InDesign or Quark

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Marilyn, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    I know, I know...age old question.

    I was just discussing with a friend how so many designers have made the move to InDesign in the last few years and I was curious as to how many of you out there are using Quark and how many are using InDesign.

    I myself used Quark for a long, long time...made the move to InDesign when Quark 5 wasn't released to be used on OS X and haven't looked back. From time to time I get a person request me to use it and for that purpose I have 6.0 here someplace.

    And...if there are any die hard Quark users out there and you are using do you like it? I was thinking of upgrading just to have the current version.
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I use both.

    A very long-time Quark user here and about a couple of years with InDesign... Quark 7.3 I have to use at work, InDesign CS3 I use at home for freelance work and other projects.

    There's something about the Quark interface, that when you get to know it, you can be very very quick in producing artwork. InDesign is by far the superior and feature-rich piece of software, but its interface is a little more fiddly and cluttered in my opinion. However, that can lead to a slightly different and more thoughtful approach to designing.

    Quark has a way of currently handling transparency which is superior to InDesign, but InDesign is far better at working within a PDF workflow. InDesign has a much better table tool than Quark, but Quark runs a little faster (on both my G5 2.5 dual at work and the 2.33MBP at home).

    One thing is definitely for sure, Quark 7 is the most essential upgrade since v4 and Quark have some pretty generous bundled software offers right at the mo, if my inbox is anything to go by.

    If I had to use only one, I'd use InDesign... but I'm also aware of the hazards of getting locked into Adobe's near-monopoly.

    In such a complex situation as comparing page-layout software, there are many factors to consider. But using one or the other doesn't make someone a better designer. ;)

    I'll also add that the situation in the UK seems to be a bit different from North America. Still tons of agencies and small studios using Quark, at a guess probably the majority of InDesign users are in large-scale publishing i.e. magazines, newspapers, etc.

    Edit: But for anyone who doesn't need Quark 7 but would like to upgrade at some point:

    There's some interesting stories over there about alleged leaks from Quark HQ.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    Thanks. I was hoping that someone who uses it would chime in on this. I am seriously considering buying this upgrade just so I have it. I'll likely stick with InDesign since I like the way it works for now but it would be nice to not let my Quark skills get rusty too.

    I didn't mind Quark...rather liked it because I was so used to it. The transition to InDesign was pretty seamless though it did annoy me just a tad to keep hitting the wrong place picture command ;)

    Agreed. These are just tools...not necessary to stimulate your talent. Heck, I've seen beautiful work done with Pagemaker. (shudder)

    Now that's interesting to note. Many, many of the designers I know have made the switch...and I've found a lot of agencies which I've collaborated with have done the same. Maybe it was because when they were really pushing InDesign as a product they made it so easily available. I think that for a time they were deeply discounting it or including it gratis with certain suite bundles. (I call that the "Crack Man" method of marketing)

    Once you use it though I think you come to love it...that's my case. The minor annoyances of wrong keys eventually fade from memory. :)

    Anyway, thanks for your input!
  4. macrumors 6502


    Feb 12, 2002
    Milwaukee, WI
    I am a certified instructor in both Quark and InDesign and teach both of these programs (along with InCopy and Acrobat). For the record I teach InDesign 95% of the time because that is the amount of people who wish to receive training in it. The 5% who take training in Quark are administrative assistants on PC's who need to make text edits to flyers. No one new is using Quark. I have yet to teach a Quark 7 upgrade class. People either use InDesign now, just converted to InDesign or are going to in the future.
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    My perceptions as posted in my first post appear to have been wrong according to this quote from here.

    Questions were also asked about the possibility of a QuarkXpress 'Light' to draw in home and small scale users, and also to compete with the possibilty of an InDesign Elements. These questions were batted away with 'No comment'.

    From the sound of things, QuarkXpress may be doomed for the desktop as we know it, but Quark may flourish in other areas of publishing with enterprise-scale publishing solutions...
  6. macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    That's pretty much the same thing that happened to me. Imagine how many customers they could have saved just by being on the ball and moving their app to OS X a little more quickly. I still would have switched, though. Although I used Quark for years in production I never really liked it.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    Yeah, see Quark has always been known as a rather customer unfriendly company. Despite the outcry about making that version compatible, they went on with the release anyway.

    Hence...I think like 3 people bought Quark 5. :D

    They punished you for it later though by making the upgrade from 4.1 to 6 rather expensive and the upgrade from 5 to 6 was a lot less money.

    I didn't necessarily like using Quark but it was what I was used to and what I learned on so it was totally a comfort thing to me. I wouldn't switch back. I do sometimes get the need to open Quark files that other designers have done so that's one of the reasons (besides keeping my skills fresh) that I was looking into the upgrade.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I've used Q since its start ('88?). I knew the program inside and out. Last year do to client requests I switched to ID. After hating it for a few months, I grew to like it. Now I like it better. There are plug-in apps you can by which convert Q to ID and they work great. The fact that Q7 hasn't worked the bugs out for OS10.5 tells me they haven't learned. Its a shame -- great app that owned the gdesign market and is now dieing out.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    I wouldn't bet a huge amount of cash on Quark maintaining its lock on the large-scale publishers, either ... it's several years ago, but not long after I parted company with the Northcliffe Newspaper group, they began a wholesale migration away from Quark and onto InDesign.

    (For those not in the know, Northcliffe is a major player in the UK's regional newspaper market, and is part of the same group as the Daily Mail.)

    As PDF workflow finally begins to phase out Postscript, I think Quark's days are definitely numbered.

    With the proviso that I've never used Quark 7, I'm inclined to agree with everything BV has said about the relative merits of the two packages. Quark is definitely quicker for jobs that only require using Quark, but I found that the time I spent moving to other apps to achieve specific things that I could do from within InDesign kind of cancelled that out ...


  10. macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    I think the time when Quark's days might have been numbered were with the Quark 5 and 6 OS X debacle years.

    They've turned things around for Q7, but had to keep the basic current interface to keep existing customers happy. To be fair they have improved it with tabs, but I still don't know why the interface still looks a bit OS 9ish though. The toolbar icons look horrific for a start.

    They have concentrated on power users with Job Jackets etc. as they have to keep hold of them for business reasons. But they've added things like transparency and PSD support, which have been really useful.

    The only thing is, why don't they just go through InDesign and incorporate all the features they have missing? The one thing that bugs me is the lack of a pathfinder palette. It would make aligning boxes SO much easier.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    For Quark to survive, they need to come out with a publishing suite similar to Adobe's. I believe at one time Quark had a short-lived photo-editing program.

    But the way ID integrates with Photoshop and Illustrator (et al), it's becoming more and more difficult to justify using Quark.

    And with the growing popularity of PDFs in the publishing world, Quarks crappy way of handling them just doesn't cut it.

    Granted, with Quark's previous contempt for their customers, I can't say I'm crying too loudly over their looming demise.

    On the other hand, since Adobe swallowed Macromedia, I hate to admit it, but there needs to be some competition.

    EDIT: After reading the article on, it appears Quark is morphing into an enterprise-focused company rather than a desktop-focused company. Personally, I think that translates to "Get away from Quark now."
  12. macrumors newbie


    Aug 3, 2007
    South Florida

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