MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2008 (#39)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 150 of 179

MacDirectory 149 CLOSER LOOK made fonts, including Adobe's, by spuriously and harmfully re-arranging interletter spacing; and 'optical alignment', which lets certain characters hang out of the margins. InDesign's non- customizable optical alignment presets hurl quotation marks right out of the margin and drive dashes so far out of the text stream they look as if they were skidding off a mountain road. An entire generation of design students has grown up believing this is the right way to do it! But the reason they call it 'alignment' is that hanging characters are supposed to – optically — align with the margins. They should never visibly hang as such. We have long wanted to see optical alignment in Quark. And finally it's here, and Quark has done it right. Quark calls it 'hanging characters' and it is completely customizable. You can choose which characters to 'hang' and how much by, on a paragraph-by-paragraph and style-by- style basis. You can even share hanging character sets with other users. This is the way Adobe should have done it, and we don't doubt that Adobe will be working hard to catch up with, and even better, Quark's superb implementation of this long-desired feature. Quark hasn't done anything to rival InDesign's optical – kerning — and we're glad of that. Adobe spent years of effort, and hired one of the giants of digital type, Dr. Peter Karow, to implement this feature. In 99 cases out of a hundred, it makes type look worse than it did before. Perhaps in the future there will be a better way of doing it. But Adobe put some of the best people in the world onto it, and got it wrong. Quark should not go down that path. What about InDesign's paragraph composer? The advantage of justifying by paragraph is that some paragraphs will look better — but this can only happen for the price of making most lines look worse. Both Quark and Adobe should make a more compelling argument for this concept in the future. One of the few adventurous features in InDesign CS3 that works well is adding horizontal scaling to the H&J menus. Adobe courageously braved the ire of type purists by letting users select, for example, -1%, +2% horizontal scaling as an allow- able H&J option. Purists object because slight distortion of the type occurs. In reality, when used in very small amounts, nobody notices and composition is truly improved overall. It would be nice to see something like this in future editions of XPress. This technique is good for both by- line and by-paragraph justification, but would work even better with Adobe's abandoned Multiple Master fonts, removing the issue of character distortion. We have another suggestion to Quark for upping the ante: support Multiple Master format fonts with simple slider bars. Adobe has given up on Multiple Master, but the rest of the world has not: They still work well in Windows Vista and OS X (and several other platforms including Linux), and will continue to work for the foreseeable future. It wouldn't cost Quark much effort to make these fonts work as easily as they did in LightningDraw GX, and it would win over the InDesign and Illustrator users who have been frustrated by Adobe's vanishing support for their substantial investment in these incredibly useful fonts. OpenType support Quark was late with OpenType support, providing it only in Quark 7. With 8, Quark's support is even better than Adobe's. We generated simple OT fonts in Fontlab Studio that worked perfectly in Quark 8 but didn't work in InDesign CS3. Given that Adobe (along with Microsoft) is the co-developer of the OpenType stan- dard, we're glad to see Quark implement- ing this feature even more fluently than Adobe and Microsoft can. OpenType is the way forward, but the format is badly specified and badly implemented. Support in Adobe and Microsoft apps is uneven and sometimes poor. Quark was right to wait and do it right. Web authoring and drawing Quark's Web authoring tools have been criticized for a decade. But now that Quark includes the world's first and only Flash authoring environment that most designers can easily and intuitively use, those carping voices are falling silent, while their owners rush to use the new tools. Quark's built in Illustrator-like features have also been deepened and streamlined: the new Bezier tools are a pleasure to use. Suite or not? Conventional wisdom favors the suite idea — one large program for every segment of design activity. But Quark is making a persuasive case that 90 percent of what a huge suite contains can be integrated into a single, trim, well-coded program, to simplify daily creation and workflow. By seamlessly providing substantial Illustrator and Photoshop capability, Quark lets you save time by doing nearly all of your work in one program. We're not interested in questioning which is better, Quark or CS3? We use both. And we know that the competition between them is the only thing that is driving creative innovation in either program. This competition is one of the few exciting things that's going on in the software industry right now. We are all so much the richer because of it. DRAG AND DROP FEATURE.

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