QuarkXPress to Adobe InDesign

QuarkXPress.jpegQ2ID (QuarkXPress to Adobe InDesign) $199 is a plug-in for Adobe InDesign. It provides users a quick and easy way to migrate their QuarkXPress content into a new Adobe InDesign document. The conversion is enabled with a single click using InDesign File->Open.

Unfortunately Q2ID isn’t available for CS3 yet, and having just installed CS3 that was a little disappointing. That said I have been looking at this version for some time now so I came to the conclusion that the best thing to do was to review it, and then hopefully do a comparison review when the CS3 version is ready.

But, and it is a pretty big but, this is a really hard application to review! You see ‘all’ it does is provide a conduit to convert any document created in QuarkXPress to a new document in Adobe InDesign. Now we might have something to get our teeth into if it was complicated, or required some mystical secret handed down from one generation of designer to another, but nope – single click the InDesign’s File > Open command and ……………… that’s it! Sure the document now has a .indd extension but so what.

So in reality it is a bridge. It gets you from one point to another. It does exactly what you would want from a bridge, and lets be honest who really pays any attention to the bridge when you cross it?

That actually is the strength of Q2ID – it’s simplicity! There are all kind of fancy and ‘exciting’ things going on underneath the surface but you don’t need to know anything about them!

Open a Quark File in Adobe InDesign

Edit the opened Quark Document

Easy as it may be there is no guarantee of perfection of every time (* see below), in fact it is fair to assume you will have some degree of tidying up to do with each conversion, but it is still a lot easier than having to do it all the ‘log way’ …. so more of a bridge with a toll, that is still a lot quicker and easier than the alternative route around the river.

I wanted to get a second opinion so I got a good friend, Mike Hubbart, to give me his views:

I’ve been to a number of companies that started with an early release of one particular package and stayed with it for many years – upgrades are easier and no need to spend training dollars for employees. And I’ve been to other companies that change software every time they change managers, since some managers want their people to use something more familiar to that manager, so they would convert the company materials to a different software package.

The two Mac DTP packages with the largest markets hare are QuarkXPress and InDesign. Both are pricy (over $600 USD), the UIs and data file formats are different, and each package has quirks that take time to master. Many freelancers writers choose to specialize in QuarkXPress or InDesign, but I decided to maximize my potential customer base so I work with QuarkXPress 7.x and InDesign CS2/CS3.

Since Quark and Adobe are competitors, the file formats for QuarkXPress and InDesign are different. Something that could help freelancers supporting efforts to migrate from one vendor to another would be a tool that would read the format of one into the other vendor’s DTP tool. Enter Q2ID.

Q2ID is a plugin that lets InDesign CS2 read QuarkXPress 7.x files. Easy to install, the plugin requires a license to activate it, and you are prompted for that license number when you start InDesign, until the number is entered or the trial period expires. After I installed the plugin, I launched InDesign CS2 and was able to open a file created in QuarkXPress. I could edit the elements just as if I’d created the project in InDesign. Simple. No new commands, I just started InDesign, selected File – Open menus, then selected the QuarkXPress file and it was available for editing. Precisely the correct tool for a company migrating one or many Quark files to Adobe.
For clients needs to go the other way – InDesign to Quark – Markzware has a package called ID2Q that provides InDesign to Quark migration support. Both of these products useful for format migrations, and neither are as expensive as buying either DTP application.

The only caveat I have is regarding the supported version InDesign. This version of the software only supports CS2, not CS3. CS3 was just recently released, so ths probably isn’t a concern for most people, but you should be aware before you decide to order this product. This software is easy to install and use and is reasonably priced – the $500 price difference between the software and additional desktop publishing software can go towards something more useful or more fun. The Q2ID plugin is worth the price and consideration by the target audience.

Product Overview

Intricate details of the content within the QuarkXPress document are instantly re-created within InDesign. Items converted from Quark include: page positioning, color models, fonts and styles, images, and text attributes as well as tables, layers, blends, runarounds, linked text boxes & anchored boxes, pantone colors and other color models.

The Q2ID (QuarkXPress to Adobe InDesign) document conversion technology saves countless hours of scanning, re-keying and formatting. This product will convert and transform files created from within QuarkXPress on either the Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh OS, into an Adobe InDesign file, which then can be opened on both platforms.

* It is important to note that even though Q2ID provides many benefits, conversion is not perfect. This is because manufacturers of Desktop Publishing applications have their own, unique methods of text rendering. Therefore, text flow will not be 100%. Depending on the use of custom kerning, tracking, leading, etc., more or less rework may be required, but some rework will always be required. We suggest that all converted documents are proofed before output.

System Requirements

• InDesign CS to CS2 (CS3 is not supported at this time)
• OS X.4 and higher
• Power Macintosh G4 and higher
• Windows XP or higher (Vista is not supported at this time)
• Pentium III and higher
• 128 MB of RAM, 250 MB of free Hard Disk space

1 thought on “QuarkXPress to Adobe InDesign

  1. Darren Rolfe

    Wow, my first shout on the new site! I’m feeling emotional.

    Any way let’s get to done to business…

    I’m glad you chose to mention the fact that these conversions are a bit and miss, a very important point. In my experience you can get some crazy results and then other times get a near perfect conversion.

    As long as you are converting from Quark to Indesign you are going the right way!

    In my humble opinion!

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