Quark to Deliver Mac OS X-Native XPress

Version 6 of the DTP will offer a new range of features as well as native support for Apple's Unix-based OS.

Quark Inc. finally ended the suspense for professional publishers waiting to make the leap to Mac OS X when it announced that the Mac OS X-native version of its QuarkXPress DTP package will ship next week.

In a sign of the enduring importance of the Mac platform to its clientele, Denver-based Quark made the announcement at a briefing on Apple Computer Inc.s Cupertino, Calif., campus. Quark has "removed the last barrier for creative professionals to move to Mac OS X," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. XPress is the last major Mac application to make the move to native compatibility with Apple Computer Inc.s Unix-based OS.

XPress 6, which will run on Mac OS X 10.2 or later as well as Windows 2000 and XP, will feature interface enhancements, better table handling, and new output and multipurpose publishing options. The U.S. list price is $1,045, and users of QuarkXPress 5, 4 or 3 will be able to upgrade for $199, $299 or $499, respectively.

Quark first began outlining the features of XPress 6 in April, but it remained mum about a ship date or pricing.

The company said Version 6 will introduce project files, allowing users to share attributes and information in complex projects that include multiple versions of print and Web pages in varying sizes and orientations. Project files will let users share style sheets, colors, hyphenation settings and lists among layouts.

Meanwhile, a new Synchronized Text feature will let users share content among layouts; changing synchronized text in one area will update corresponding text elsewhere in the project.

When it comes to creating tables, XPress 6 will let users control content flow by linking text cells within a table, linking tables to each other, or linking a table cell to a text box. Tables can contain transparent cells and gridlines, and users can define tabbing order. Users will be able to convert tables into grouped boxes that can be moved, rotated and reshaped independently.