QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Discuss functionality of QuarkXPress 2018.
QuarkXPress 2018 will be released on May 16, 2018.

QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby Kal » 19 Mar 2018, 21:43

Hi guys

First post here. I haven't used QuarkXPress since version 3 point something, when I was just a green young designer fresh out of uni. When InDesign came out, I was super impressed and an early adopter as I began my own business. Quark was the overpriced, under-performing product I just couldn't wait to get away from.

Well how times have changed. I, like many others, refuse to walk under Adobe's dark cloud, knowing full well that 'once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny'. So, like many others, I've been dabbling with Affinity products. There's some good stuff happening there, but plenty of frustration too. InDesign CS6 is only just limping along in High Sierra, and the writing is on the wall. So here I am, two decades later, considering switching back to QuarkXPress. It's a somewhat surreal feeling.

I just watched the QuarkXPress 2018 major features video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7nj6qyTGLw), and what can I say, it seems to deserve a serious look. However, one thing in particular concerns me, and I hope I can get an honest answer from those of you familiar with both InDesign and Quark…

InDesign's (multi-line) Paragraph Composer is good, no question, and it's been there since version 1 if I remember correctly. (I did once discover a bug in it, which Adobe reluctantly admitted, but 99.9% of the time, it does its job superbly.) That, coupled with InDesign's flexible hyphenation and justification settings, takes so much manual work out of typesetting. When working with justified text, I typically create a main body style, one for better spacing, one for fewer hyphens, another for tighter spacing, and 9 times out of 10, one of those will handle even the most painful paragraph beautifully. I'm concerned about losing this if I switch to Quark.

I noticed a couple of things in that video. At 8:42, you can see Quark's Hyphenation and Justification settings, and the first thing I notice is that there is no glyph scaling. In InDesign, I have found it useful to introduce just the tiniest amount of potential glyph scaling (e.g. 99%, 100%, 101%) into some styles, to help massage those difficult paragraphs. The amounts are so small as to be imperceptible to most people, and totally worth it if it means fixing up some obvious ugliness.

The other concern starts at around 7:00. At 7:25, the presenter switches from 'Strictness 5' to 3 and says, 'Have a look what happens to the text'. Eek. What happens, is that some ugly white spaces open up in the text! The German (middle) column is an absolute shocker to be blunt. Not only are there some big spaces in that first paragraph, but it's just riddled with consecutive hyphens. This makes me seriously doubt Quark's composition-cred when compared with InDesign. Even with InDesign's default settings (which aren't all that great), the Paragraph Composer still turns out better results than what is pictured in this video.

Now, I understand that the video is illustrating the power you have as the user, to switch between different pre-made levels of hyphenation strictness, and this is a really cool thing! But to be truly useful, it needs to be matched by an intelligent multi-line composition engine. Does QuarkXPress have this, and if so, how does it perform?

I know QuarkXPress 2018 isn't out yet, but can anyone familiar with both InDesign and QuarkXPress 2017 tell me if Quark can keep up with InDesign in this regard?
Kal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Mar 2018, 20:53

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby Matthias Guenther (Quark) » 20 Mar 2018, 03:53

Hi Kal,

thank you for your feedback.

Not sure what languages you type, English typically isn't very demanding when it comes to hyphenation in normal situations. Languages with longer words, like German, where words are compounded (for example instead of saying the "protective suit for car painters" you compose it, so Autolackiererschutzanzug = "carpainterprotectivesuit"), so get extremely long.

Therefore QuarkXPress 6.5 had added hyphenations based on Dieckmann technology for all languages except English. And if you ask the InDesign community in countries with long words, unison opinion is that QuarkXPress still hyphenates better than InDesign CC 2018, despite Adobe having added something for German only to improve.

Strictness levels, which are introduced in QuarkXPress 2018 (and also English is now based on Dieckmann technology), allow you to specify where a word should be hyphenated. EACH word in Dieckmann has "quality" settings, which you set.

Does that explain it?

About multi-line composer, I am not sure, we hear different opinions from InDesign users, some love it, some hate it.

What QuarkXPress does not offer is glyph scaling within the H&J. Maybe something for the wishlist (we have our users rank the wishlist for upcoming versions).

And if you are on Facebook, there's a vibrant community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/quarkxpress/
Maybe more users like this?

