Graphic design agency | Website design agency

Loading images...
  • First Image
  • Second Image
  • Third Image
  • Forth Image
  • Fifth Image
  • First Image
  • Second Image
  • Third Image
  • Forth Image
  • Fifth Image
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin
like - follow - connect

QuarkXpress Vs Indesign

QuarkXpress Vs Indesign

In light of a recent discussion about feeling pressured to use Indesign over Quark8 on Linkedin, I decided to take the discussion further and try and talk about other issues we face as well as how we can improve Quark8’s credibility, after all it’s an extremely good program. If used to it’s full extent, the program can save masses amount of time with its new ideas of ways to shorten the amount of clicks we need to create a project.

My first reference to this would be a simple matter of creating a picture box with rounded corners in Quark8 compared to Indesign. I will try not to bore you with this example because it’s a simple task in both programs, but one program will do it a lot quicker! I will use as least click possible so every short cut via key command available will be used.


Step 1: Click new rectangled box. (Short-cut press F)

Step 2: Click to drag to a size you want

Step 3: Menu-Move to file, scroll to place, select the image and open (Short-cut Command+D)

Step 4: Menu- Move to object (Click show all menu items if needed – extra click) scroll down to corner options.

Step 5: Click to choose your effect

Step 6: Add your size and click preview (Unless you prefere repeating the steps above if you didn’t input the right radius!)

Step 7: Click ok


Step 1: Click new picture content tool. (Short-cut press R)

Step 2: Click to drag to a size you want

Step 3: Menu-Move to file, scroll to import, select the image and open (Short-cut Command+E)

Step 4: Move down to your measurements toolbar and add a number in the box next to the icon, which is an orange corner.

Preview will be shown straight away without any more clicks.

Quick scan of the two clearly shows the result. Quark8 has three less clicks than Indesign. This is just one example of many others that show that Quark8 had thought about designers, how to maximise time so that work can be produced faster equalling more time to do other projects, therefore not only backing up it’s worth but making your day more productive.

We know the inevitable will happen if Indesign is chosen over Quark8, could you really imagine having only one competitor in the race? Competition is a good thing, it helps push ideas, developments and ways of tackling the future in new ways. If there is no one pushing Indesign will it could cause Adobe to become lazy in their developments within the program! Competition is healthy so don’t allow it to be a one-horsed race.

The other point I wanted to address was how are we going help Quark8 improve its popularity, sometimes it’s tempting to charge one price for using Indesign and a cheaper one for using Quark8 for the reason of time saving it can offer, but that wouldn’t be fair on the clients. What are the reasons for jobs being requested in Indesign? Is it purely down to the cost of buying the program in the first place?

Quark8 maybe being left behind but not out of choice it’s because of demand, let’s not let this happen, Quark is too good and shows signs of brilliance when thinking of how designers are working. Convince colleges and clients to download the trial and demonstrate exactly what is on offer to them!

11 Responses to “QuarkXpress Vs Indesign”

  1. James Fritz Says:

    Great breakdown of creating rounded corners, but I would like to clarify a few points.

    First of all, you are comparing out of date software. When this post was written (March ’11), InDesign CS5 had been released for almost a year. As of this post, InDesign CS5.5 and Quark 9 are now released.

    That aside, there is a much more effiecient way to create rounded corners to an image inside both InDesign CS5 (and 5.5) and Quark 8 & 9.

    InDesign CS5/CS5.5

    Step 1. Import a Graphic (cmd/ctrl+D or just drag and drop from the finder, explorer, bridge or mini bridge)
    After the graphic is imported you can click and drag to create the frame that it is placed in.

    Step 2. Create the rounded corner
    Click the yellow diamond on the upper left corner of frame and now you can dynamically change the corners on the object.

    Step 2 alternate. Change the corner options in the control panel

    Step 2 alternate. Object > corner options.
    Change the corner options in the dialog
    (you could also assign an keyboard shortcut to this dialog to jump here quicker).

    Quark 8/9

    Step 1. Import a graphic (cmd/ctrl+e)
    This will place the graphic in the center of the page.

    2. Change the corner options in the measurements palette

    In conclusion, both applications really only need two steps to change the corner properties. However, I would give the edge to InDeign since you can change the properties dynamically on the frame itself by clicking and dragging. It is also possible to change individual corners just as just one rounded or all but one rounded.

    Regardless, I agree that it is good to have competition which drives both companies to improve their respective products the best that they can.

  2. ryan@jordantwigg Says:

    Hi there James,

    Firstly thanks for the comment, we had written the blog before Adobe’s upgrade to CS5 was released but we had a mishap with our database which meant re-posting all our blogs so lost the date in which is was previously done! My Apologies for that error! But yea with recent upgrades to both programs, it’s interesting to see how they are both now trying to make use of the idea of less clicking to make work flow faster.

    Were recently I the process of updating to Quark9 and hopefully going to do a similar comparison and see how they compare, but as you have already shown us, I’m going to have to step up and try and explore another way to show why we feel QuarkXpress is a more useful tool for everyday graphic design.

    My question to you is, are you aware that with the new style of formatting in Quark9, that you can style a box up and once a ‘style’ has been set up, if you was in need of changing all the rounded boxes in your document you could do this in your style sheet and the rest of the document would follow?

    I’m not sure if you can do a similar thing in in CS5.5? Maybe you could let us know if this is possible?

    Thanks again for the Comment

  3. James Fritz Says:

    Hey Ryan,

    I think you are thinking of a few different things. First off, rounded corners in Quark 8/9 can be saved as an item style (edit>item styles). Therefore if you could make the rounded corners in a box and then save it as a style, you could just apply it as needed. If you ever changed the rounded attributes and updated the style, the whole document would update.

    Quark 9 does have a new feature called conditional styles which is similar to InDesigns nested and grep styles. From my limited experience with Quark 9 (I installed it and have used it a little bit, but not a ton) I was under the impression that conditional styles only apply to text. Therefore I don’t think they would make any difference with rounded corners or other graphic effects.

    Back to InDesign. CS5.5 (or 5) does have very similar features. InDesign for many versions has had a feature called object styles. An object style is pretty much the same thing as an item style, but there are some differences. In Quark, item styles can control the size and position of the frames, plus other frame attributes.

    In InDesign, you can’t (sadly) control size and position, however you can control paragraph styles including next style. This is very powerful. For example, you could set up a headline which is followed by a byline, then an intro, then lotos of body text. If you have your paragraph styles setup with next style, and then embed those into the object style, you could just click on a frame of unformatted text and have all of the paragraphs styles applied, plus the frames attributes including rounded corners. Now, you could get most of this with Quark 9’s conditional style features, but you can’t combine it into the item style.

    Back to the question that you asked about changing rounded corners in a doc. The simple answer is just to use item styles in Quark or object styles in InDesign.

    Regardless of which program you use, they are both incredibly powerful.
    FYI – a few sites you should check out if you haven’t already – I write for this blog – Jay Nelson does a great job on this quark blog – I am an author here, but there are over 1000 courses to check out on InDesign, Quark and lots of other topics.

  4. ryan@jordantwigg Says:

    Hi James, and Peter M, thanks for your input,

    Both programs are great, I feel that quark does have a better flow when creating artwork, here at Jordan Twigg design we always feel that the job is done in less time in quark over indesign. Thanks to quark in thinking about time saving I feel they have created a program that deserves more recognition than it gets! Don’t you think?

    What do you both use for creating artwork? And what do you think they could both improve on?

  5. Peter M Says:

    Quark 9 offers one more option than ID CS5 for altering rounded corner shapes in ways ID can’t even do: ShapeMaker.
    1. Create box
    2. Select ShapeMaker from Utilities and go to Rectangles Tab
    3. Set corner styles/sizes all together or individually
    4. Now here’s where it differs: radial and balance features make it so you can create stretched and radially symmetric stretched corners

    This conversation shows me that Quark is giving more design options and more ways to get the job done faster…and I know ID has it’s own advantages other areas so the conclusion is they are indeed both great works of software. Long live competition!

  6. ryan@jordantwigg Says:

    Thanks for the comment Peter M, I agree with you of time saving and that competition is a great thing! My only disappointment is quarkxpress should be respected more witting the design industry!

  7. Peter M Says:

    100% agree, Ryan…Quark deserves a lot more respect! It’s a masterful and monumental work of software engineering and most of what’s good in InDesign was first copied from QuarkXPress. In the last several years, Quark is proving itself the thought leader with more ergonomics and efficiency (fewer mouse miles per design), MUCH better typography controls and out ‘n out innovations such as multiple layout spaces, shared content, job jackets, composition zones, color-based transparency, etc. Adobe is trying to copy these but because InDesign is nothing but a big bag of plug-ins it’s starting to fall apart and can’t keep up. All Adobe has been able to do is to move more features out of Illustrator and Photoshop into PageMaker…so the “total package” hasn’t really improved.

  8. Swiss Designer Says:

    Absolutely true, Ryan. Also agree with Peter M, Typo is better on Quark. I started designing with SuperPaint 😉 in 1989, then I used PageMaker, from 1993 I started using QuarkXPress and it was much better than PageMaker, more precision, less awkward – and even though I tried Indesign several times and made some layouts with it in 2004, I’m back with QuarkXPress ever since, – But I have bought the CS5, and every time when Adobe releases a new update I will look into it, but Adobe just doesn’t seem to be able to make software better, they just load on a lot of new useless features, but won’t do anything to make the workflow better. Also color management on Indesign really is awkward. Adobe is the new Microsoft.

  9. ryan@jordantwigg Says:

    Great line, Alex… “adobe is the new Microsoft” and maybe you could say quark are like apple? They have created a program that thinks about the designer and isn’t just throwing out software for the hell of it!

    Thanks for your comment :-)

  10. Michael Says:

    Hm…. I don’t know about better typography controls… Has Quark figured out the Adobe’s paragraph composer yet? :-) That’s a killer. I would never switch over to Quark knowing the advantages of this one.


  11. jane@jordantwigg Says:

    Hi Michael, Quark has always had the ability to adjust the spacing, letter spacing, hyphenation and single word justification in the same way Indesign does, but to be honest it is not often now that we use justified text. I’ve used Quark for over 20 years and found Quark 8 a great leap forward in time saving and added extras. We do use Indesign for some clients and have never found it a problem using Quark for a majority of our clients.

    However, I can see from a cost point of view why so many designers use Indesign.


Leave a Reply