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Author Topic: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?  (Read 494 times)

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Offline hotmetal

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Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« on: May 14, 2019, 10:06:59 PM »
Anyone have knowledge or experience with this magical software? I had Mark Z's Quark fixer-upper utility in the 1990s. It saved my butt numerous times.

I'm still getting old book layouts in Quark 3 and 4 from my book publishing clients, usually just needing copyright page updates and minor revisions. Last year I took the really really old Quark 3rd and 4th editions of a tour guide to the opening battles of the Revolutionary War, and combined parts from them into a 5th edition. The book's been around for a while, and the 3rd and 4th editions were quite different. This retrieval was a shitload of work. My result came out fabulous. Still in Quark, though.

I've been using Quark 10 for that kind of stuff for quite a while, but just bought the 2018/2019 update when they were having a $100-off sale. Haven't loaded the newer one yet, just wanted to grab it while it was on sale and I had some spare cash.

Having Quark experience — and a current working copy — landed me several publishing clients. After a few revision jobs, they began giving me fresh books to design and layout. Keeps me busy. I like the work. No one standing behind me yelling hurry up because the fool on 1st shift screwed up a job and the press is down, the client's pissed off, and I'm the only one who can save their useless asses. But I digress...

Mark Z's still in the game, but now he rents his apps for $200/year. I find that annoying, but I'm still about to go ahead and pay the $200 for his Quark --> InDesign converter and twist its tail. One of my clients has a whole lot of back list books in Quark and they'll happily pay me if I can successfully convert them to InDesign. In one respect, that means I might not get to work on those books, they do minor stuff in-house if it's InDesign. On the other hand, I won't have to work on those fucking Quark files!

Interestingly, current Quark works pretty good, little has changed in the interface, it still puts a white background and a runaround on every box you create, and still lets you click on fucking bold and italic "styles" even when the font family doesn't have bold and italic versions. They (ahem) look fine on the screen... but the PDFs it natively outputs are good enough that I've never had a complaint from a printer about them. Knock wood.

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Offline Joe

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Re: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 10:54:51 PM »
I know some have used it around here but I haven't. I've heard there are some issues with some reflow at times that still has to be fixed but overall I think people have had good luck with it. I'm sure others will chime in when the sun rises again.
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Offline scottrsimons

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Re: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 11:03:42 AM »
I have used the older Quark 3/4 to InDesign CS4 plugin. And it still works, but there are some issues when converting them. And there is a list of things that change when there are converted.

But as far as the subscription service, they offer a convert as you go option too. Where they will convert the files for you for a fee, in case you do not want to pay for the subscription. I was looking at upgrading our copy, but with how often we use it, and then the cost of the subscription, I chose not too.
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Offline AaronH

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Re: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 01:41:12 PM »
We had the plugin at my old shop for Quark to InDesign but it caused all of the text boxes and everything set to wrap text around objects. You had to go in to every thing and tell it not to do that, or set text boxes to ignore text wrap. It wasn't a huge pain for 1-4p jobs but on the bigger ones, it got annoying.

Edit: Granted this was 4 years ago so a lot might have changed in his plugins.
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Offline Possum

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Re: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 02:36:46 PM »
I have used the older Quark 3/4 to InDesign CS4 plugin. And it still works, but there are some issues when converting them. And there is a list of things that change when there are converted.

But as far as the subscription service, they offer a convert as you go option too. Where they will convert the files for you for a fee, in case you do not want to pay for the subscription. I was looking at upgrading our copy, but with how often we use it, and then the cost of the subscription, I chose not too.

When you say Quark 3/4, do you mean version 3 and 4? If so, have you tried opening the files directly from InDesign? I believe that was possible until Quark 5. You may have different results.
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Offline scottrsimons

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Re: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 03:49:35 PM »
When you say Quark 3/4, do you mean version 3 and 4? If so, have you tried opening the files directly from InDesign? I believe that was possible until Quark 5. You may have different results.

Yes, I did mean version 3 and 4. And I don't think I've tried opening them directly in InDesign. What version of InDesign supported this?
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Offline Joe

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Re: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 05:08:19 PM »
Something Like InDesign 1.5 or 2. I think Adobe abandoned it pretty early on.
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Offline DCurry

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Re: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 09:55:55 AM »
...it still puts a white background and a runaround on every box you create...
I seem to remember you could change the default settings - with no documents open, double-click the picture box tool and change settings to whatever you want it to be moving forward. Then any new box you draw will have your preferred settings.
It might just be valid on new documents - existing documents may retain their preferences.

(I don't have Q anymore so I can't verify any of this!)
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Offline hotmetal

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Re: Anyone using the Markzware Quark —> InDesign converter?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2019, 07:38:23 PM »
OK, I rented the converter for a year and so far done 2 large books with many images, originally in Quark 3. They were made as multiple Quark files (because back then if you made too big of a document your system would get very slow and eventually crash, screwing up the file... which is where MarkZware's Quark utility back in the '90s might save your ass) and I ran them through the Markzware converter one by one, then combined them in InDesign. Some reflow, easily fixed but you do have to go page by page looking for it. Helps to have a printed copy of the original to compare to. Problems with master pages being named the same but containing different elements from file to file. Same with style sheets. All fixable.

Other people seem to be using it, there's a lot of "gosh wow oh boy!" postings at Mark Z's webpage. Don't think I even saw any negative ones. Pretty sure I can get my $200 back, but by year's end no longer have that client, since they do have someone who knows how to work in InDesign.

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