From Tea and Paste-Ups to Synchronized Text
Some Little-Known Tools
Nowadays, I often find myself turning to QuarkXPress 6.5 for a solution no matter what the project. One of my favorite features is the "Books" feature, which enables me to manipulate a large graphics-rich document without creating a gigantic file that's too big to manage. I love how easy it is to print large projects when working with "Books." It's a very simple and easy-to-use feature that's also easy to overlook. Once you discover it, you'll wonder how you got by without it.
As much as I like "Books" for handling big documents, I like "Project Tabs" even more. By combining "Books" with "Project Tabs," it is incredibly easy to manage long, complicated documents.
And I really enjoy the ease of use with the "synchronized text" feature. Last year, I had a brochure and flyer project for which the text would be repurposed for a catalog. If I'd had QuarkXPress 6.5 then, I would have been able to place the same text in several layouts by linking the text boxes to a single file. Then, I could have simultaneously updated all the text, in every layout, with a single mouse click. It would have saved me so much time on that project. (Not to mention the option of working on a Web version of the same catalog and synchronizing revisions to the text for both projects at the same time.)
Technology Keeps Advancing
Over the years, I have stayed abreast of new advances in technology and the trends in publishing applications. I have watched the industry domination of QuarkXPress; I like the fact that there is more competition in the industry today. I think that healthy competition makes companies work harder to produce better software.
There are indeed some great features in other software applications, but you need to be cautious or your job could end up with problems. For instance, in Adobe InDesign, when importing a PhotoShop file with layers and transparencies into the software, if you don't know how to set the file up properly—making your own transparency presets—then complicated files won't output correctly; fine gaps can appear around the image and other output problems can occur. Or the text weight can change unexpectedly.