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July 21, 2005
 - Quark 6.5 Issues
 
Quark Xpress 6 is the linchpin holding back users in transitioning to OS X. Originally version 6 was buggy and required patches to make it stable. Version 6.5 is now very stable. This month I’m going to share some insights to help you make the switch...
Back in 1999, when Apple announced that their new operating system was going to based on Unix I was pleased. I eagerly sent away for my copy of MacOS X Beta, knowing that I was asking for trouble. What would happen to my favorite applications, PhotoShop, Quark Xpress, Illustrator and FileMaker Pro, and how long would it take for everything to switch over, not to mention the cost! I was already a Unix convert and when MicroSoft shipped Office X, I never looked back. Quark Xpress 6 is the linchpin holding back users in transitioning to OS X. Originally version 6 was buggy and required patches to make it stable. Version 6.5 is now very stable. This month I’m going to share some insights to help you make the switch.

Making the switch to OS X requires the importation of those pesky PPDs (PostScript Printer Descriptions) that allow us to print to our many legacy laser printing devices. The PPDs contain information about a printers page sizes, built-in fonts, paper trays, as well as other printer specific features. Under System 9 and earlier they are kept under: System Folder => Extensions => Printer Descriptions.

To make these PPDs available to MacOS X we need to copy them to the new PPD location. The new location (or path) is: /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/en.lprog/ - place your PPDs here. (By the way, don’t “move” them, drag them while holding the “option” key. You can also select them in the Finder, then copy and paste them into the new location – just like Windows!) Then use the Printer Setup Utility (Applications/Utitlities/Printer Setup Utility) to add the printers. In most cases the Printer Setup Utility will figure out which PPD to use but you can choose the PPD. Select the printer in the Printer Utility list and click on “Info”, then switch to Printer Model. If you have two identical printers, you can also rename the printers, to easily identify them.

Quark Xpress requires an extra step. (Quark always requires an extra step!) Launch Quark Xpress on your new G5 (You do have a new G5, don’t you?) and select PPD Manager from the Utilities menu. Xpress should already be pointed to the System’s PPD folder mentioned above. Click the Update button and Quark will make the printer available in it’s Print Set Up dialog box. You can also uncheck the printers you don’t need in the PPD Manager to reduce the clutter in your Print dialog box.

Here are some more Quark quirks…

A colleague recently asked why Quark Xpress seems to keep the “old document name” when she used “Export to PDF”. Starting with version 5, Xpress began to save documents as “Projects” with the potential to have various “Layouts” inside. Choosing “Save As” to rename and reuse an older document, only changes the “Project” name. When you Print or Export to PDF, Xpress sends the “Layout” name. To rename the Layout choose “Layout Properties” from the “Layout” menu. Problem solved. If you look at the top of the document you may see the name as “Project Name:Layout Name”.

Another misconception was that Quark Xpress doesn’t seem to recognize Spot colors correctly. Spot colors, sometimes called “specials” are usually Pantone colors chosen as swatches by designers. Pantone colors are supposed to be specially mixed inks, but have devolved into a system for managing color definitions between applications. The problem with Quark Xpress’s inability to recognize colors was actually caused by a change that Adobe made. Adobe changed the names of Pantone swatches from “Pantone 123 CVC” to simply “Pantone 123 CV”. “CVC used to mean “computer video coated, referring to “coated paper stock”, but now “CV” simply means “computer video”.

In fact Quark has already changed it’s swatches to the “CV” naming convention to match Adobe’s products. The problem is introduced when a legacy EPS file is imported into Xpress. The solution is to edit the color name in the files original program. Eg. Open the file in Illustrator, rename the colors with “CV” and save them as EPS format again.

One last quirk you may come across while “Exporting to PDF” or even using Print to create a PDF from Quark, is that you see the message “unable to create ____,pdf file”. Open up the trusty Print Setup Utility, and click “Add”. Choose “IP Printing” from the pull down menu. Enter the address “127.0.0.1” in the Printer Address field. Click the “Add” button and close the Printer Setup Utility. You will have created a virtual laser printer and now you’ll be able to create PDFs from Quark.

By the way, if you have recently bought a new Mac you may find that Apple is no longer bundling Stuffit Expander. Go to http://www.allume.com to down load a copy.