Anyone still using Quark? (Also InDesign CS3)

joeclark's picture

Just what the subject line says: Anyone still using Quark Xpress? I need a bit of help with a new research project (research task, really) and am canvassing for volunteers.

The same goes for Quark’s matter/antimatter doppelgänger, InDesign CS3 (I have CS2).

mili's picture

I just upgraded to CS3, and am excited about it. Can I help?

jselig's picture

I use CS 3 at work.

Ch's picture

wait till pattyfab comes online. she is the queen of quark.

joshuaone9's picture

I still use Quark!

joeclark's picture

Joshua and/or Patty, do please drop me a line at joeclark at the same domain dot org.

Joe Clark

jupiterboy's picture

I'm using CS3. Feel free to contact me if I can assist.

Gary Long's picture

I still use Quark 3.3 for simple things like business cards where I want I nice clean, fast, intuitive program. Hate InDesign CS, but had to jump to it for heavy-duty work when Quark wasn't keeping up.

will powers's picture

still Quark. E-mail coming to you, Joe Clark.


Nick Shinn's picture

Print Action, the Canadian trade magazine, surveys this annually.

Chris Dean's picture

I use Quark. I am interested in hearing more about your research. Please contact me at:

pattyfab's picture

I still use Quark a lot, as pointed out above. I'll drop you a line.

I own CS3 but haven't installed it yet as I've been told it's slower on non-Intel macs. Is this true? I probably need to upgrade my laptop sooner rather than later to a MacBook Pro, so will test drive it on that. But I would be interested to know what other non-Intel Mac users think of CS3 as compared to 2.

blank's picture

I own CS3 but haven’t installed it yet as I’ve been told it’s slower on non-Intel macs. Is this true?

It will be faster than CS2 unless you’re low on RAM, in which case Rosetta can really be nasty. At work I’m running CS3 on a dual G5 with 1.5 gigs of RAM and have no issues.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Patty, I'm hurt. You doubt my word? ;^D

I'm using a 1.5 GHz PowerPC G4 with CS3 and am very happy that I did it. Oh and 1.5 GB of newer* SDRAM.

*A meltdown that lead me to buying some new.

mondoB's picture

Though I almost lost faith because of their arrogant foot-dragging over full OpenType support and their long refusal to offer good drop shadows and transparency, now that Quark 7 has caught up with everything I want, I'm back in the saddle with it and will never stray, foreseeably. I resent clients who presume to dictate my software, and I don't permit them to do so--ever. I see no reason to have both clogging my system--not cheap, either. If InDesign is anything like Illustrator, as some have told me, then that's another reason to spurn it: Illustrator I always detested as counter-intuitive.

David Rault's picture

i love and use quark. i hate indesign.


pattyfab's picture

I resent clients who presume to dictate my software, and I don’t permit them to do so—ever.

Even if said client pays you around 30Gs a year? Sorry if I'm not in a position to turn down that kind of money! You must have a pretty old machine if you're worried about two applications clogging it up. Plus, fluency in both softwares makes me much more versatile and therefore employable, why on earth would anyone deliberately fight that?

It is interesting to see so many fellow Quark users climbing out of their holes, it can feel lonely on this forum where Quark-bashing is somewhat of a blood sport.

Tiff - what did I say????

Chris Rugen's picture

I jumped ship when Creative Suite 1 was introduced, and have avoided looking back. I've used CS1, 2, and am currently using 3 at work. Maybe the newest Quark is better, but they lost me at v6, for a variety of reasons. I'd been on 4.1 for years prior to that, with a tiny, itty-bitty stint on 3 at the beginning of my formal design education.

This is taking me back. Remember the authentication dongles? Ha!

Ch's picture

@pattyfab : maybe our friends at adobe can chime in here, but my understanding was that CS2 was optimized for pre-intel macs and will run **slightly** slower on intel macs, and CS3 was optimized for intel macs and runs **slightly** slower on pre-intels.

RAM, of course, makes a difference but i have both versions on both types of mac (both with 2 Gigs RAM) and i can't tell any difference in speed. i think we're talking nanoseconds...

jselig's picture

Quark lost me when it came out with 5, I stayed with 4 until 6 came out; but by then I was using ID so much i rarely touched Quark. I don't mind it as a program at all really, But I've gotten so used to the Bridge/Illustrator/Photoshop/InDesign workflow I doubt I'd be as willing to switch now. To me that's the biggest thing, I never used Bridge before CS3, but it makes my work so much easier these days I'd cringe not having it for full-time work.

