QuarkXPress 10.1 ‘is everything version 10 should have been'

Quark claims the QXP 10.1 update fixes the issues that may have turned designers off version 10.

Quark has released the QuarkXPress 10.1 update, which it says fixes many of the issues that may have turned designers off version 10.

Last year Quark released QuarkXPress 10, which gave the venerable graphic design software a much-needed modernisation – but which for many users failed to live up to Quark’s promises.

Available for download for free today, Quark claims that it fixes the performance issues that the company’s Matthias Guenther, global director for its desktop business unit, fully admits marred their experience with the original version 10 for some users. To try to win back users who may have been disappointed by what-everyone-calls Quark 10, the company has released a trial version of 10.1 that works even if you’ve already tried version 10 (and dismissed it).

QuarkXpress 10.1 pushes the rendering of its adaptive image rendering engine – which shows images at the maximum resolution that’s appropriate for your screen to balance quality and performance. Quark 10.1 pushes this off to a separate core on your computer so it’s rendered without impacting the performance of the rest of the application.

The free update also adds new features including Dynamic Guides, higher zoom, more control over the interface colour schemes (right), the return of Books, HTML5 animations and QR code recognition.

Use the slideshow controls above and right to see more of QuarkXpress 10.1's new features.

Dynamic Guides, which are similar to InDesign’s Smart Guides. These are guides that appear when the edge of the box you’re moving matches that of another box, or the centre of the page – and you can let your box snap to these if you wish. It can also show (and snap) when a box is aligned half-way between two other boxes.

Quark 10.1 can zoom into 8,000% – higher even that Illustrator – which Matthias says is useful for micro-typography.

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Layouts can be exported as images for use in other projects – or for quick emailing to clients. You can chose the DPI of the image and output as a JPG or PNG.

The ability to combine multiple projects into Books – for example to easily allow multiple different versions of a project to be built from constituent elements – is back in QuarkXpress 10.1. Matthias says that this was dropped in v10 as the company wanted to rework its implementation from scratch, as the version in Quark 9 hadn’t changed much since Quark 3. The new version boasts multiple layouts and page sizes, and the ability to turn entire books into a single PDF – plus all of the features found in QuarkXpress 9.

Books in Quark 10.1 is based on the same architecture as the company’s QPS publishing system, which enables version management so multiple designers and editors can work on the same project.

Designers creating digital publications can now create HTML5 animations in their projects, using a simple set of stock animations moves with a moderate amount of customisation.

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