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In QuarkXPress 8 there are generally multiple paths in the user interface to accomplish what you want to do. These include keyboard equivalents, palettes, modal dialogue boxes, and menus.

Menu Organization: All applications on both Mac and Windows computers have menus. Using menus you can prompt palettes and modal dialogue boxes. You can generally find out the keyboard equivalent to a function because it is listed to the right of each menu option. QuarkXPress 8 for Windows has 12 menus. QuarkXPress 8 for Macintosh 13 menus. The additional menu on the Mac is the AppleScript menu that is not available in a Windows environment. The other menus and functions are as follows:

  • QuarkXPress: This is the application menu (You will see this menu only if you are running on a Macintosh computer). Here you will find options specific to the entire application, such as preferences and quitting.

  • File: You will use this menu to perform tasks related to the handling of projects such as opening, saving, and closing. You will also import, export, and print from this menu.

  • Edit: Editing functions include the regulars—cut, copy, paste, and undo— plus some that might be new to you, such as setting up Style Sheets, Colors, and Hyphenation and Justification sets that become the basis for options within the Paragraph Formats dialogue boxes, other menus, and palettes.

  • Style: From this menu you will apply attributes to text, paragraphs, and pictures. These include fonts, color, and more.

  • Item menu: The Item menu is the 'handler' menu. Here you can frame, duplicate, group, lock, and interact with items and paths.

  • Page: Use this menu to add, delete, move, and navigate pages.

  • Layout: Here you will add, delete, and navigate layout. You can also check the properties of existing layouts.

  • Table: When you want to interact with a table or modify its attributes, you will use this menu.

  • View: Use the View options for changing the view size of your layout’s pages. You will also come here to control the view and snap qualities of Guides and Grids.

  • Utilities: Here you will find spell checking functions, but you’ll also manage the usage of fonts and graphics. Use this menu to set up Kerning and Tracking tables.

  • Window: When you need to manage the project window or palettes, turn to this menu for the necessary options.

  • AppleScripts (Mac only): This menu provides you access to a few predefined AppleScripts. If you have these available, give them a try. They can be real time savers.

  • Help: this menu is a shortcut to help topics. If you cannot find a menu option quickly, type the title in this search field and QuarkXPress 8 will provide you visual feedback of where the menu option can be found. As a beginner, this is invaluable.

Generally speaking, most menu items prompt a dialogue box. These are called modal dialogue boxes. Once the dialogue box has appeared, you interact with it by typing in fields, clicking controls, choosing radio buttons, or clicking to accept and dismiss the dialogue box. In QuarkXPress 8, you will find that many modal dialogue boxes have been replaced by palettes; and if not replaced, then a shortcut added. Palettes are much easier to work with. They can be open at all times and minimized or collapsed to take up a very small amount of your screen real estate. They are also interactive and can provide you immediate feedback. Take for instance, the new measurements palette with its tabbed and interactive user interface. This palette’s functions change depending upon what is selected on my page. With text selected, I have text-related options. This intuitive nature of QuarkXPress 8 is partly what makes it so easy to work with. As you likely noticed in our short tour of the menus, many of QuarkXPress 8’s menu options are also accessible through keyboard equivalents; the downside is that there are so many, it’s nearly impossible to remember them all. The good news is that you can access a document at Quark’s web site with a full listing for either a Mac or Windows user.

QuarkXPress 8 offers you many ways to invoke commands or apply settings. The way that is best for you may not fit someone else’s workflow at all. The beauty of QuarkXPress 8 is that you do not need to choose one method over another; you can mix and match. Also, if you’re a long-time user, you may prefer to interact with dialogue boxes and have no use for the ticker controls added to the Measurements palette. QuarkXPress 8 does not force you to adapt. You can continue to work in exactly the same manner and still benefit from a better user interface and better user experience.