numbers were typed in, it did the installation. Then it activated itself on-line. Total time: 15 minutes.

Contrast that with the freaking nightmare of a CS3 upgrade. Wants the serial number of the upgrade package. Wants the serial number of the last upgrade package. No wait, that's not enough, then it wants the serial number of the upgrade before the last frickin' upgrade.

Then after all is said and done, it barfs on activation and I have to reformat the hard drive according to Adobe technical support. Thanks guys, I hope Quark 8 can cure cancer when it's released and the whole franchise comes back from the dead to kick you guys in the nuts because a little competition is needed here.

Love, DJ

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A Nice Thing to Say About Quark…
July 7, 2008 at 6:30 am


Dennis June 15, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Hehe We used to call it Ragemaker…

Allan Larson June 16, 2008 at 4:06 pm

I must confess that I did cherry pick Quark jobs back in the day. It was Quark or Corel Draw. Do you blame me? Want a laugh? Load up Corel clip art and look at Bette Midler an Cher. They are the same except some kid painted the hair more red.

Somehow someone who had Quark put them into a different league and it meant less teeth grinding at night. I remember trying to get color separations (negative Emulsion Down) from Microsoft Word (with crops) and I said that’s it. Cherry pick time. I gotta say, they got comfy and now Adobe is all that. Too bad for the folks in Colorado.
Allan Larson

Jeff Lazerus June 18, 2008 at 6:43 am

Quark used to be all that… and for those of us who have stuck with it, it still is. And I’ve met a few people at Quark HQ, being in Denver. They are working diligently, probably twice as hard as the prepress people who use the software, to give us what we want. They know their core user group is the professional designer and PSP, so they are designing their software for that market. Adobe, on the other hand, is a behemoth and constantly alienates the print service provider market with crap like transparency and overly complicated UI. Even Photoshop, arguably the most useful and most stable graphics software ever devised, is becoming some kind of crazy video/web/multimedia app, I hardly recognize Illustrator anymore, and who can forget the “Print with FedEx/Kinko’s” fiasco from last year in Acrobat? Last time I upgraded CS, I was on the phone with “customer support” for like 3 hours.

Frankly, I’m sick of the Quark bashing by prepress people. Thanks for pointing out one of the many good things about Quark. Now, if they would only lower the price and keep the thing from crashing… 🙂

Allan Larson June 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm

I seem to recall Quark dipping their toes into Web design to repurpose print jobs into Web pages. Nice idea, but in the fog of war, you left your core users. Web designers are into Starbucks and GoLive, not typographic powerhouses where kerning, leading, hinting and overprints matter.

Like the randomness of the Monkey Cam on Letterman circa 1987, once you strap technology onto a designer, who knows how many layers, PMS colors, sparkly drop shadows, white boxes, miracles of right-brained achievement you can create?

Make Quark export out a non-flattened Adobe compliant PDF that allows layering, full editability, and an automatic Bleed Fixer and you have yourself pack at Pole Position in Prepress world. The game ain’t over yet.

If Quark can somehow partner with Starbucks and Apple so the upload to [print provider] can be done over Coldplay music and a lightly roasted Nicaraguan medium roast scents, you may usurp the mighty California Adobe. Until then, old battle stories keep coming back.

BTW, I am still ashamed of Corel Draw for the Stock Photo CD I bought of the Canadian Rockies. If you play the pictures in order, you can literally see the person on the train arriving in Banff, walking off, and taking pictures right down the the streets until they could hit the Rose and Crown for a couple of Grapphopper Ales and they are done.

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