Me & My: QuarkXPress desktop publishing software

Atul Kumar,deputy general manager, production at Amar Ujala, shares how this desktop publishing software has helped increase efficiency

24 Jun 2019 | By PrintWeek India

Please describe your company.
Amar Ujala is India’s third largest newspaper with a total readership of over 4.5 crores. We are one of the most widely read broadsheet Hindi newspapers circulating more than 30 lakh copies with 20 editions, in seven states and covering 179 districts. We publish up to 24 pages in our daily issue with colourful and vibrant pages. In addition to the mainline newspaper and the city-centric pull-outs, Amar Ujala publishes several niche supplements focusing on topics like jobs and career, entertainment, women and many more. Amar Ujala Publication diversified into commercial and books printing a few years back and is now exploring packaging printing.

When did you start to use the QuarkXPress?
We have been using QuarkXPress for over 20 years. In the early 1990s, we took a step up for professionalism. We invested in terms of technological know-how and training. We started with QuarkXPress version 3 and now we are using version 8. Clavis Technologies, the Indian representative of Quark, provides efficient and on-time after-sales service.

What are the properties of the software you like?
In a publication like ours, we put a lot of focus on not only the quality of the news, but the design aesthetic of our newspaper. The ability to create vector design elements within QuarkXPress with flexibility and control makes this WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor a favourite.

How are you benefiting from it?
There were multiple factors to choose QuarkXPress, such as ease-of-use, software performance, trained expertise and non-subscription pricing. We migrated from our hardware and page design software to the newer version of QuarkXPress. Now, we can create a PDF with its help.

What are the features that work for you?
Time is critical for a newspaper like us. We always look for ways to improve our internal publishing process. The new version of QuarkXPress has some powerful productivity features like the integrated measurements palette, transparency, drag-drop features, importing documents, tables and images.

Do you have any issues with the software?
Native Hindi Unicode support can be of great benefit. Otherwise, being a newer version with many more features, we have noticed that it does take a lot more resources and this affects the speed a little as compared to QuarkXPress 4.

How easy is it to use?
Our design team was familiar with older versions of QuarkXPress and so it made it easy to use the newer features. For training and technical support, our suppliers are ready for any kind of help.

Would you say that it offers value for money?
The best part about QuarkXPress in terms of money is that it is a one-time purchase and not based on annual subscription. This is a huge value for money because we are able to budget for it once and maintain it well with low ownership costs.

Did you face any difficulties during operation?
Transiting to an upgraded version of QuarkXPress was not an overnight move. We had to test our complete publishing and production workflow to make sure everything is integrated and ran smoothly in an end-to-end test environment before using it in live production. 

Who do you think the product is right for?
QuarkXPress is a great tool for newspapers and magazines publishing houses. We have 500 licences.

Would you recommend it to others?
Quark is a stable workhorse and as one of the leading publications, I would definitely recommend others to evaluate the latest versions of QuarkXPress. The benefits always get realised over time.