Thanks
Matthias
Feel there should be more chatting, more tips, more user interaction?
Join us on Facebook, a forum-like group with over 2,000 QuarkXPress fans interacting:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/quarkxpress



Image
User avatar
Matthias Guenther (Quark)
Quarkian
Quarkian
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 04 Jun 2004, 15:06
Location: http://bit.ly/QuarkHamburg

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby MikeWenzloff » 20 Mar 2018, 08:44

If you have ever needed to copy edit, you'll immediately learn to shut the paragraph composer off and use single-line instead. In fact, single-line composer is my default in ID, as it is with several ID teachers I know.

The paragraph composer algorithm can produce good results but it can also be unpredictable and there is no cure for it because of its inherent actions against an entire paragraph--its strength is also its weakness.

There's a post on the Adobe ID forum where I used Q to replicate a long "ideal" paragraph that were composed in ID, both with and without using the paragraph composer and with/without glyph scaling. The ID example is part of a lynda.com course on composing text by Nigel French. In the course example, the author shows why the single-line composer obtained the exact result. The justification settings in ID did make use of horizontal scaling for both methods. (But I also used the same text to show the effect of the multi-line composer without glyph scaling. And it's really bad.)

Point is, the multi-line composer in ID isn't a panacea for good layout. It does do a great job right up until it either doesn't or gets in the way of copy editing.

But as regards glyph scaling as being a part of the H&J styles in Q? Sure, I would welcome that. One can do it manually (or a character style), but that only really works for a heading effect or the like in the real world.

Mike

capture-001773.png
capture-001773.png (87.46 KiB) Viewed 1188 times
MikeWenzloff
 
Posts: 1230
Joined: 05 Jun 2013, 12:55

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby Kal » 29 Mar 2018, 05:14

Matthias and Mike, thank you both very much for your comments, and sorry it has taken me so long to reply. (I've been working some long hours typesetting of all things!)

Matthias, you guessed correctly—I do work in English and can't fully appreciate the challenges of typesetting some of those long compound German words! I do understand and appreciate that QuarkXPress 2018 has powerful hyphenation technology. I agree, InDesign's built-in hyphenation dictionary could use some work. I sometimes have to add my own hyphenation definitions to the user dictionary—otherwise InDesign wants to hyphenate 'aboriginal' after 'abo' (which is derogatory/offensive where I come from), and 'takeaway' after 'takea', which is just ridiculous. So we have no arguments there.

Where I do have some concerns about QuarkXPress though, is the logic behind its composition engine and how it balances the ideals of good spacing, minimal number of hyphens, etc—ultimately, whether it spits out good looking paragraphs or not.

So I took it upon myself to replicate your demo in InDesign out of curiosity, to see what InDesign would do with those paragraphs in each language. (I'm still using CS6 as I mentioned before.) I set up a new document and used InDesign's default settings, but just changed the 'after first' hyphenation setting to '2 letters' to try and match what QuarkXPress seems to be doing in the video. That's as fair a comparison as I could do (while recognising that there are still some unknown variables).

I've made screenshots of both the video and my InDesign file for comparison, but I can't find any way of including attachments with my comment. Am I able to share these somehow? (@MikeWenzloff, I see you added one, so it must be possible!)
Kal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Mar 2018, 20:53

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby Kal » 29 Mar 2018, 05:20

Mike, I'm not sure what you mean when you say the the paragraph composer mucks up copy editing. Any time a client or editor makes a significant change to a paragraph after typesetting, you really need to redo that paragraph. I tend to revert the paragraph to its default style (removing any overrides) and look at it afresh, since you never know how the changes are going to play out overall.

Without seeing the course example you refer to, I can't really comment on that. Just please tell me they aren't inserting soft-returns, hard hyphens and other abominations during the typesetting process! Anyone who does that sort of thing is asking for all sorts of trouble no matter what program they're using.

Aside from this, I admit that Adobe's Paragraph Composer does have a genuine bug or two. I only came up against it earlier today, where a paragraph was doing REALLY crazy stuff. But this is a pretty rare occurrence. Generally, it does its job very well.
Kal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Mar 2018, 20:53

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby MikeWenzloff » 29 Mar 2018, 08:42

I just mean that with the paragraph composer, seeing how it acts upon an entire paragraph, can reflow the entire paragraph while one is editing it. So words one is editing can jump to previous or next lines and everything before can "wiggle" while it is recomposing. If you are a touch typist and not looking at the keyboard, the text cursor can move to the next/previous lines as typing. That's a bit of a jarring experience when copy editing much.

