QuarkXPress 2015: New eBook options
InDesign might be the application of choice for a large segment of print production and ebook development, but QuarkXpress is used worldwide to do the same tasks.
Sérgio Teixeira, a designer and ebook developer working in Porto, Portugal, shows us some features of the QuarkXpress 2015 interface and its export-to-EPUB (and KF8!) process.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post about the markup and code that Quark generates.
The new QuarkXPress 2015 (launched in late April of 2015) now supports export to the Fixed-layout eBook format (both EPUB3 and Amazon’s KF8). The eBook reflowable format creation has been enhanced, too. The previous version (QuarkXPress 10) had some limitations for eBook producers. But now this new version has become much better.
The Fixed-Layout EPUB: this format has become a popular choice for eBooks with colorful, complex layouts, like children’s, picture/photograph, and school and academic products, as well as eBooks with interactivity.
Here are some of the new things that QuarkXPress 2015 offers:
1. The new Layout Space for eBook creation adds support for designing Fixed-layout eBooks based on the EPUB 3.0 standard. When we create a new project from the New Project dialog, we can pick eBook as an option, and select target devices, like iPad or Kindle Fire, or even a custom size. We can reuse the same settings later on by selecting from new project dialog.
NOTE: to create a fixed-layout EPUB, you must begin your project as an eBook. It is not possible to export a file aimed at print to fixed-layout EPUB or KF8. So, this means a parallel workflow. (Quark does export a print layout to Reflow EPUB, though. Read on for more information.)
2. There is support for East-Asian story direction and page flow from right to left.
3. Now you can use the same rich design capabilities that are available for print layouts. For example you can use style sheets from print or create unlimited new ones. (QuarkXPress 10 had a limited number of styles to choose from.)
4. Like Print Layout, now you can use the “Advanced Image Control” palette to handle images in Fixed-layout EPUBs.
5. Quark includes HTML5 support with options to add interactivity: Video, Audio, Slideshows, Animations, Images, and Buttons.
6. Unlike InDesign, Quark exports to KF8. Just browse to the location of KindleGen (provided by Amazon) on your computer. If you don’t have KindleGen, the dialog box provides a link to download it. (Note that if you want to implement KF8 regional magnification [pop up boxes], you’ll need to add the markup after export. More to come on that in a follow-up post.)
7. We can use the Lists dialog box to generate table of contents (TOC) for Fixed-layout and Reflowable EPUBs (Quark uses the term Reflow instead of Reflowable).
8. The new Export dialog box allows you to select from Reflow and Fixed-layout options.
9. Unfortunately you cannot export a project that was created for print to Fixed-layout. When we try to export to EPUB from a print layout the option for Fixed is not enabled:
Let’s hope this will be available in a future version or update.
If you do have a print layout you can always export as reflowable EPUB. But, if you prefer to export to Fixed-layout it is better to create a new document based on a Layout type for eBooks, then copy and paste elements from the print layout and rearrange them to fit in a Fixed-layout eBook format.
10. You can also add Metadata by going to menu: Layout > eBook Metadata…
Here is an example of a Fixed-layout EPUB made on QuarkXPress:
After export, as with a project created in InDesign, you may still have to open the EPUB file in a text editor to work on the code. As noted above, you’ll absolutely need to edit the file to add regional magnification.
Final Note: This version of QuarkXPress sure is not perfect yet when compared to InDesign CC, but it is a great start. For many of us who have to work with QuarkXPress, this version has something to say on eBook Production.
Sérgio Teixeira (@srgtei) is based in Porto, Portugal. He is the founder of the blog http://manchagrafica.com, about graphic design and eBook stuff, too. Sérgio is a freelance Graphic Specialist working on print books and, more recently, on eBooks for both book publishers and some design agencies. He also does photo editing for magazines and advertisements. Sérgio is a frequent participant on Twitter’s #eprdctn conversation.