Quark for InDesign Users, Part 2

By LaurenMarie

QuarkXpress and Adobe InDesign are the two main layout programs used in the graphic design industry. Quark was the leader–and almost the only game in town–until about 2002 when Adobe released InDesign. At that time many Quark users were irritated that their needs were not being address and InDesign really came in at the perfect time. Many Quark users quickly jumped over to InDesign. Adobe was really smart in practically giving it away free if you bought the Creative Suite–basically a bundle of Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat–the core programs in any designer’s arsenal.

But Quark is still hanging on and indeed, will probably never go away, while InDesign is gaining traction; so it’s good to at least be comfortable working in both programs, even if you prefer one over the other. Last time I told you about the Tools palette in Quark, and also pointed out some helpful shortcuts you can use. It’s important to know the differences between Quark and InDesign in terms of working with images.

Quark Styles

Although the basic idea of text styles is the same in both InDesign and QuarkXpress, they are handled differently, particularly in regards to the character styles.

In InDesign, you use character styles to style selected areas of text within a paragraph. When you view your list of paragraph styles, you will not see overrides applied (+ next to the style name) if you use characters styles to add formatting like bold or italics.

Quark vs Indesign Character Styles

Screenshot of the New Character Style dialog from InDesign

In Quark, however, you will see local overrides if you apply a character style to a paragraph, which leads me to believe character styles were not meant to be used the same way. InDesign also leaves all the fields blank for new character styles so that they can apply to multiple paragraph styles; in other words, you can bold any text within a paragraph without worrying about the font, font size, font color, etc. The character style in the picture above will only bold text, nothing else.

Quark and Indesign Character Style Sheet

Screenshot of the New Character Style dialog from Quark

In Quark, when you create a new paragraph style, it has an option to base it on a character style. I think the way the two styles are intended to work is that character styles determine the font, font size, color, tracking, etc, while paragraph styles are more meant to determine paragraph characteristics like leading, alignment and indents. While you can edit the character attributes from the paragraph options, it will change all instances of that character style (and if you have based your paragraph styles on the Normal character style, they will change!).

Indesign and Quark Paragraph Styles

Screenshot of the New Paragraph Style dialog from Quark

When creating new paragraph styles from scratch, at least in QuarkXpress 7, the default character style is thankfully set to Default, which is essentially the Normal character style but if you edit it from the paragraph dialog box, it won’t change other styles.

Quark Master Page items

Master Pages in QuarkXpress function similarly to those in InDesign. The key difference is that you must lock your Master Page items in Quark! You can do this by hitting F6. If you don’t lock your Master Page items and you accidentally move an item in your layout pages, a duplicate of the Master Page item is created on the layout page, but the original Master Page item is still in tact on the page, too, giving you two objects. Planet Quark also has a good suggestion regarding locking Master Page items.

Lists in Quark

Unfortunately as I found out from Jay Nelson (who was so helpful as I tried to figure out how hyperlinks work in Quark), there is no native support for bulleted or numbered lists. He did however suggest an XTension built for just such a need.

Further Assistance

If you still have questions about how to do something in either of these programs, I am most happy to help where I can! Also try these excellent websites:

You can also try Quark’s Knowledge Database though I had a very difficult time quickly finding what I needed there. I also recommend joining a forum community such as HOW Design Forum or Estetica Design Forum. People in forums are usually quick to respond to questions when they can and you’ll be able to help other people with what you know, too.