Screen shots.

Below the reply box, there should be two tabs. By default the Options tab is displayed. Next to it is the Upload Attachment tab. Clicking on that tab will reveal a new section with Filename at the top of that section. Inside what looks like a text field is a button, Choose File. So one would click that button, navigate to the screen shot or image, the field will populate with the image name, then one clicks the Add the file button:

capture-001795.png
capture-001795.png (9.86 KiB) Viewed 970 times


Once it is uploaded, the image is now just below the reply box. For the screen shots, I also chose to place inline:

capture-001796.png
capture-001796.png (7.8 KiB) Viewed 970 times


Oh, and adding a file will cause any pre-prepared space at the bottom of the reply box to vanish, so one needs to add some more returns if it is desired to add them below the last line of text. It's old forum software!

Mike
MikeWenzloff
 
Posts: 1230
Joined: 05 Jun 2013, 12:55

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby Kal » 02 Apr 2018, 18:47

MikeWenzloff wrote:I just mean that with the paragraph composer, seeing how it acts upon an entire paragraph, can reflow the entire paragraph while one is editing it. So words one is editing can jump to previous or next lines and everything before can "wiggle" while it is recomposing. If you are a touch typist and not looking at the keyboard, the text cursor can move to the next/previous lines as typing. That's a bit of a jarring experience when copy editing much.


Ah yes, true enough. I guess that's why Adobe gave us the Story Editor. Again, I think it might have been there from version 1.0. Oddly enough though, in almost 20 years of using InDesign, I don't think I have used the Story Editor even once! (Aside from testing it in the beginning.) It's just one of these features I never got in the habit of using. I kind of forget it's there. Maybe I will start using it now. :-)

The jiggling around that you describe doesn't really bother me—probably because nine times out of ten I'm just pasting someone else's changes into the paragraph. If I have to do any length of typing myself (like I'm doing now) I tend to do it in good old TextEdit, then copy and paste. Old habits die hard.

MikeWenzloff wrote:Below the reply box, there should be two tabs. By default the Options tab is displayed. Next to it is the Upload Attachment tab. Clicking on that tab will reveal a new section with Filename at the top of that section. Inside what looks like a text field is a button, Choose File. So one would click that button, navigate to the screen shot or image, the field will populate with the image name, then one clicks the Add the file button:


Thanks for those detailed instructions. Unfortunately though, I only have the Options tab, not the Upload Attachment tab. In the FAQ it says:

Why can’t I add attachments?
Attachment permissions are granted on a per forum, per group, or per user basis. The board administrator may not have allowed attachments to be added for the specific forum you are posting in, or perhaps only certain groups can post attachments. Contact the board administrator if you are unsure about why you are unable to add attachments.


So I guess I just haven't been given permission. I can't find anywhere where it says who the administrator of this forum is, or how I contact them. Would it be Matthias?
Kal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Mar 2018, 20:53

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby MikeWenzloff » 03 Apr 2018, 09:36

RE the attachments, I never knew it took obtaining permissions. I would think Matthias could either do so or contact the appropriate person.

Mike
MikeWenzloff
 
Posts: 1230
Joined: 05 Jun 2013, 12:55

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby Kal » 04 Apr 2018, 08:00

Ha. So I go to write a private message and it says, 'We are sorry, but you are not authorised to use this feature'! Catch 22. :lol:

@Matthias Guenther (Quark): help :|
Kal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Mar 2018, 20:53

Re: QuarkXPress vs Adobe Paragraph Composer

Postby Matthias Guenther (Quark) » 04 Apr 2018, 08:07

Kal, the forum software says you have all rights.
Can you try log out and in again?

Thanks
Matthias
Feel there should be more chatting, more tips, more user interaction?
Join us on Facebook, a forum-like group with over 2,000 QuarkXPress fans interacting:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/quarkxpress



Image
User avatar
Matthias Guenther (Quark)
Quarkian
Quarkian
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 04 Jun 2004, 15:06
Location: http://bit.ly/QuarkHamburg

Next

Return to QuarkXPress 2018: Preview

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest