A Guide to XPress Tags 2021

Understanding XPress Tags

With XPress Tags Filter XTensions software, you can use plain text files to import and export text into QuarkXPress layouts with paragraph and character attributes already applied. Because the plain text file format doesn't actually support attributes, the formatting is indicated with codes that are translated by the XPress Tags filter. As the new character and paragraph formatting options are added to QuarkXPress, new XPress Tags codes are added to support the new attributes.

Importing tagged text

To import a plain text file that contains embedded XPress Tags codes:

  1. Choose File > Import.

  2. Select the target XPress tags file.

  3. The application attempts to detect the encoding of the XPress Tags file. To specify a different encoding, choose an option from the Encoding drop-down menu.

  4. To convert XPress Tags codes into actual character attributes and paragraph formats, check Interpret XPress Tags in the Import Text dialog box. If you do not check Interpret XPress Tags in the Import Text dialog box before importing tagged text, QuarkXPress does not convert XPress Tags codes. Instead, the program imports the codes as text characters.

Generating tagged text in another application

To include XPress Tags information in a text file that you created in another application, precede the text with the codes you want. Begin the text file with a version code and encoding indication (for example: <v17.00><e8>). For more information about encoding codes, see "Encoding". 

Save the text you generate in the plain text file format using the appropriate encoding.

General information on XPress tags

When entering XPress Tags codes, keep the following in mind:

  • XPress Tags codes are case-sensitive.

  • XPress Tags codes for character and paragraph attributes must begin and end with angle brackets (< >). For example, the XPress Tags code for boldface text is <B>.

  • To combine character attribute codes, begin with a left angle bracket, then enter the codes you want to specify, and complete the code with a right angle bracket. For example, the code for bold italic text is <BI>.

  • XPress Tags codes for character attributes must be placed immediately preceding the characters to which you want to apply the attributes. When you apply a character attribute using an XPress Tags code, the attribute remains in effect until you cancel it or until you enter codes that change the style sheet. You can cancel an attribute by re-specifying its code following the last character to which you want it applied (or for type styles, you can enter the code for plain text, <P>).

  • For XPress Tags code commands that let you specify more than one value (such as paragraph attributes), you can enter a $ in place of an actual value. When QuarkXPress encounters a $ code, the program substitutes the value specified in the currently applied style sheet. (If no style sheet is currently applied, the value of the Normal style sheet is used.) For example, you might want a paragraph to contain all the formats specified in the applied style sheet, but you want to apply 18 points of leading instead of the value specified in the style sheet. The code for this would be:  <*p($,$,$,$,18,$,$,$,$,$($,$))>.

  • Names you specify as XPress Tags codes must be preceded and terminated by an inch mark " character. For example, if you want to specify the font AvenirLTStd-Roman, use the <f"AvenirLTStd-Roman"> code.

  • Some features (such as rubi text, group characters, and emphasis marks) are only available when you have the East Asian preference enabled (QuarkXPress/Edit( > Preferences > East Asian). However, you can open a project that uses such features in any edition of QuarkXPress, and you can import and export text that uses these features in XPress Tags format using any language edition of QuarkXPress.