If, like me, you have turned your back on Adobe’s software rental scheme, the best option for designing and producing both print and electronic publications is QuarkXPress 2015. Quark has wisely kept to the traditional model of product purchase and perpetual licensing, with periodic paid-for updates.
QuarkXPress 2016 has now been announced in detail, and is promised for “the second quarter” of 2016, which could mean any time from April onwards.
This sounds to be a real major release, with a lot of substantial new features. Those which have caught my eye already include a new simpler colour picker, creation and export of HTML5 publications, and pasting from other apps – “even InDesign” Quark says, tongue-in-cheek – as Native QuarkXPress Objects.
The finer print listing includes support for OpenType Stylistic Sets, trackpad support for pinch and zoom, improved footnotes, and support for ICCv4 profiles. Quark also promises that XTensions for the 2015 version should still work fine with 2016.
Existing owners of QuarkXPress 2015 should have received an email offer from Quark for reduced-price upgrades from 2015 to 2016. If you own an older version of QuarkXPress – or do not have a copy at all – then you can take advantage of current deals to buy the 2015 version now, and you will then get a free upgrade to 2016 as soon as it ships.
I am sometimes quite slow to respond to upgrade offers like these. However I have already paid £149 + VAT to pre-order my upgrade. Once 2016 ships, the cost of upgrading will rise to around £299 + VAT. By comparison, Adobe InDesign CC costs £17.15 per month inclusive of VAT, or £45.73 per month for the whole suite of apps. That makes the annual cost including taxes, assuming that QuarkXPress has a paid-for update each year:
- £178.80 for QuarkXPress,
- £205.80 for InDesign CC alone,
- £548.76 for Adobe CC complete.
And what’s more, I like QuarkXPress so much more than InDesign, which by CS6 had grown stodgy, clumsy, and tedious to use.