Beta Test Quark 7

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Mass Hysteria, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Mass Hysteria macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2005
    Anyone out there evaluating Quark 7?

    So far I have heard comments such as still very buggy but potentially an InDesign Killer.

    I would be interested in other peoples impressions of the software.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Quark? Buggy? Get away...

    I always hate the term 'killer' when applied to a computer product: software or hardware.

    There's no way that all of those large concerns who poured a lot of time and money into moving to InDesign are going to switch back because Quark can now do drop-shadows.
  3. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Woman after my own heart.

    Those who have already made the transistion ain't going back.
  4. Mass Hysteria thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2005

    hmmmm, not exactly the impartial review I was after, more a point of view, and we all know where hate leads, just ask Yoda!

    Also, what if Quark (or some other software) is simply a better solution in the end? Can a large concern that has switched remain large if they continue with their latest investment and 'flog a dead horse'?

    Do you think they may just use whatever gives them an edge in the market and hang the cost of a couple of days labour for the price of the software?

    Anyway, if anyone out there is testing QX7, I would like to hear what you think of it.
  5. Toppa G's macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2003
    The exurbs, MN
    The thing about software as it relates to the publication and multipage printing and layout industry is that overnight changes are not common. I had the chance to preview some of the "neat" features of Quark, and while they were cool, I would expect that InDesign will implement similar feature sets into the next version of that application. The question will be whether or not Quark can keep it's stuff together after having the poor response to changes in the industry and changes to software and hardware systems it has been noted for in the recent past.
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Anybody who uses and relies on Quark 6.5 to get a day's work done can hardly be impartial about it. ;)

    And I don't expect beta-testers to break any confidentiality agreements just to tell us that it still needs work. Besides, no-one in their right mind will purchase and rely on this product at .0, the track record from Quark is all there to see.

    The large concerns I was referring to were newspapers like The Guardian, the Telegraph, other major clients like The BBC as well as Conde Nast. You don't transition a setup like that on a whim and put money into retraining just to jump ship again...

    Not only did Quark let their flagship product get away from them, they also managed to alienate virtually their entire customer base by providing one of the shoddiest and arrogant customer support schemes, as well as charging a ludicrous price for it while ignoring the needs of educational establishments with substantial discount volume licensing -- these are where the next generation of designers are coming from.

    The whole approach to their market was so amateurish, so short-sighted and so completely ripe for plucking by Adobe.

    So a new sheriff comes to town, and now we see a rebranding, a promise to overhaul its customer support, a new aggressive approach to advertising and marketing and a new product -- which will still be like the old product yet with a few new bells and whistles.

    Speaking for myself, I cannot think of a demo more keenly anticipated than this one and one which will be rigourously put through its paces before I go ahead and purchase 6 upgrade licenses.
  7. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    [size=+1]For reals?[/size] FWIW, I still use Quack 6.5 and love it. I'm looking foward to continuing my love affair with Quack 7.0, warts and all, since with any new lover, there's bound to be some adjustments, getting used to. Gotta see if Quack and me are a perfect fit. I'd hate to end a 10 year torrid love affair over a few viruses. Did I say viruses? Hehe. I mean bugs. HAHA.
    Here's to the Crazy Ones [​IMG]
  8. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Well then.
  9. Mass Hysteria thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2005
    If a non-disclosure has been signed for beta testing, then yes I may be wasting my time in asking, but since this is a rumours site, maybe someone has overheard some details of the app.

    The transition of the large concerns you speak of cannot exist. These companies edit images, so they all bought CS anyway and therefore own a copy of ID. The only change for them is maybe they no longer buy Quark.

    I too want to know about QX7, just wondered if anyone else does already.
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Cannot exist? Sorry, but are you having a laugh or are you completely clueless about large-scale publishing?

    From retraining everybody (designers, sub-editors, writers, support staff) to a level of competency in the software, redrawing up their templates (a massive task for large publishers), transitioning their copyflow addons from CopyDesk to InCopy, sorting out InDesign Server and integrating their picture archival process... while dealing with a new colour management system and new procedures for exporting content to web.

    There's probably even more to it than that.

