The QuarkXPress train keeps moving as Quark ships its latest version of the pioneering desktop publishing software. QuarkXPress is available for both Macintosh OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems and has several new features including smart transparencies and collaborative work areas. The company is also unifying the code base with a later introduction of a universal binary file for both Power Mac G4 and Intel-based Macintoshes.
Originally launched in 1987, QuarkXPress has been the standard layout software for most magazines and newspapers. The software handles both important vector-based drawings and pixel images. Print publications often deal with vector-based images that scale in size without losing sharpness.
Quark has added several interesting features in Xpress 7, including smart transparency which allows users to easily change the opacity of almost any object. Single letters in a word can be made transparent - a scenario that required multiple layers in the past.
QuarkXPress also has two features that can help design teams work together: Compositing zones let users assign sections of the document to other users. The separate sections are then merged back together to form the entire layout. Users can set design element changes through the entire project so they don't have to copy and paste back into each piece.
QuarkXPress is priced at $750 and is shipping now. Quark said it is planning a road tour to demosntrate all new features.