Powerful Design Tools

QuarkXPress® provides an arsenal of design tools that let you turn even the most elaborate visions into reality.


QR Code Creator

Bridge Online and Offline Marketing

Generate vector Quick Response (QR) codes directly within QuarkXPress then style and color them the way you want. Supports text QR codes such as URLs and SMS as well as vCards.


Easily Create Unique Shapes

The QuarkXPress® ShapeMaker™ feature lets you create unique and useful shapes using configurable waves, polygons, stars, spirals, and more. All settings are highly customizable and can be saved as presets, and real-time previews make it easy to see what you’re creating. This is a feature you’ll have great fun experimenting with.

How it Works

  1. Specify what kind of shape you want to make
  2. Adjust settings such as phase, amplitude, orientation, number of sides, segments, smoothness, and more, with a real-time preview of your shape
  3. Click Create

At a glance:

  • Use sine, triangle, sawtooth, square, or random wave types
  • Create regular polygons, stars, polygrams, spirograms, random polygons, golden rectangles, and double squares
  • Control individual corners of a rectangular box with options such as rounded, beveled, concave, inset, and pointed
  • Use multiple linked text paths for standout text baseline effects such as wavy or angular text
  • Edit shapes with the ShapeMaker feature or the QuarkXPress Pen tools

"ShapeMaker lives up to its name, enabling you to create complex shapes with a unique slider-based interface. Wavy shapes, polygons, spirals and rounded rectangles can be created with ease, but the fun part is experimenting with the tools."

— Rob Carney, MacFormat


The Smartest and Most Efficient Way to Clone Design Elements

Cloner™ automates the task of copying pages or groups of items to other pages, layouts, or projects. You can split a multi-page layout into multiple single-page layouts, and even clone pages or page ranges from one layout into another.

How it Works

  • Select the items or groups you want to clone, choose Utilities > Clone, pick your options, and then click Clone

At a glance:

  • Clone to any project or layout (open or closed) or create a new project or layout automatically
  • Automatically create pages as needed in the destination project or layout
  • Clone non-contiguous pages
  • Automatically renumber the pages in the destination project or layout
  • Works with the Synchronized Content feature

"The Cloner is another godsend if you ever need to replicate anything across multiple pages or to different documents."

— Keith Martin, MacUser

Transparency and Drop Shadows

Create Depth with Transparency and Drop Shadows

QuarkXPress® lets you add depth to your layouts with transparency — a design effect where elements become partially see-through — and drop shadows, which produce a three-dimensional effect.

Transparency and Opacity

Quark ThoughtTransparency
Technology that allows “see-through” colors and pictures both on-screen and in print. Features related to transparency include opacity, drop shadows, and alpha masks.

The Opacity attribute determines the degree of transparency, from 100% opaque to completely invisible. Because QuarkXPress applies opacity at the color level, you can apply a different opacity to a box’s frame, background, and picture or text — you can even apply different opacities to different characters in the same box.

QuarkXPress also supports alpha channel transparency, including transparency in Photoshop® PSD files, allowing you to make imported pictures blend smoothly into the background.

Drop Shadows

The Drop Shadow effect helps pop items off the page and produces a three-dimensional effect. You can adjust drop shadows to just the right visual effect by customizing their distance, size, color, and opacity.

Flattening Control

When you output a layout, QuarkXPress can either flatten the transparency for compatibility with PostScript® print workflows, or keep it natively transparent for modern PDF workflows and digital publishing.

Illustration (Bézier/Pen) Tools

Pen Tools and Keyboard Shortcuts Make Illustrating Quick and Easy

QuarkXPress® lets you create gorgeous illustrations using industry-standard Bézier Pen tools — without leaving your layout.

Quark ThoughtBézier Curve
A mathematically defined curve that can be controlled via two points (one on either end) and two curve handles. Named after Pierre Bézier.

The robust QuarkXPress Pen tools work like the Pen tools in proprietary drawing applications. So if you think you need to turn to illustration applications for a fancy drop cap, logo, or design element, turn no more. Clip pictures, create text runaround, create lines of text that flow along a shape, or simply apply a color, blend, or frame — right there in your layout.

The keyboard shortcut for the Pen tools means you can just press P and start drawing. To perform different operations, you can switch between different Pen tools, but you don’t have to — with the Bézier Pen tool, just press Command/Ctrl to select, move, and reshape existing points, or press Option/Alt to convert between smooth and corner points.

Advanced illustrators can save time by using the Pen tools for those quick projects. Beginners can use the Freehand Drawing tool, which lets you get the right shape without worrying about points or handles.

QuarkXPress also includes powerful shape-related commands such as Merge and Split, the ability to turn text into Bézier boxes, and ShapeMaker™ — a dedicated feature for generating complex shapes such as banners, spirals, stars, and boxes with corner effects.