    BBC Magazines purchased 350 licenses of InDesign alone, that's not counting the rest of the BBC involved in other forms of publishing. Do you think that they're just sitting there on each machine completely unintegrated with a far larger network of people, functions and data?
  11. Mass Hysteria thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2005
    Most workers are trained on the job, Redrawing templates, not a problem, doesn't take long. Software cost – not much, most companies already own ID when they buy the creative suite for photoshop etc. Large repro houses (where most publishing (Condé Nast, IPC for example) and advertising agencies end up) have their own colour management archiving and workflow teams in house with third party software solutions. These 'transitions' are not that big a deal, I'm sorry if they have been for you. The last real transition I witnessed in industry was going from OS9-OSX. Many many headaches and late nights, it seemed to take years before it was useable, some haven't made the leap yet. But new software transitions. . . . nope, give it a few days of having to use it and you've got the hang of it. Going back to Quark would not be a transition. The BBC is not a very good example, 350 licences is not a great cost, and, from experience, their workflow isn't very efficient.

    Your views are interesting and your concerns about Quarks history are very real, well documented, and clear enough for anyone to see. I like the features that InDesign brings and am glad it is part of the creative suite, I also like the fact it has Quark on the back foot, nothing like a bit of healthy competition to improve the product.

    Quark is great for speed and ease of page layout, Indesign for features – this is why I now use both applications, and also why I would still like to hear comments from anyone who has any knowledge of QX7, rumours or otherwise.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Bay of Fundy
    from what I know about my brother the journalist, Quark is still pretty common, at least in the Scottish papers he works for. He actually bought my copy from me a year or two ago because he wanted a version to use on his laptop so he could work on his own layouts for his own papers. I imagine Quark realises they blew it and want to try and get marketshare back, but as many have said, anyone that switched to InDesign is not going to go back
  13. usclaneyj macrumors regular

    May 1, 2005
    i shed tears of joy the day i moved from quark to ID. i'm not going back to that godforsaken application, no matter what. ugh.
  14. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Same here. I put up with Quark for years doing production work, and I rejoiced the day that InDesign was announced. I have not heard anything yet about Quark 7, but to reiterate what has been said here many times, I am happy with InDesign and would not switch back to Quark, no matter how good version 7 is.
  15. AlBDamned macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    Quark is still an industry standard, but it's no longer the industry standard.

    I was there when Trinity Mirror group moved to InDesign 7 years ago and the designers loved it straight away. A company that has integrated to the level they have now would likely never ever go back to Quark.

    My guess from reading Quark's pr blurb is that Q7 will simply bring it up to where InDesign is now. InDesign will then take another leap forward.

    Ask most people who have dealt with Quark for several versions and they will tell you it's cr*p, but for some, moving to InDesign is too much hassle so they keep plugging with it.

    The whole thing is almost similar to the whole OS X and Windows scenario.

    And re-designing templates is a huge job.
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    January 18th? I'm there.
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Yes. Have had the Quark 7 public beta up and running now for about fifteen minutes on OS 10.3.9 on a dual 1.42 with 2gb RAM.

    First initial impressions...

    • Snappy but solid-ish feeling, certainly more fluid than InDesign CS1/v3 on same Mac, even this Beta feels more solid than Xpress 6.5
    • New type rendering engine — screen fonts look how they should.
    • New reorganised Print box
    • Slightly annoying after-thought-like pop-up tabs from Measurements palette with commonly accessed functions. Edit: These tabs change the functions of the measurements palette depending on what tab you select — useful for those who aren't big keyboard shortcut users.
    • Transparency straightforward without the blending modes of InDesign.
    • Guide changes still not undoable
    • H&Js still the same — disappointing... but new more sensible presets here for those who never venture into the H&J box
    • Multiple undo a little flaky
    • Step and Repeat STILL the same shortcut as Dock Hiding... grrr.
    • Better on-screen display of TIFFs
    • Only down-saving to Xpress 6 as an export, not to v5.
    • Glyphs palette — handy, remember PopChar?
    • PDF export much improved but not fully tested, some alignment rendering probs
    • Collaboration zones, intriguing but can't really test as a single user

    I'll add more later after a more decent play, perhaps. Summary — much improved even as a beta — should have been Xpress 6 though.
  18. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    I found it interesting that Jobs mentioned Quark in his keynote. It seems that Quark is waking up and is actually working to improve the program and keep up with the OS changes. They were completely asleep at the wheel when OSX came out and probably lost market share to ID because of it. I for one started using ID because Quark didn't move to OSX in a timely fashion. If anything, the next few years should be interesting. For the record, I use both programs and don't favor either one. Thanks BV for keeping us updated.
  19. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    From the evidence of this beta alone, this seems a huge step in the right direction — not so much the features but the look and feel of it. Everything just seems much more smoother and solid. However, I'll need more time and messing around with it to assess its book tools.