Ch's picture

@pattyfab - but a tech at the apple store told me that CS2 adobe bridge will NOT work properly on an intel mac, and CS3 bridge will not work properly on a pre-intel. on his recommendation i uninstalled bridge (only) on those combinations.

anyone with insider knowledge care to clear this up ?

mondoB's picture

To answer Pattyfab's quite reasonable objections: yes, if a big-money client wanted it that bad, I would add InDesign, but fortunately my clients are small, not very software-literate themselves, and just want output-ready files for the printer.

The one thing I am deeply grateful to Adobe for is Acrobat--now there's an application that really transformed our world!

dtw's picture

Another Quark 7 user (occasional) here. Nothing against ID, just don't have it...

Agreed about Acrobat though!

pattyfab's picture

I find Adobe Bridge (using CS2 on a pre-Intel mac) sluggish and cumbersome. Every time I have tried to use it I have been frustrated. I actually use iView which is free and less intrusive than iPhoto and lets you organize and view your photos really easily. That is essential for the kind of work I do, which often involves sequencing photos. I set up the sequence in iView and then lay it out in Quark or InD. You can actually drag photos into those programs from iView.

I'm sure Bridge is a fine software and probably just need to sit down with someone who can show me how it is supposed to work.

@Chris - yes, that was what I had heard about intel/non-intel and the various CS versions, which is the main reason I've hung onto my CS3 without installing it. Also I really dislike the InDesign Interchange system; wish they had a better way to downsave. In Quark you just downsave and it gives you an alert that you are doing that (which of course you already know) but the file isn't altered.

The Don Killuminati's picture

I'm a fully-committed InDesign user that only rarely launches Quark, usually only to re-save old documents into versions that can be converted to InDesign documents.

And it's a shame, really. Using Quark on a day-to-day basis was a blast. I remember it as one of the most responsive and enjoyable programs I've ever used. As gamers would say, it had great "playability." Working in Quark was like improvising on the piano. It had it's flaws for certain, but for practiced users it all but disappeared under your hands.

At its height I think Quark enjoyed 85% market share. Unfortunately the company decided to celebrate with intensely predatory pricing, openly hostile customer service and a manic obsession with security. Many of us were openly begging Adobe to hurry up with getting InDesign to market. And I'm sure Quark saw in Adobe the end of their monopolistic spree and tried to squeeze as much out of the market as possible before getting kicked back.
I may be wrong, but it seems that these days most Quark users are holdovers from this earlier era. A majority of working designers have switched to InDesign and, unless I'm mistaken, a majority of formal design education in InDesign as well, so it's what all the kids are using. But surely somebody becoming acclimated to InDesign and then switching to Quark is rather rare?

Chris Dean's picture

Does anyone know

1. If/when there is going to be a Quark 8?

2. Does Quark 7 have compatibility issues with Leopard?

Steve Tiano's picture

I'm still using Quark for freelance book design and layout projects. Just retired 6.5 and using 7.31 full-time. I also use InDesign CS2. As 95% of the publishers and packagers for whom I work want Quark, I haven't bothered to upgrade to CS3 yet. Coincidentally, I'm scheduled to start a teacher's and student's editions chemistry textbook project end of this week. In InDy. First InDy project in months. I work on a dual-processor G5 running OS 10.4.11.

pattyfab's picture

Yeah, as Steven pointed out, book publishing is still heavily Quark oriented, altho a few of my publishing clients prefer InD.

Eluard's picture

patty and Steve — I'm curious about this comment on publishers: Don't they just want a pdf at the end? Why do they care what it is composed in? Genuine questions, not rhetorical.



pattyfab's picture

No, they want native files, not a pdf. My clients sometimes make editorial correx themselves too, so they need to be able to work on the files. Also, the printer sometimes has to be able to go into them.

For so long Quark was the only game in town and publishing types are not always the first to jump on a new application.

DTY's picture

It depends on the kind of publishing. For the people I work with, Unicode has made workflow so much simpler that basically everyone went to InDesign during the period after the releases of Win2K, OS X, and ID2.0 and before Quark 7.

Stefan Seifert's picture

Hi all,

I am also passionate about InDesign.

