06 April 2006

[design_career] Toot! Toot!*: My How-To On QuarkXPress is on CreativePro.com

PreScript: I borrowed Jeff Fisher's horn for this. See bottom of post.

is a big deal for me:

A screenshot of CreativePro.com's featuring of my QuarkXPress 6.5 how-to article on creating PDFs from XPress 6.5. Clickit to see it bigly; go here to read it.

The above graphic is a screenshot of CreativePro.com's homepage, the current featured how-to article. It's mine! The subject is how to go about creating PDFs from QuarkXPress 6.5.

This is a worthy topic. Before XPress 6.x, Quarksters had to either use Adobe Distiller or export the layout as a PostScript file and then feed that to Distiller. If you were using XPress 4.x (which, reputedly, most of the installed base still is) then you were running under Mac OS 9.2 mostly and things worked fairly smoothly (operative word here is fairly). If you were running XPress 4.x or 5.x then you were running in the Mac Classic Enviro and unless you also had a Carbonized version of Acrobat Distiller.

When faced with this challenge, I found the solution for getting a PDF from a QuarkXPress 5.01 layout was to export the layout as an EPS then feed that to Distiller. The resulting PDF was readable. Exhibited wierd behavior, but readable.

The biggest complaint people have about XPress 6.5 PDF exporting is that the Jaws PDF rendering engine (Quark offers you an Adobe-free route to PDFs, BTW) creates bloated PDFs. It does, if you accept the defaults. If you used the "Job Options" tab of the Export Options dialog, however, you can specify image compression options that reduce the size of your PDF drastically.

Drawbacks: QuarkXPress 6.5 can only output PDF version 1.4. It's good for many proof uses and might also be adequate for press, but you don't get the fancy-schmancy PDF/X standards that are becoming fashionable. This looks to be cured by XPress 7, which does support them, but 7 isn't out quite yet. Almost, but not quite yet.

Anyway! Creativepro.com is regularly read by designers nation- (if not world-) wide. It was flattering to have Creativepro ask to publish it, and I'm incredibly pumped to see it up there.

Postscript: as Fisher's Axiom of Self Promotion has it, if I don't toot my own horn, nobody else will.

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