    Have spent a lot more time with it today and am pleased with what I see, especially for a public beta... the influence of InDesign on it is extremely noticeable.

    In terms of timing, market awareness and feature-set, I can see why Quark are touting it as their most important release yet. And I can certainly never recall Quark releasing public betas before... perhaps this is to forestall criticism of its eventual release date.

    Anybody who still hasn't put all their eggs in one basket with InDesign and are staying with Quark for one reason or another are going to be impressed with this release — it makes v6.5 look like exactly like the 'bad hack' that David Blatner described it as.

    Of course, its reception will also depend on its price.
  20. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Good to hear your first impressions. I'm looking forward to using the final version myself. Quark finally had a kick in the nuts from competition from InDesign. They're also one of the first to go UB, I assumed from the keynote. Thank god my torrid love affair with Quark can continue! Time to bring out some lube! Yeah baby!
    Here's to the Crazy Ones [​IMG]
  21. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005

    It seems a bit overpriced in todays market, they should take a hard look at that.
  22. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    And I'm sure they will because, in the UK at least, there are still plenty of hold-outs still working in OS9/Classic and Quark 4. And I suspect that many of them are using pirated copies because Quark 6+ activation makes 'borrowing' a friend's app near-to-impossible.

    It's getting to a point where dealing with some of these people — usually freelancers — is getting extremely problematic and we're starting to say to people, 'No, you can't have our work because you can't open our files'.

    I don't expect everybody to have the latest and greatest but if you make your living from design and expect to work with others, it is wise to invest in your software so that you can work smoothly with them. Staying within one version of the most current release would be wise...

    So in many ways, this is Quark's almost-last chance. I expect to see good deals on upgrades, an overwhelming promotional effort, and substantial and rapid improvements within the 7.x release — much as 6.5 bought improvements and added features for free.
  23. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005

    I don't blame the software companies for trying protect their product from being pirated, with Quark and now Adobe CS2. I'm always having to ask about versions before I send a file out, most vendors are keeping up but with freelancers is a different story. At least with Quark you can save it down 1 version, with CS2 is a bit harder. I avoid using CS2 if it can be done in CS1 for that reason. Not only has it created headaches for sharing files but if you keep buying new computers you have to contact the software company to get the software to work. One could only hope that the trade off for the software protection and the version upkeep would be better price offerings. Even start offering Dongles, small annual service fees that take care of upgrades or multi level software packages (Lite version vs Pro version) as options.

    I do like that Quark has not been one those companies that keep coming up with new versions every year just to make more money. On the flip side of that they have been a little slow on the uptake. I think you are right in saying that they have open some eyes with this version, both with features and deals, to stay in the ring.
  24. Kirk macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2004
    I have been playing around with the Quark 7 public beta for some time now, and I agree with Blue Velvet that this seems a huge step in the right direction!

    So far it has actually been much more stable than Quark 6.1 and 6.5 on my PowerMac G5 running 10.4.4. I have to say that it looks pretty solid for a Beta.
  25. wizenPub macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2006
    Quark 7 Miles ahead

    If not in practice, in thinking...the Quark 7 beta is a much more realistic and forward thinking program than Pagestrator, I mean InDesign, ever was. Quark has focused so much on actual workflows that those who say they won't switch back are in a small potato category whereas bigger companies that would like to have all the real-world collaboration and quality assurance tools of Quark 7 will just have to spend so many thousands on lost labor...big potatos don't like hemorhaging unecessary funds for too long. Plus even the features that are catchup like shadows and transparency are superior in Q7. Try creating a 40% black box with 100% white type in'll need 2 boxes. I find InDesign truly lacking in innovation and prone to all sorts of illogical behavior. Also, the paucity of ID plug-ins compared to Quark XT's shows why Quark still enjoys 85% of the market (according to printers who get files).

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