Content Conversion: Save Time and Money

Content Conversion: Save Time and Money

Markzware has Q2ID, the Adobe InDesign plugin to convert QuarkXPress to Adobe InDesign. (Markzware also offers software to convert InDesign to QuarkXPress, to convert Microsoft Publisher to InDesign, and more.) This Adobe Certified instructor and expert describes these Markzware products:

Markzware Q2ID User, Chad Chelius, Adobe Certified Instructor, Expert, Chelius Graphic ServicesBy Chad Chelius

As an Adobe Certified Instructor and Adobe Certified Expert for American Graphics Institute (AGI) training, I spend my days teaching folks how to use — and make the most of — creative applications, like those developed by Adobe Systems and Quark.

It is encouraging to see competition among creative applications, giving users a choice. Whether that competition is between QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign — or on the Web front, between products like Dreamweaver and Expression, or Flash and Silverlight — having a choice is a good thing for the market. It keeps the developers of those programs motivated to meet our needs. It pushes them to innovate quickly, but responsibly.

When InDesign came on the scene, it meant that graphic designers had a choice of creative applications, but also some new challenges. For new adopters of InDesign, the question became: What to do with all the legacy files that were created in QuarkXPress, or how to handle third-party contributed content that may be in the form of native Quark files?”

For Quark loyalists, the reverse was suddenly true, as well, with native InDesign files popping up in their workflow. And, for a while, there was really no real resolution or alternative than to simply rebuild files in one application or another, reassembling the document from the ground up.

Fortunately, this dilemma didn’t go unnoticed for long, and one developer — Santa Ana, CA-based Markzware — stepped up to the plate and brought us two little, unassuming (and inexpensive) tools called Q2ID (QuarkXPress to Adobe InDesign) and ID2Q (Adobe InDesign to QuarkXPress).

This plug-in to Adobe InDesign and Quark XTension, respectively, perform just as their name suggests—converting digital content from one native application to the other. They couldn’t be easier to use. Once you’ve installed Q2ID, for example, simply launch InDesign, and click on File, then Open, and choose the QuarkXPress file you wish to open. The document will open and be ready to work on in InDesign immediately, with its elements (texts and graphics), dimensions and formatting preserved. Markzware’s ID2Q works just as easily.

Is the conversion always flawless? No. With more complex files, I have found that there may be some small anomalies when the document is opened in the new application. And when I recommend these Markzware tools to my students, I forewarn them that they should temper their expectations when doing any kind of file conversion. For example, type may re-wrap, or other minor idiosyncrasies. After all, you’re talking about two different programs with completely different type engines. But using these tools will at least get you 95% of the way there. When faced with the alternative of rebuilding an entire document from scratch, that small consolation is easily justified.

The third application that sometimes, regretfully, gets thrown into a graphic designer’s workflow is Microsoft Publisher. These files seem to be more prevalent today because the application is bundled with some of the higher-end Microsoft Office suites. This puts basic page layout in the hands of consumers, and often, injects problematic files into the workflow. Microsoft Publisher files are notorious for being troublesome at the prepress stages of print production.

Markzware also addressed the Microsoft Publisher to Adobe InDesign conversion challenge with its plug-in, Pub2ID.

As a graphic artist, part of your responsibility to your employer or client is to work as expeditiously as possible — without compromising creativity or quality, of course. Any tool that lives up to its promise to shave hours from a job that would otherwise be spent unnecessarily rebuilding documents is well worth the investment.

Q2ID saves time and money when you need to convert Quark to Adobe InDesign. Markzware’s Quark to InDesign plugin for data conversion is available via the Q2ID page. See more data conversion software on the Markzware Products page.

Content Conversion: Save Time and Money

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