QuarkXPress document setup and exploring user interface.

Posted in by Nazrul Islam . Filed in Graphics Design


Hello and welcome to our first practical lesson to Magazine design with QuarkXPress. In this tutorial we’ll learn some basic QuarkXPress task like exploring user interface and document setup for our magazine, we’ll also learn creating text and image box etc.

I expect that you already know how to open QuarkXPress! A ridicules asking isn’t it? Any one, who has basic computer knowledge already know how to open a program. I hope you already install QuarkXPress and may be open it several times. In that case, does this picture looks similar to you?

quark document setup

Every time this welcome dialog box (marked 1) will appear up until we checked the ‘Don’t Show Again’ checkbox. From this welcome dialog box we can create new file by Clicking Create >Project, new project dialog box shown in picture 2. If you already disabled welcome dialog box, go to File>New>Project alternatively use shortcut CMD+N/CTRL+N. I’m using Mac, so most time I’ll stick with CMD in keyboard shortcut, replace it with CTRL if you’re in Windows.

Now concentrate in New Project window again, After setting layout name to Magazine, we chose Print in layout type as we creating a print magazine. App Studio and ePub also available in this drop down selection box.

Next Option is Single Layout Mode checkbox, this checkbox basically checked for single page newspaper or brochure. We had a plan for multiple page magazine so didn’t checked it. For magazine size we set A4 the most common magazine size in Page section, leaving orientation to default portrait and checked the Facing Pages option, which will give us a spread sheet for every 2 pages. Other two checkbox stand for Odd page left and Automatic text box, we don’t need it.

In margin and guides we set top margin to 1 inch considering a sticker and bottom .75 inch for page number. Inside and Outside margin left on .5 inch. Columns and gutter width sets to 1 and 0.143 inch. We can change these setting in master page layout later in case any necessary. Hit ok button and have a look at user interface.

QuarkXpress defult interface

* Main art board is marked as one on the picture. This is printable area, any object like text or image whatever placed outside this area will not printed. Now let’s learn some shortcut to faster navigate the art board. If you want to zoom in or out the art board  press CMD+ or CMD-, alternatively use CMD+1 to zoom selected object or CMD+0 to fit art board to window. Suppose you are zoomed enough that can’t see another object, press Option/ALT and drag mouse to next object. Its pretty much useful as well as faster in large document navigation especially when correction is going on.

* Number two is panel window pretty much similar to others adobe’s software. This panel is almost blank now, we’ll make it useful by defining stylesheet and colour plate for styling text and image attribute. More option could be added from panel setting icon, positioned in very right-top in layer window. Click on panel’s setting button and turn on colour plate.

* Measurement palate shown in mark three. This is most important palate, this palate used to character and paragraph formatting as well as item styling, making drop shadow, aligning object and many more. Measurement palate’s tab changed with selected item’s attribute.

If you are a existing QuarkXPress user on MAC platform you will find a little change, modify menu is absent in version 10 on MAC as a part of cocoa migration.The Modify dialog, the Character Attributes dialog, and the Paragraph Attributes dialog box are removed consisting with modify menu. All of their functionality and shortcut mapped in measurement palate.

* The tool box spotted as number four in the picture. It contains Select, text, image and link tool and so on. Hover mouse on every tool, a tooltip will show its equivalent shortcut.

Let’s play with some text. Select text tool on tool box or press T,text-box-quark then drag two box(one for heading another for article) on art board. After creating boxes, type some simple text in heading box. Probably you don’t have enough time to fill up article box by typing. Select article box and go to Utilities> Insert Placeholder Text. Article box will fill up with some dummy text. Both heading and article box shown in right picture.

Now if you want to delete these boxes normally Del key works when item selected. But Del key won’t work in text editing mode, press CMD+K to delete text box in editing mode.

Did you notice that I make  heading font a little bit larger then article text? To make font size larger we can use measurement’s palate Character tab. But it always useful to use some shortcut for these task. You don’t have enough time to change font size 20 times to fit the box properly. Use CMD+Option+Shift+> to increase font size by 1px, CMD+Option+Shift+< do the reverse, it decrease font size by 1px.

quark-mockupHow about to place a image inside the article box and give the page a magazine look? Press R or select Image tool and drag a box on top-right corner of article box. Press CMD+E to import picture to box, a dialog box will appear up. select your image. Probably your selected image is too large for the box,in that case right-click and select Fit image to box. Image will scale to box itself, alternatively you can press CMD+Option+Shift+F.

Total mockup shown in right picture. We will learn more about styling image and text when we dig measurements palate a bit dipper. Thats all for today, practice all technic and shortcut several times mentioned in this lesson. If find any difficulties regarding this topic, make yourself comfortable to commenting your problem .


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