Nevertheless I still have to use XPress at home with my R800 Espon (on Classic platform!!;-)
because from InDesign he stamps type (seems to me) as if in bitmap solution while
only Quark (the elder ones) gives me the sharp edged letters.
Don’t know why.
Anyone with the same prob?


nora g's picture

In 1992 i began with Quark ... and you dont' want to change what you get used to if there is no need ... there was need 3 years ago. I had to switch to InDesign because of incoming InDesign documents of some clients which i had to handle. I hate learning software and in the beginning it was a hard struggle, but today i like to work with InDesign and don't look back anymore.

lmariop's picture

I use both at a master level, they are both necessary. Quark 8 hopefully will be the first update to really add some features. 6.5-7 was a real wasted of time, whooo-hooo, drop shadows! Drop shadows are weeeeeaaaaaaak! A couple of new usability features but I mean come on! The only really great thing about Q7 is the opentype support. InDesign definately takes some time getting used to. And if you don't like illustrator because it's not "intuitive" then you need to spend more time learning the apps before you jump right in and work on a job for a client. I can't actually say i've met an app the wasn't intuitive, other than some raw image processing apps throughout the years. Unfortunately I am not the most common user, I am the type of person who loves finding the limitations in apps in the first 30 minutes of use, then bitching and complaining about the hacks that programmed it to begin with! I have a running joke with some friends that if we ever come across someone involved with programming quark, well you know the rest! lol! :)


Steve Tiano's picture

I dunno, maybe I'm just more of a production type. Yes, I'm more familiar with Quark. Then again, I came to Quark at version 3. I'd been using an old version of PageMaker that limited me to one-page docs, and I was going to be laying out my very first book. This was not a design job. Quark 3 was what the book packager I was subbing the layout work from had their template in.

After awhile PageMaker came out with a version that allowed multi-page docs and books became possible. A non-profit I did book design and layout for over the course of a few years had PageMaker and was not about to spend money and time on the upstart, Quark.

At the time, no one had been dealing with PDFs. This changed for me around 1999. Once I discovered PDFs and printers began accepting them, I tried to send only PDFs to my clients, retaining control over the native files in case of reprints and new editions. I always described them as "cross-platform, printer-ready PDFs," hoping it wouldn't occur to the client that most of the value was in the native files.

When InDesign came along, it seemed to be PageMaker on steroids. I learned InDy on version 2, recreating the look of a previously published book's new edition. It had originally been done in Quark, but whoever had done the first book held on to the native files, so I was hired to create a book that looked like the old one. InDy was easy to learn and use, tho' through the first CS version I wasn't much impressed with InDy's much vaunted type-handling powers. Perhaps it was my growing experience with InDy, but I find that in CS2, I like how it handles type a lot more.

As I said, most of the places for which I work use Quark. If it's not a design job, but straight book layout, I'm provided a template. 95% of the time the template is still a Quark template.

Freeza's picture

I love InDesign CS 3 :)

Rodrigue Planck's picture

One thing about Quark way over ID, kerning tables, kern once, WOW! Quark prints great, from a production standpoint as well, ID is no slouch, but like a lot of programs, it is not so much better than Quark that easy migration away from Quark. The files I see, are 75% Quark, 22% ID, 3%…you guess. ID is a great legitimate contender, but Quark has not been dethroned as the king of page layout. I'm just happy that PageMaker is finally in the past. It really does not matter which one you choose, they are both great.

The Truth shall set you free

lirmac's picture

A worrying thing about the Quark v ID issue: a lot of the design colleges only seem to be teaching ID these days. The new crop of design students interning in my neck of the woods don't have any Quark experience at all, which is a huge disadvantage for them – at least in book design. As Patty so rightly points out, publishers want Quark. It doesn't matter if ID is more sophisticated (argue this at your leisure), Quark is what they've been using for years, and they intend to continue using it. I love ID, but I won't be uninstalling Quark any time soon!

Chris Rugen's picture

Adobe has been very aggressive in pursuing academic institutions and indoctrinating students as well as the technology depts, which I'm sure has contributed to that trend. I'm not judging or criticizing, as this is a savvy and successful tactic. When I graduated, Adobe had formed strong ties within our school.

Eluard's picture

Adobe has long offered an education price. Quark refused to do this, and priced their product so that students simply couldn't afford it. (In Australia the price was astronomical. Everyone but the big companies seemed to use Pagemaker.) Quark have only themselves to blame for their demise. If students are trained on InD it shouldn't be too hard for them to adapt to Quark.

pattyfab's picture

One thing about Quark way over ID, kerning tables, kern once, WOW!

Thank you Rodrigue! I've been such a broken record on this topic I had to read back through the thread to make sure I wasn't repeating myself. As far as I know Adobe has no plans to add this feature unless "thousands of users ask for it", which is a real shame.

