Quark PDFs - I give up!

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by dazzer21, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. dazzer21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #1
    I've been working on a project now for a few weeks in Quark XPress 7. Usually, I'd do it in 4 but this time around there's been a fair bit of layering and transparency involved so I've had to dive into 7, most notably because it can handle psd files and alpha channels.

    No what I *could* do to obtain the same effect in Quark 4 is create Photoshop comps where images overlay etc, but although that's something I can whizz out at a fair old speed, it's not ideal but I get the desired visual result. The notion with 7 is that you can just plonk a psd down and be able to move it around at will.

    I've just finished a file which is eventually going to be a 1080p plasma screen image. On the page is some text, a four letter headline made up of individual (single layer) psd files, 2 jpegs, 3 tiffs and 2 Illustrator eps files. The physical size of all the files together weighs in at around 35Mb. If I were to do the biz in Quark 4 and dilstill it in Acrobat 5 (this is all in OS 9.2 by the way), the final PDF file would probably be 3-4Mb at press-ready quality, ready for me to jpeg it to the desired res.

    Quark 7 has just produced an eps file of 503Mb and a PDF of 14Mb. It took 22 minutes for Quark to produce the EPS, and 1 minute 14 seconds to create a press-ready PDF file from it in Distiller 9 (iMac 2.8, 2Gb)

    I'm in dispair. How do you guys produce proper PDFs from Quark XPress and what are the pitfalls of using psd files?
     
  2. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    Greener places than I used to live
    #2
    You can move your quark 4 files to Indesign CS3. If you save them in Quark 7 - no dice. I know that's not helping with your current project, but before you update all your old assets to 7, I would consider dumping that garbage and getting ID. It really plays well with all your psd, tiff, eps, ai, other pdfs/id documents. Everyone at the small firm I work for would agree that Quark is infuriating and ID allows us much more productivity.
     
  3. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #3
    I think you're encountering one of the pitfalls of using psd files in quark. I would just never do that unless I had to. Even if it's a feature of quark, I don't have the faith that it will render correctly or deal with the file size in a way that is decent. You have a lot going on there. Good luck.
     
  4. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    Greener places than I used to live
    #4
    Can you define what you mean by proper? What is wrong with the pdf that you made? Just file size?
     
  5. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #5
    When I say "proper", what I really mean is PDFs that are of the desired quality (be it low res, press ready or whatever) but don't take ages to produce while creating such proposterously large PS files. I've been pulling my hair out over this - even files that don't contain PSDs take ages. PLUS, files that I've been reliably using as TIF files (bitmaps) for years (literally!) are showing horizontal lines or just garbled previews. In order to make them reproduce properly, I've HAD to convert them to psds. Incidentally, those tif files still work fine in 4, rather infuriatingly...

    I have just bought Indesign - I didn't realise that 4 content could be imported - if that pans out, it could well be the most brilliant thing I've heard in ages!!! If that works InLikeALion, then I'll love you long time!!! 8)

    Once this project is done and dusted, I'm either kicking it into touch or trying out the Quark 4/InDesign combo... I'd still like to hear what the most successful Quark 7 PDF workflows are, though.
     
  6. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #6
    InLikeALion

    You'd better pucker up! That little nugget of information has just cost me a packet (I'm off RIGHT NOW to buy me an iMac for home so I can spread my workload across 24 hours a day!)

    Bless you, my friend...

    D21
     
  7. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    Greener places than I used to live
    #7
    No problem.

    Here's yet another anecdote from just this afternoon:

    We just had to redo an entire conference display board that needed to go out the door an hour ago. It was in Quark 7, and couldn't be exported as a pdf - Quark kept throwing up errors about not enough memory to crunch the transparency. It's a large file, but still, it shouldn't choke on the 4 gigs of ram this 2.4ghz Alumimac has. We reconstructed it quickly in ID and it exported no problem on an old Blackbook with 2 gigs or ram.

    I knew I wasn't directly answering your question originally, but I just want to spread the ID gospel out of gratitude.
     
  8. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #8
    That was brilliant piece of info - I was dreading converting all my old 4 files into 7 and put up with all the grief. I opened a quark file in ID and created a PDF of it and it did it in about a minute. FANTASTIC. I now have a new iMac...
     
  9. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #9
    Just to stick my nose in, I too can't speak highly enough of ID. I am forced to use QuarkXpress 7 at work, and use ID CS3 for all my freelance work. If I could, I would stop Quark from developing. At best, each release simply tries to bring it in line with ID, and then the next version of ID is released which blows it out of the water again.

