QuarkXPress 2018 announced with smiley face

Quark is to release the next generation of its venerable page layout software, QuarkXPress 2018, in May. This promises new typography features, including emoji support, as well as improvements to the way the software handles both print and digital publishing.

QuarkXPress 2018 gains a number of new typographic features including better access to control of OpenType fonts.

There are a number of enhancements to the overall typography, including making OpenType features, such as fractions and ligatures, easier to access and use. It also supports colour fonts, such as Emojis, with support for SVG, SBIX and COLR formats in print, PDF and digital output. Font families and styles are now listed in two separate combinations and can be mapped to the type styles buttons P/B/I in the palettes and dialog.

It’s also now possible to set hyphenation levels down to the paragraph level with a choice of five degrees of strictness, such as to hyphenate everywhere it’s grammatically correct or only hyphenate compound words. This is based on technology licensed from UB Dieckmann and works across all languages that QuarkXPress supports.

There’s a new InDesign IDML Import feature that converts InDesign IDML documents directly into the QuarkXPress format. Quark has also integrated the Callas PDF engine, which contains Adobe’s PDF Libraries, to deliver better quality PDFs, PDF/X and PDF/A files. This also allows new tools for creating accessibility compliant PDFs.

On the digital publishing front, QuarkXPress now gains the ability to create Android single apps alongside the existing iOS capability. In addition, HTML5 Publications and ePub now export more items than before as native HTML5 elements, including  type styles (Outline, Shadow), Tables as HTML tables and Anchored text boxes. There are new responsive HTML5 Preview options, including: Page Preview, Layout Preview, Project Preview. It’s also possible to add interactivity, such as buttons and video, to groups. Quark also now allows digital to print conversion, where the digital workflow comes first.

Other improvements include the beefed-up measurements palette for Mac users now available to Windows, a vertical measurements panel for Macs, and the ability to span footnotes over columns. Quark has also improved the scripting with JavaScript v8 for things such as modifying layout objects. The software is 64-bit and runs on the latest version and the last two operating systems from both Apple and Microsoft.

QuarkXPress 2018 is due to ship on 16 May this year, with Quark promising to ship a free copy to anyone who orders the current version in the meantime. There are substantial discounts for people upgrading from older versions, or from InDesign, as well as discounts for those pre-ordering the new version. It’s still sold as a perpetual license with Quark confirming that there are no plans for a cloud-based subscription.

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