See here:

Both apps have their strengths and weaknesses, from small stuff (like why can't you forward delete in InD) to how annoying it is to add/change a color swatch in Quark. And like Hillary and Obama, they are more alike than different. As I said, my clients use both, I am very fluent in both, and I think a designer does him/herself a disservice by not being able to master both. Quark's arrogance at the dawn of the OS X era left the door wide open for Adobe to jump in, and luckily for them they got it right. If InD had been just a Pagemaker rehash it would not have caught on. It does seem like the kids are all using InD tho.

Eluard's picture

I remember about 5 years ago when there was all the agonising over Quark 5, someone posted something a to mac forum about how none of the programmers who had done Quark 4 still worked there — they had all been let go because for a long time there was no work for them to do. So when it came to building Quark 5 there was no one left who had an intimate knowledge of the code. It was outsourced to India and the whole thing had to be coded from scratch. Quark are still recovering from that huge spell where they coasted on their predatory licensing fees.

CEO's who f***-up as badly as Quark's did should be able to be sued down the track for the recovery of some of their outrageous salaries. CEO's seem to be the only people left in the world who get paid whether they are good or whether they are completely crap.

lubitel's picture

Here in Germany, I think there are very few people using quark. Its all InDesign. I used Quark untill version 4 or 5, then the whole company switched to InDesign, and I havent seen a Quark document in 2 years ;) and frankly, I dont miss it at all.

mili's picture

InDesign is, I believe, more popular in Finland, too. One reason is the slowness of getting a Finnish version of Quark out. I think one version didn't have a Finnish version at all. The latest localised one just came out, and the translations are slightly amusing. I'm a bit dubious about the proofreading, too.

jselig's picture

Yeah, as Steven pointed out, book publishing is still heavily Quark oriented, altho a few of my publishing clients prefer InD.

Years ago I did a Teachers Guide and a Student book to go with it. Built in Quark and it was easy to work with. Currently I am doing a book and doing it in InDesign and it's not been a pretty picture of smooth sailing. Mostly because I am annoyed with how ID sets up TOC and Indexes.

pattyfab's picture

OK I just figured out something I find VERY problematic about InDesign (and which is requiring a lot of extra work on my part).

When you create a Character Style, InD assigns it leading. If you then go back and change the leading of the Paragraph Style, the leading of the Character Style will override it. What the hell is up with that? In Quark, the Paragraph Style contains the leading, the point of Character Style is to apply it only to certain characters or words within the paragraph, not to affect the attributes of the paragraph itself.

I also find it odd that you can change the leading of only one line of a paragraph in InD. In Quark you simply have to place your curser anywhere in the paragraph (or line if it's one line long) and you can change the leading. In InD you have to select the entire bloody thing.

Plus - why isn't there a key command action in InD to call up the "Text Frame Options" pane? That is a very useful pane, and it drives me nuts to have to go to the menu each time.

OK griping over for now.

ChuckGroth's picture

Those are just a couple of things that bug me about InDesign, Patty. I have a whole list. But most of my students use InD -- and very few use Quark -- primarily because they usually purchase the whole suite.

pattyfab's picture

By and large, I really like InD. I'm just kind of bugged by all the anti-Quark sentiment on this forum, mostly I suspect by people who probably never really used it much before they started using InD. As I said above, there are way more similarities than differences btw the apps. They are both wonderful, useful applications, but both have significant weaknesses.

New York finally has some serious snow! Of course it's supposed to melt later today.

kentlew's picture

Patty --

The leading thing can be turned off: Preferences > Type -- check "Apply Leading to Entire Paragraphs" under Type Options. This will give you behavior more like Quark's. I don't know why this is off by default. I always tell my designers to change their default preferences to have this option turned on.

BTW, I was an avid Quark user for many years, and even though I've been using primarily InDesign for the past few years, it's still not as fast and efficient as I was in Quark. At first I chalked it up to learning curve. But after a couple years, it seems to me that there are just several basic day-in-day-out actions that require more mousing and menu-hunting in InDesign than in Quark, no way around it.

Now that Q7 supports OT, I should get back into it.

-- K.

mauphie's picture

In regards to schools and students using InDesign exclusively, Speak Up recently touched on the subject by posting the question: Do students need to learn Quark?

I was surprised at how vehement many of the responders were in saying Quark was dead and you need not bother learning it.

And yet on this forum, Quark seems to be alive (or at least treading water)....

pattyfab's picture

Kent - THANKS! Big help.

I also only just learned about that thingie at the top left that stops InD centering everything. I am self-taught so I missed a lot of tips and tricks. Tiffany and Linda have been getting me up to speed on some of them.

One HUGE InD advantage is the ability to have your bleed marks automatically.

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