Unnecessary complexity

Want to improve the Quark XPerience? Drop your suggestion(s) here, including feature wishes for future versions of QuarkXPress.
Post Reply
dreeves
Posts: 12
Joined: 07 Jul 2010, 07:51

Unnecessary complexity

Post by dreeves » 07 Jul 2010, 01:58

I want to take a moment to talk about 'QuarkXpress', the desktop publishing program I'm required to familiarise myself with in order to attain a part-time job as a graphic artist for the local "news"paper.

QuarkXpress is a turd on a white rug. A convoluted mess of unnecessarily-complicated nonsense that takes the simplest task and turns it into an hour-long exercise. Many basic operations for image manipulation, which could easily be incorporated, are absent and require the use of a second program. The rest is just made so insanely difficult as to render the entire application unusable. It is the single most user-unfriendly piece of garbage I've ever had the misfortune of having to use. Honestly, I could do the same level of work in frikkin' MS Paint in about a tenth of the time. Why it's an industry standard is a mystery that I can't begin to solve.
How about this for an idea: Make it USABLE!

Odin
Posts: 31
Joined: 20 Apr 2010, 16:08

Unnecessary complexity

Post by Odin » 07 Jul 2010, 04:02

How much time did you use to actually learn the program? Did you read the manual?Also please be more specific and give examples, so we know that you are serious!

User avatar
eyoungren
Posts: 3273
Joined: 27 May 2004, 16:08
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Contact:

Unnecessary complexity

Post by eyoungren » 07 Jul 2010, 05:38

Use of a second program for image manipulation? Oh, you mean like InDesign has to use a second program for image manipulation like Photoshop and Illustrator.
Just because QuarkXPress does not work like InDesign that automatically means it's a bad program? I could apply your criteria to ID like you do to QXP, but I don't. I base my dislike of ID solely on it's palette-happy, non-intuiative, slow and generally unfriendly GUI. Other than that ID is a great program.
Perhaps if you spent some more time familiarizing yourself with QXP and took an understanding of the "right tool for the job" approach you'd be less likely to be ranting. Our industry demands constant learning and professional growth. If you close your mind to learning other apps then you are going to lose in this profession.
I'm a eleven year QXP user. But I also use ID daily and support other users who use it. And there are some things ID just does better than QXP. That's when I use ID. But personal opinion of how you "think" a program should work won't get you very far.
BTW, you did not mention that you use ID. I know that. But what other layout app is out there besides Quark? Unless your complaint is because you use Apple Pages or Microsoft Publisher as your main tools.

dreeves
Posts: 12
Joined: 07 Jul 2010, 07:51

Unnecessary complexity

Post by dreeves » 07 Jul 2010, 06:22

Odin wrote:please be more specific and give examples, so we know that you are serious!



You want a specific? Okay - how about all the ridiculous messing about you have to do just to get a transparency in a picture? That was a good one. Too many things to mention though. Things I can do in two seconds with photoshop are just mired in needless, pointless complexity. As someone who's been messing about with graphic design as a private hobby for years, this thing just screams elitist exclusion to me. Since anybody with a pair of hands can easily be a graphic artist, this thing's been dreamed up as a way to make it much much harder than it needs to be. Geekification, as it were.
eyoungren wrote:
Use of a second program for image manipulation? Oh, you mean like InDesign

I don't know or care what InDesign is. All I'm saying is that for all the convoluted crap Quark contains, it doesn't actually do very much.

Just because QuarkXPress does not work like InDesign that automatically means it's a bad program?

No, it's a bad program because of the "palette-happy, non-intuiative, slow and generally unfriendly GUI", as you said. And what I'm saying is that it takes really easy tasks and makes them monumentally difficult, and I could do it all in Photoshop. Or even Paint, if I were pressed. There is no reason for these things to be so difficult. It makes no sense. If you can do something quickly and easily... then why wouldn't you?
Perhaps if you spent some more time familiarizing yourself with QXP and took an understanding of the "right tool for the job" approach you'd be less likely to be ranting. Our industry demands constant learning and professional growth. If you close your mind to learning other apps then you are going to lose in this profession.

No, it is a contemptuous application. Everything about it is counter-intuitive. What your industry actually demands is the production of graphic art - not the pursuit of complex exclusivity in your computer programs for the purpose of justifying the University courses and their exorbitant fees. Do your employers know that the work you do could just as easily be done on a piece of software that comes FREE with the computer when you buy it? 'Cause I think they'd be peeved if they ever found out.


EDIT: Yeah, and a quick Internet search immediately tells me that I'm not in a minority here, so don't talk to me like I've got six heads. Seems to be a great many people saying the same thing - that this program has over-specialized and is now only accessible to folk who've been using it, as you said, for more than a decade through its evolution. Over-specialize - breed in weakness. Evolutionary cul-de-sac.

