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Quark ships QuarkXpress 8, free trial available

Quark has announced that QuarkXPress 8, the latest version of its desktop publishing environment, is now shipping.

Unveiled in May, QuarkXPress 8 sports a redesigned interface that aims to reduce the clicks (and time) it takes to complete tasks.

A new Picture Content tools lets users grab, rotate, and scale images in real-time without typing in numbers or switching from tool to tool. The smart Item and Text Content tools aim to reduce the number of times a designer has to manually switch tools. Rethought B?er Pen tools allow users to draw illustrations directly in the application.

There are new buttons for instant access to master pages and exporting to PDF, EPS, SWF, and HTML, plus new split-view buttons, enhanced contextual menus, and customisable active pasteboards. And the Measurements palette provides access to more functions, including controls for on-the-fly drop-shadow modification.
Users can now drag and drop text and pictures from the desktop, Adobe Bridge and iPhoto; in fact any application that supports drag and drop. Conversely you can drag content from QuarkXPress to Photoshop and other applications for direct editing.

Typographers get hanging characters with paragraph-by-paragraph control, multiple and easy-to-use presets, and the ability to share hanging character settings. There are also new controls over baseline grid settings, with the ability to apply unique grid settings to individual boxes, and a Grid Styles feature designed to make it easier to keep documents consistent.

Quark Interactive Designer - Quark's Flash authoring environment - is now an integrated component of QuarkXPress, enabling one-stop design across print, websites and Flash. No programming skills required, says Quark, to add video, audio, animation and interactivity to layouts and export them as Flash content.

Terry Welty, senior vice president of corporate marketing for Quark said that the new version raises the bar for page layout and design.

"QuarkXPress 8 offers users advanced features and functionality and increased productivity while maintaining familiarity for long-time users."

QuarkXPress 8 is now available now for a suggested retail price of £779 (£279 to upgrade from any previous version). A free, 60-day trial version is also available.

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