At a glance:

  • Use Merge, Split, Union, Intersection, and other effects for truly advanced unique results
  • Use Super Step and Repeat to create transformed duplicates and create complex illustrations such as snowflakes

Clipping Paths and Alpha Masking

Seamlessly Blend Images Into Your Layouts with Clipping Paths and Masks

QuarkXPress® supports embedded paths and alpha masks in imported images, and even lets you create and manipulate your own clipping paths right there in the layout.

Both clipping paths and alpha masks are typically used to make parts of an imported picture transparent. The main difference is that clipping paths are vector (hard-edged), and alpha masks are raster (soft-edged and capable of semitransparency). If you import a picture with a clipping path or alpha mask, you can choose whether to use one or both, or to show the entire image.

QuarkXPress also lets you use clipping paths for text runaround. You can use an embedded clipping path, or create one automatically based on the image itself, where text is allowed to run in areas that are white. You can also create your own runaround path, and then edit it using the same tools you use to edit Bézier shapes.

If you import Photoshop® (PSD) files, you can also use that file format’s “checkerboard” transparency and control the visibility of the image file’s layers.

The Measurements Palette provides easy access to clipping controls.

How it Works

  • Choose from among multiple clipping paths and alpha channels in the same image
  • Use the Measurements Palette for easy access to clipping, runaround, and masking features

At a glance:

  • Seamlessly blend images into the layout
  • Apply embedded paths or alpha channels as text runaround, with full control over the outset distance

Table Creation

The QuarkXPress Tables feature lets you easily and beautifully present complex data for annual reports, product spec sheets, and other materials. You can create table content manually in QuarkXPress, or you can import content into a table by linking to an Excel® file. If you update a linked Excel file, the QuarkXPress document can be automatically updated to reflect the changes.

You can create tables and manage their properties in QuarkXPress®, including linking to external data sources for importing content and automatically updating data when it changes in the original source.

Advanced Image Control

The Advanced Image Control Palette enables users to control color channels and embedded clipping paths within PDF, TIFF and PSD files. In addition for PSD and PDF images, show and hide layers, apply a variety of blends, and change the layer transparencies — all non-destructively without impacting the original image file.

This example shows curves being applied to an image to adjust color balance, directly in the context of the layout. The effects are nondestructive, so they can be modified or removed at any time.

Space/Align and Distribution

The Space/Align tab of the Measurements Palette provides a set of easy-to-use buttons that make it easy for you to align and distribute items on a page or spread. Intuitive button icons provide a visual cue of what each of the functions does.

Space and align controls, along with a set of buttons for applying multiple settings, let you arrange elements of your design with precision, helping you easily create professional layouts.

Multi-Color Blends

With the Multi-Color Blends you have all the flexibility you’ve yearned for when designing color blends. Create as many color stops as you like, use sliders or numeric settings, opt for the full radial setting or set the aspect ratio. Unlike other layout software, you can even set different opacity levels for each color stop.

Easily Create and Apply Shapes to Any Content

You can create unique shapes right there in the layout with the Bézier Pen tools or the ShapeMaker feature. Decorate any box with color, blends, and frames — then fill it with any type of content.

In this example we created an airplane and filled it with an image of a cloud. You can even fill your shapes with videos, such as moving clouds, to create unique effects. This example also shows how you can create text on a path.

Guides and Grids

Guides and grids let you precisely control how items and text align in a layout — and QuarkXPress gives you precise control over both, with two dedicated palettes.

Guides (shown in red), margin guides (shown in blue), and baseline grids (shown in pink) help you control the alignment of your layouts with precision. You can use the dialog box to adjust the settings of your margin guides and baseline grids.


You can put different types of items on different lockable layers, then easily hide or show those layers — both on the screen and at output.

In this example, we show how you can use layers to create multiple language versions of a single layout. By invoking different layers in one layout, you can maintain design consistency across multiple geographies.

Super Step and Repeat

Super Step and Repeat lets you duplicate items and adjust the angle, shade, scale, and skew of the copies. If you scale items, you can choose whether to scale their contents.

Using Super Step and Repeat, you can apply transformations to an object while you duplicate it. In this example the oval was rotated and scaled relative to its lower right corner as it was repeated to create a nautilus shape.

Automatic Text Runaround

QuarkXPress offers several ways to run text around an item or image: You can use embedded paths, draw your own runaround paths, or just let QuarkXPress take care of it automatically.

QuarkXPress® provides a selection of settings you can use to wrap text around an image and achieve the effects you want.

Intelligent Scaling

The Scale Palette lets you precisely scale items, pages, and even entire layouts, with total control over which aspects of the content are scaled. If you scale up a multi-column text box, for example, you can control whether you want to scale up its text, insets, gutters, and frame. You can scale to an exact size, or by a specific percentage.

The Scale Palette gives you precise control when resizing items or entire layouts. Specify scaling options such as how to deal with content or non-proportional scaling.


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