Beta IDML-to-QuarkXPress Workflow
Yes, we’ve seen all the snarky comments before, such as “you mean Quark still exists?!” After all, it’s true that InDesign has largely replaced QX in most designer’s toolkits over the past 18 years. But yes, Quark and QuarkXPress not only still exist, but it’s still being actively developed and improved in some pretty cool ways.
(In fact, our own Editor in Chief, Mike Rankin did the most recent QuarkXPress Essential Training courses for Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning.)
So we’re well aware that there are still many people who choose to (or have to) use QuarkXPress. So the news that Quark was releasing an IDML-to-QX converter made my ears perk up.
You may know that Markzware has a tool called ID2Q that converts files. (Markzware has been on the forefront of file conversion for over 25 years and it seems they know these file formats like no one else.)
But now Quark has determined that they should be able to open IDML files directly. (For those who are not familiar with it, the IDML format is what you can use to save your file so that it can be read by earlier versions of InDesign.)
But it’s important to note that, currently, a lot of InDesign features are dropped in the conversion. Matthias Guenther at Quark wrote up a list here, which includes bullets and numbering, tables, hyperlinks, and so on. So this really should be considered just something to test with, and not yet ready for prime time.
What interested me most, honestly, was that it’s rare to find people outside of Adobe who are taking advantage of IDML files. That’s too bad, because IDML is an amazing format. It’s basically a zip archive filled with XML files that describe how to build the original InDesign file. What’s cool to me about IDML is that anything can write one. For example, you could program a database to spit out an IDML file and then open it in InDesign. But I digress.
Anyway, if you’re an InDesign user but you need to interface with QX users, this development might be helpful someday.