    Well done Adobe, your not perfect, but you are pretty damn great :)
     
  10. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #10
    I have to say that up until now, I have been truly convinced that my lack of ability to get these things done in Quark 7 has been down to my lack of knowledge of the app. After all, I've been using 4 for yonks now (yes, I'm still on OS9 with my trusty G4s) but it's been more than adequate for my needs and I would consider myself to be pretty professional in its use. As I mentioned, I use it closely with Illustrator and Photoshop and can very quickly achieve the visual effects that 7 can produce in seconds (although it takes a *little* longer, obviously) :rolleyes:

    So can it really be that these weird inadequacies are being experienced by most, if not all, of those who use this software? Surely not, but my ongoing exploration into the reason why I'm having so much trouble, seems to be digging up too many occurrencies of all of this for comfort. It's really shocked me...

    Even more so when I think of how much I spent to buy it in!
     
  11. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    Greener places than I used to live
    #11
    They quit innovating a long time ago and merely rely on print shops and big agencies to be "dinosaurs" who "stick with what they know," which had kept everyone, including the freelancers, stuck with their product. I find that edit: generally, in my experience, people that use Quark now (and are oblivious to how backward and unproductive it is) are those who find it hard to learn new software and just want to keep trucking with what their used to.

    You're right - I can't believe what the buy-in cost of Quark is, and how miserable the resulting experience is
     
  12. durija macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #12
    At our shop, we avoid Quark if at all possible. It's just an overall pain to work with. Something like 1% of the jobs we get from designers are in Quark now, as opposed to maybe about 40% five years ago. Everybody's switching. I'll be glad when we don't have to buy another upgrade (even though that means a complete monopoly for Adobe).

    But to the OP's point — you really need to get off that G4, no matter what app you are using. A new ride would really speed things up, and you're a few processors behind. Yeah, I know it costs money :(
     
  13. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #13
    I've now got my new ride, a spanking new iMac. However, it has to be said, that my G4 running 4 was way more productive than my other 2.8 iMac running 7 - truly, it screamed in comparison.

    iD all the way now...
     
  14. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NY
  15. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #15
  16. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #16
    I've never used Quark, only CS3 and I was nervous when I first got into InDesign that I was making a mistake not getting Quark as well and taking the extra financial hit. However, reading forums like this means that while I have every respect for the company historically, they just don't appear to have been able to keep up with Adobe's business strategy or software model. Distinct programs arranged in a suite, and buying tech and programs from other companies seems to have won the day for them - I just hope that the demise of Quark won't be a license for Adobe to print money (or that prioritize Windows more and more).
     
  17. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #17
    No problems with PDFs from Quark 7 here, even with mad PSD transparency everywhere.

    Sure, the file sizes are silly and I have to resave them in Acrobat each time, but I'm used to it now.

    I moved to Q8 yesterday and it's MUCH nicer. Snappier too.

    A bit of a sweeping statement there my friend. I wouldn't describe myself as you've described Quark people.
     
  18. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    Greener places than I used to live
    #18
    You're right. I just edited that to reflect its opinion status.

    You say that, but then you say that you are fine with remaking your pdf every single time, due to Quark's deficiencies, because you are used to your somewhat convoluted work flow:

    I would encourage you to try out ID. Use it on a couple projects. Watch the Adobe quick video tutorials on its new abilities to interact with almost every graphic file type. The way you are now relieved that QX8 is finally making things less of a hassle, you'll find has been available in ID CS3 for a year and a half.

    I'm not attacking you - I really just want to encourage designers who don't try ID because it is not in their comfort zone to take a chance and see what it offers.
     
  19. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #19
    I've got ID right here, but I found it a bit unstable under Leopard.

    If you can use Illustrator, ID is no great leap.

    It's just because I've always used Quark. I used it at university and the design agency where I am have always used it. I've had no compelling reason to switch. Sure, ID might be better at x,y,z but I've never found myself having problems with anything in Quark. The only downside is that it's a bit long in the tooth, but Q8 is actually a decent improvement.

    There's no denying Quark is pretty poor when it comes to PDF handling, just because of the file size and dodgy treatment of compression. But it's no big deal just to double click on the PDF it creates and save it again in Acrobat. It is convoluted, but I have to open up most PDFs in Acrobat for checking once I save them anyway. I'd do the same with ID if I was to output PDFs from there. I wouldn't want to send a client a PDF I've never even looked at.

    I'll have to check the filesizes Q7 and Q8 produce for comparison...

    Something else you'll probably laugh at is that it's quite nice that Quark is a bit different from Adobe products. I use PS and AI day in day out, but Quark spices things up a bit :D Using nothing but Adobe products every day would just become a little bit boring. :p
     

Share This Page