Quark 8 versus InDesign CS4 – a review

Mac User UK (13th March issue) did a comparison review of Quark 8 versus InDesign CS4.

It concludes:

"The question of which to buy is a tricky one. Certainly,
XPress 8
give the Adobe team something to worry about for their next release –
but it's about time they had some real competition….
There are now fewer reasons for Quark users to
make the transition to switch to InDesign, although it's unlikely many
users will make the transition the other way."

IMHO this seems to be a neat summary of the state of play. It's good to have competition in DTP. Mac User had more than a few criticisms to make about the Quark 8 clunky interface (no surprise). Also it states that InDesign CS4 is not a big upgrade, so CS3 users may want to stay put.

I don't think the full review is on the Mac User site, but I have a scan of the article from the magazine that I can email to anyone who wants it,. Just drop me an email (see my About Me page for email address). 

Blog buzz:
Which is the most talked about DTP package on the blogs – it's  "Quark (in Blue)" Versus "InDesign (Red)"

Keyword popularity across the Blogosphere
This chart illustrates how many times blog posts across the Blogosphere contained the following keywords.

2 Responses to Quark 8 versus InDesign CS4 – a review

  1. Freelance Unbound May 21, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    The question of which to buy normally doesn’t depend on which is the best software. It’s pretty much the same decision as whether to buy VHS or Betamax back in the early 80s (and other similar technology quandaries subsequently) – which kind do your friends have?
    For Quark v InDesign, of course, it’s what kind do your clients/employers have, if you’re a freelancer like me. Or what kind is the cheapest/easiest to run for a company, if you are a bigger publisher.
    One company I worked for hung on to Mac OS9 for years after OSX came in, because it didn’t want to have to upgrade from Quark4. Then, eventually, it upgraded all its IT at once and switched the whole company to InDesign. Why? Money, primarily. InDesign is kind of better (though you do need to spend some money on training support).
    Ultimately it all comes down to economics. Sure, Quark will retain a diminishing base. But you’re right, it will only make it more of a close call in choosing to switch to Adobe.
    I suspect the big threat to both will come from an open source model – maybe as Drupal/Joomla are driving in terms of CMS on the web. And also the big threat will be from the web, as more content bypasses the traditional DTP stage.
    And given that InDesign is integrated with Adobe’s web design tools, that’s another disadvantage for Quark. I’ve never been aware that Quark’s web integration was much to write home about (even if it’s better now).

  2. Jemma Brown May 23, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    Now I may be completely behind the times here even tho I am very new to DTP but is the step from Quark 7 to 8 really a big one?
    I was really interested even though so far we have only had one session on InDesign that the layout of the tools is almost the same it was just less clunky and annoying!
    Saying that I think I do have a bit of a soft spot for Quark! (Even tho i am completely useless at DTP!)
    A scan of the article would be really interesting, you have my email addy already!
    Oh and have a good summer!