Working with Stylesheet and color palate in QuarkXPress.

Posted in by Nazrul Islam . Filed in Graphics Design


Welcome to our Magazine design with QuarkXPress series again. In this tutorial we’ll learn how to make/edit stylesheet for faster magazine production. We’ll also learn some other basic task like as color palate creation. Previously we got familiar ourself with standalone character and paragraph formatting, but its not enough. It will take a lot of time to format all text manually. Once we create a stylesheet we can apply it to our text and get targeted formatting quickly. Yes we are going to create a complete set of stylesheet for heading, highlight, paragraph and item styling. First starts with item styling, look at this picture below.

QuarkXPress Item styling.

Here we have a complete page mockup contains image and text. Nothing special, All images has 1px black color frame border (marked 1). And a picture box with drop shadow in spotted on marked 2. We can manually set these styles from measurement palate. But if your going to set 1px frame border with 300 pictures in a 100 page magazine, it will take at least couple of hour. Thats why are going to create item stylesheet, Actually if you take a look at previous picture, you might notice that I’ve already created Item Stylesheet and it assign with a Option+Keypad 1/2 shortcut showing on Item Styles panel. To create a item style click on + button on Item Style panel, a new item style dialog box will appear up, you’ll find all measurement panel  option and shortcut setting for this item. A sample setting for Drop shadow item box shown next picture. QuarkXpress item stylesheet

General tab (marked 1) contains basic information about Stylesheet. We can set keyboard shortcut in Keyboard Equivalent field, we’ve set Option/ALT + 1 for drop shadow picture box. Any existing item stylesheet can be applied as a master style on Based On field. As an example, we use another stylesheet for frame border in picture box item, if we need same frame in our drop shadow item style, we don’t need to repeat setting frame border style here. All we have to do assign picture box item styling as a master on Based On field. Other tab contains all measurement palate’s option for line, runaround etc. For demonstration have a look at marked 2 box, Drop shadow setting for a box item shown their. Even you can set a clipping image setting in Clipping tab.

Lets start creating stylesheet for heading, highlight and body text. Text styling separated into two parts, Character Stylesheet and Paragraph Stylesheet. Charcter Stylesheet defined font size, font family, font color and other character styling attributes. Quark-Charcter-Stylesheet

A set of stylesheet shown in right picture. Single line heading could be done with only Character stylesheet, multiline heading required paragraph stylesheet along with character styling. We don’t need to apply multiple stylesheet, Paragraph stylesheet has a setting for its character stylesheet. Procedure is first make a character stylesheet then apply on Paragraph stylesheet Based on field.

Paragraph and Character stylesheet creation is similar as item stylesheet, Im not repeating this process again, have a look at picture shown below contains a set of Paragraph & Character stylesheet setting. We define style rule in Character and Paragraph stylesheet and assign a short cut.

Quark stylesheet

When text is imported from MSWORD, due to unformatted text some time stylesheet doesn’t work properly. To get rid of this problem copy text then  Paste special> Unformatted text to a new MSWORD document. Import text again and click no style then apply your targeted stylesheet. Creating a complete set of Stylesheet may require a lot of  time, but its primary basement of layout, using it in production environment mockup can be done with ease. We don’t need to create stylesheet everyday, Once it created in any document, we can import stylesheet from existing QuarkXpress document. Click on Edit>Stylesheet then append stylesheet from your existing document like this picture.

Quark append stylesheet

Quark has a similar Layer panel as like Adobe Photoshop. You can put your text and image in multiple layer to them separate, but I personally I don’t use it most often. Another Important thing is creating color palate. Color palate doesn’t show with Quark’s default setting, Enable it from panel’s setting and create a custom set of color palate as your design planning. It has only four basic color by default, but remember to creating on CMYK color. Don’t click on spot color option unless you had a plan for using a separate color plate in CTP. Printing cost will increase if you use too many spot color.

Thats all for today, create a Stylesheet set and Color palate for your magazine. See you in next topic with some advance topic.


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