User avatar
eyoungren
Posts: 3273
Joined: 27 May 2004, 16:08
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Contact:

Unnecessary complexity

Post by eyoungren » 07 Jul 2010, 06:43

OH. So you're doing your work in Photoshop. Ok quick. Give me a full page auto ad (10.333 inches by 16 inches). Do it in 4 color, no spot. Keep black on the black plate only. No rich blacks please. And send me a layered PDF with the fonts embedded. I may have to edit the PDF. You'll have to send me the fonts though if I need to edit the layered PDF or accept the fact that I may substitute fonts. No color management because I don't need your 4 color ad shifting to rich black or RGB black as happens with the default.
Photoshop is great for what it does. BUT IT IS NOT AN AD LAYOUT OR PAGE LAYOUT APPLICATION!
Can you tell me how to get black off the cyan, magenta, and yellow plates and put it all on the black plate? Can you tell me how to make it so PS does not always default black to rich black? I know the answer to the first question but only because I've had to fix this type of thing multiple times. The answer to the second question is, NO, you can't.
So what's the PDF setting that's going to give me embedded fonts? A PDF that is all one image and uneditable does me no good at all and make my prepress people very upset! Can't find it? Can you send me an PS EPS with embedded fonts? Know the setting?
Hey. Tell me where the page layout palette on Photoshop is. I need to layout 32 pages with ads and merge them with my editorial content. What? Photoshop doesn't have a page layout palette? What about the people who need to do books? OMG what about my legal section? I need legals set at 5pt type with 5pt leading in 6 columns and it needs to be readable and flow from and to different pages. Gonna need to drop ads in there to, so make it flow around the ads please. And I don't need all this in a 1GB plus file!
Please. Yeah, you can set an ad or something because it's your hobby. But it's people such as yourself that make my life a living hell with your flattened, uneditable Photoshop PDFs that you did in RGB at 72dpi.
What you think is counterintuitive is only based on your experience in what you do. Just try putting out a 32 page paper with ads and full color with Photoshop or even Paint as you suggest. Set some books with Photoshop. And then send all this stuff to the printer and find out just how much they are going to laugh at you!

dreeves
Posts: 12
Joined: 07 Jul 2010, 07:51

Unnecessary complexity

Post by dreeves » 07 Jul 2010, 07:36

Sure, Mr. Defensive.
But none of that changes the fact that it's an incredibly, needlessly complicated exercise to do anything in Quark and it's completely turned me off the industry. Which is quite an achievement, because I used to wipe old men's butts for a living.

Odin
Posts: 31
Joined: 20 Apr 2010, 16:08

Unnecessary complexity

Post by Odin » 07 Jul 2010, 07:47

Okay - how about all the ridiculous messing about you have to do just to get a transparency in a picture? Do you mean opacity or clipping? I found both pretty easy!

ronwel
Posts: 66
Joined: 08 Feb 2005, 14:04

Unnecessary complexity

Post by ronwel » 07 Jul 2010, 08:29

I have to agree with you "eyoungren". I almost went to write a similar post, but you beat me to it.
It seems like it's going to be tough to get this person to understand that this is a PAGE LAYOUT program, and not an IMAGE MANIPULATION program.
Without wasting a bunch of time on this...all I can say is you want Quark to do something it is not designed to do. "Why does my freezer not make icecream...it should...afterall it...can store icecream!"

User avatar
eyoungren
Posts: 3273
Joined: 27 May 2004, 16:08
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Contact:

Unnecessary complexity

Post by eyoungren » 07 Jul 2010, 08:53

dreeves wrote:Sure, Mr. Defensive.
But none of that changes the fact that it's an incredibly, needlessly complicated exercise to do anything in Quark and it's completely turned me off the industry. Which is quite an achievement, because I used to wipe old men's butts for a living.

As ronwel says. You're trying to make QXP do something it's not designed to do. If it was, it would be Photoshop.
And if I'm being defensive that's because you came in trolling about a program you have limited experience with from the standpoint of our industry being a simple hobby to you. You are totally correct if what you are trying to do is use QXP as an image editor. See ronwel's example about the freezer. But as a page layout app, the program is solid. I don't hear the same complaints about PS when you're trying to lay in Classified copy or explain to my editor and reporters why it is they can't drag and drop Word copy into Photoshop and then lay in a text chain.
Just because the program is not suitable for a job it's not designed for doesn't mean it's junk (as you painted it to be) for the job it is designed to do.

Maeric
Posts: 21
Joined: 22 Dec 2009, 14:22

Unnecessary complexity

Post by Maeric » 07 Jul 2010, 09:49

Not that I have anything to add here but this was one of the funniest threads I've read in a while.
I was seriously following this guy's concerns and like Erik, thinking he was talking about ID. When I saw his ranting comparison pointing to Photoshop, I fell out of my chair.
I fell out a second time with ronwel's, "Why does my freezer not make icecream...it should...afterall it...can store icecream!" Priceless!

Post Reply

Return to “Suggestion Box”