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Quark recently pre-announced their upcoming QuarkXPress 2016 release. We know that many of Extensis customers rely upon QuarkXPress for your publishing needs.

The following is the Extensis support plan for the upcoming QuarkXPress 2016 release.

Suitcase Fusion

On June 21, 2016 we released an update (version 18.1) that added compatibility with QuarkXPress 2016.

Universal Type Server

We are working with Quark to ensure our Universal Type Client font auto-activation plugins are compatible with their upcoming 2016 release. It’s our plan to have an updated plugin as soon as possible after the 2016 release is publicly available.

NOTE: Universal Type Server has been updated to a new version fully compatible with QuarkXPress 2016.

If you want QuarkXPress 2016 pre-release XTensions, please visit this Extensis Forums Post.

Note that these plug-ins are pre-release and may have some untested issues.

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Quark-LogoUPDATED August 17, 2015

The QuarkXPress 2015 XTension for Suitcase Fusion 6 on both OS X and Windows is now available.

Download the plug in separately for Suitcase Fusion on OS X from the Suitcase Fusion support page.

The QuarkXPress 2015 XTension for Suitcase Fusion 6 on Windows is included in the most recent Windows installer, version 17.2. Use the Check for Updates feature or download the most recent installer from the Suitcase Fusion support page to get the new XTension.

XTensions for Universal Type Client 5 on OSX is now available in the version 5.2 installer. Please download and install the new client to get the new plug-in.

An XTension for the Universal Type Client on Windows is still in development. Please check back here in the coming week for an update.

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Suitcase Fusion 2 for WindowsI’m excited to see Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows come out as the second new Extensis font management product since I joined the company back in April. After all, it was almost two years ago that I wrote about how and why “Windows font management has sucked” for my Adobe blog.

The main thing is that finally, the Windows version of Extensis’ flagship font management application has parity with the Mac version. That’s huge, and the list of features is as long as your arm. The one feature I still can’t get over is the tear-off previews (check it out here, or see the Quicktime version).

Now, if you want to get picky, there are a tiny handful of differences between the Mac and Windows versions of the application, mostly related to differences between the operating system capabilities themselves. There are a couple of things the Mac version has which are lacking on the Windows version (export fonts by dragging to the desktop, and instantly activate with over-rides by dragging fonts onto the Dock icon), and there are a couple of things the Windows version has that the Mac version does not yet have (auto-activation plug-ins for CS2 apps in addition to CS3 and 4, recognizes and previews .TTC fonts in the system fonts folder). But it really is the same application for two different platforms, with general overall feature parity.

I’ve occasionally heard complaints about the stability/reliability of (older versions of) Suitcase. I’ll say right now that I take quality very seriously, and I am not going to ship a product I expect to be embarrassed by. I feel very lucky in that the underlying code for the Suitcase Fusion 2 products is shared with the Universal Type Server product line. This code was written from scratch a couple of years ago, to be stable and scalable enough for a client/server environment. Now we’ve had two versions of Universal Type Server out the door, so that code is fairly mature… without being antique.

In other news, with Windows 7 just around the corner, you might be wondering what the chances are that the app will run properly on Windows 7? After all, font management hooks into the operating system at a pretty low level, and there is new font-related functionality in Windows 7.

Well, since Windows 7 isn’t shipping to end users yet, we don’t list it as a supported operating system. But we (okay, actually Clint—thanks, man!) did a lot of testing on Windows 7, including on the version that went GM and is supposed to ship. We did just as much testing on Windows 7 as on Vista, in fact! We didn’t find any issues specific to Windows 7 that were left un-fixed, either. So unless something quite surprising happens, we’ll add “Windows 7” to the list of supporting operating systems when it ships.

Anyway, I’ve been running Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows on a day-to-day basis for weeks now on my laptop, and I’m very happy with it. I hope you enjoy it, too. You can try out the Windows or Mac version for free for up to 30 days, so why not give it a whirl?

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Macworld Award Nomination.It has been a great week here at Extensis, not only did Thomas Phinney join the Extensis team, but we also found out that we had been nominated for a prestigious Macworld Award.

Our client/server font management solution, Universal Type Server has been nominated in the Best Creative Design Software Category, alongside products including QuarkXPress 8 and Photoshop CS4. As you can see we are in good company so it’s likely to be a close call, although I know where my vote would go! :o)

The winners will be announced at the Macworld Awards ceremony, which are being held on the 18th June at the prestigious Honorable Artillery Company (HAC) in London. Hopefully it will be our lucky night!

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You’ve probably been there before. Whether it’s in a classroom, prepress shop or elsewhere, someone has told you that if you use the Bold and Italic buttons in QuarkXPress, fire will rain down from the sky and your document will implode like never before. While this might not necessarily be the case, the truth is a bit more complicated, and has a lot to do whether you’re using QuarkXPress on a Mac or on a PC.

QuarkXPress Product Manager, Dan Logan recently posted some valuable information on the Quark forums about this very topic. And to spread the info to all of you, I’ve included it here.

The problem here is that many people equate the bold & italic buttons to faux transformations in all cases. For example in Kurt Lang’s post he says “In Quark, pressing the Bold, Italic or other styles in the tool bar applies a faked version of the effect to the standard font”. This is not true in all cases. In Scott’s post referenced above he explains how in certain cases you can apply bold or italic via the button and still get an intrinsic instance (“intrinsic” is what we call it when you’re using a font that has the style built-in rather than applying a “faux” transformation to the base font). In fact on Windows you may be required to use the buttons to get the intrinsic font. The difference stems from differences in how the platforms deal with building font menus, which we rely on the OS for since we don’t load the fonts directly.

Also I would say it’s untrue to imply that ALL PostScript RIPs choke on faux bold and italic. Sure, it’s better practice to always use intrinsic fonts, but these days many RIPs and prepress shops can handle those transformations without blowing up. I would argue for intrinsic fonts more as a typographic consideration — faux italics in particular are just plain ugly.

So what is a designer to do? If you’re working on the Mac then we’ll always show all available fonts in the menu (at least the ones the OS tells us are available using the Carbon APIs — this is a different issue). The only exception to this rule is legacy suitcase fonts and dfonts, which may hide intrinsic instances from the menu. So you can’t go wrong by selecting the proper font from the menu; however, in some cases you can also use the key commands and buttons for bold and italic and still get the intrinsic font. On the Mac we’ll only apply a faux transformation if you apply that style and the corresponding font family doesn’t have a bold or italic instance. If you’re unsure then check in Usage > More Information and confirm whether or not the name of the real font file being used is normal or bold/italic. For example, if you’re using the same font all the time and you know it contains intrinsic bold and italic then you’ll probably want to use the keyboard commands to apply them rather than selecting them from the font menu every time.

If you’re on Windows then it’s even trickier because you may have intrinsic styles loaded and they’re not even shown in the font menu. In this case you can still use the Usage dialog to confirm it and then use those fonts with the bold/italic buttons without worrying.

Here at Quark we realize that this is a huge pain and causes a lot of confusion. We are working to solve this problem and make sure that you can more easily tell when you’re using an intrinsic instance of a font rather than a faux transformation, and we want to introduce a mode whereby faux transformations are prohibited entirely (based on customer preference). So help is on the way, I just can’t commit to a timeframe.

So, sounds like the the whole confusing topic might be cleared up in the future. I’d like to cast my vote for adding a preference to always use the intrinsic fonts!

I want my QuarkXPress 8

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QuarkXPress 8 Box

We know it is key to many of your jobs. Whether you’ve upgraded yet or not, you want to know if Quark 8 will be supported. Yes. Of course, yes.

QuarkXPress 8 auto-activation plug-ins are coming in the next releases of both Universal Type Server and Suitcase Fusion. I can’t tell you precisely when, but I can say “Coming to a theater near you- Fall 2008”.

We’re working fast. I’ll keep you updated.

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X-Ray Universal Type Server Review

If you are a QuarkXPress enthusiast, you are probably already familiar with X-Ray Magazine, it’s a cornucopia of information for desktop-publishing, design and printing experts.

X-Ray Magazine recently completed a very comprehensive review of Universal Type Server and posted it on their site. If you’re interested to see what others have to say about our newest solution, swing on over for a deeper understanding of how Universal Type Server can solve your Server-based font management issues. Universal Type Server: When 1+1=3

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IT-EnquirerWas going through my Inbox last night and came across this gem that I had previously overlooked. The UK publication, IT-Enquirer recently published a 40 page report comparing the three major editorial workflow systems on the market – Quark Publishing System version 7, Softcare’s K4 and WoodWing Software’s Smart Connection Enterprise. Both K4 and Smart Connection Enterprise are built to work with Adobe InDesign and InCopy in contrast to the Quark solution.

In the past the IT-Enquirer has tilted heavily toward the Quark publishing solutions, and this review contains no big surprises in that respect. Though, that does not necessarily mean that this report should be neglected. It does go through the majority of the salient points about each of the solutions, and is definitely a worthy read if you are considering the implementation of a text-driven workflow system.

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IT-EnquirerIT-Enquirer, a European site that covers the digital publishing industry, has published a report that covers the “productivity, creativity and efficiency” of Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress. They basically compared the time that it takes to complete a number of common tasks in each piece of software, and also included some thoughtful analysis of tasks that can’t be best measured in the time that it takes to complete them.

The report is very detailed, and for many creative-types will likely be some dry reading. It will be most useful for those who are looking to compare design software solutions across whole departments. The report heavily favors (spoiler alert!) QuarkXPress for most tasks. Though, I’m sure that depending upon prior knowledge of the software, this would surely vary on a case-by-case basis. In the short run, I doubt that this will sway the entrenched user either way as any learning curve would likely eat away any potential benefit. In the long run, it’s always good to keep in mind who’s making the publishing workflow more efficient.

To receive a free copy of the 34-page report, it takes just a second to register with IT-Enquirer.

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X-Ray MagazineFor those of you who are fans of all things Quark, you’ll be happy to hear that the definitive QuarkXPress publication, X-Ray Magazine is once again being published in PDF format.

This issue covers a wide range of topics, from using AppleScript with images to a review of 7 common Quark XTensions.

Download the newest issue of X-Ray here (PDF, of course).

As a related issue, if you rely upon XTensions to auto-activate fonts in QuarkXPress , be sure to check out the following page for the most current versions compatible with version 7.

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