QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher Tips and Tricks

QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher Tips and Tricks

Many QuarkXPress users, like retired graphic designer, Bill Kocher, are migrating their Quark layouts to something else, like Adobe InDesign or Affinity Publisher. Here’s a few tips and tricks on how easy it is to go from QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher. With extra focus on longer, more textual layouts, such as books or magazines. Areas where some touching-up may be needed.

From cow gum to digital DTP - QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher-FINAL
Video: Gum to Digital DTP – QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher – graphic designer Bill Kocher – YouTube

You can watch the full video interview we did with Bill Kocher, at
Did you know what “cow gum” was?!

QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher

What to watch out for when converting …
Markzware’s QXPMarkz app opens QuarkXPress files in many other apps & file formats

As you saw in the video, QXPMarkz converts QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher, with a click. The conversion is fantastic, but there are some areas to which you should pay attention. For instance, text flow. Ron Crandall, co-founder and chief engineer for Markzware, explains:

Affinity Publisher flows text differently than QuarkXPress and InDesign.
Here are some factors to consider, but first I should mention that a lot
of the “problems” are on the user’s side and that they need to learn
and keep in mind all of the differences, if they want to convert their
document to another app.

1. Page Breaks
One can set a Page Break, so the text stops, at that point, and jumps
to the next text box in the chain. If the Page Break is at the very bottom
of the text box, a sentence could spill to the next box and then the
Page Break would jump, leaving the page mostly empty, not to mention
causing the text flow of the rest of the document to be messed up.

2. Keep
A paragraph can have Keep settings, so that it is never split in the middle,
to spill to the next box. This, too, can cause unwanted page breaks,
throughout the document. Keep settings include always keeping
a previous paragraph together with the paragraph, so they are never split.

3. Justification
Alignment such as Full Justify and Justify Last Line, as well as the
Vertical Justification for the text box, can cause lines of text to be
displayed as separated, as if a large Leading was applied.

4. Runarounds
Sometimes, a picture box is placed on top of a text box, as opposed
to being inserted as an Anchored box, which can cause the text
to flow in unwanted ways, especially if the picture box has a runaround,
or the text flow itself was messed up from a setting on a previous page.

Another limitation, with a work-around: Apparently Affinity Publisher does not honor the “Text Wrap Only Affects Text Beneath” Preference so the text box for example at the top-left on page 1 should display the word “Daphne”. Drag the box upwards and you will eventually see the text appear. One might need to go back into QuarkXPress and turn on “Ignore Wrap” for the text boxes, or turn off the Wrap for the image below.The easiest solution is to bring up the Text Wrap panel in Affinity Publisher from Text->Text Wrap, select the cat image on page 1 and select Inside or Edge Wrap and then all of the text will appear.

The bottom-line is, the IDML we create, via QXPMarkz, can be considered to be “exact” and all text flow issues have to do with the nature of how an app calculates the text. What this means is the user will, sometimes, need to do some manual adjustments. For example, one can widen a text box, or make it slightly taller, and this alone might fix the bulk of any text flow issues.

Another solution is to select All text (or edit a Style Sheet), to change the Justification or Keep settings. Another possible solution is to remove the Page Breaks (especially ones at the very bottom of the text box), so that the entire Story can flow naturally. The text may not look exactly the same as the original document, but it would probably eliminate most issues where pages are partially empty.

One might even find that the AutoInsertPage is set, so additional pages that are added to the end of the document of the chain end with overflow text. If one then makes adjustments, you could end up with several entirely blank pages at the end, which would then need to be deleted.

One thing about Quark Preview, via QXPMarkz, is that it does not actually “chain” the text boxes. Some boxes, though, can end up in the Preview with an “overflow,” but the overall flow is maintained.

When Affinity Publisher converts an IDML, it does not have that information. So, it has to calculate everything, resulting in text that can flow quite differently from the original document.

It should also be noted that you cannot export as XML from Affinity Publisher. With no possibility of importing tagged text from QuarkXPress documents, this is challenging for many professionals, including those in the document translation business.

So, there are some things to be aware of, when going from QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher. For those that need a way to get simple (or less text rich) documents from QuarkXPress to Affinity Publisher, then, QXPMarkz is the way.

It will convert the text, but some touching up may be needed, for the document to be 100% like it was. But, in general, it is a great start! Perfect for retired graphic designers, to convert their QXP publishing layouts to something they can afford, like Affinity Publisher. If this sounds like you, then, QXPMarkz is here to assist you.

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