To view a video on the new Tools palette design in QuarkXPress 8 click on the following link:

QuarkXPress 8: The New Tools Palette

Background: The design of the QuarkXPress 8 Tools palette was driven by a desire to provide our customers with a more intuitive tool set. In previous versions of QuarkXPress one could access as many as 23 box and line tools for the purpose of creating lines and boxes from the Tools palette. While this offered a wide range of tools to users, it presented a rather complex look and feel to the application when accessing them.

These 23 legacy tools have been replaced in version 8 with six tools that retain/combine the functionality of all of the former tools. The key to working with the new tool set is being aware that, based on your actions, QuarkXPress 8 will calculate which tool or function is needed to complete the task you want to accomplish. Because we removed the concept of box content type when you use the drawing tools, you no longer have to use a specific tool for the kind of content that you want to create.

We also removed the box shape concept from the tool palette. The tools now include only lines or boxes, and both relate to content in the same way. The question for the designer is no longer “What shape with what content do I want to create, and which tool do I use for it?” Now the question is, “Forget about the content for now—what kind of object do I want to create: box, oval, or line?” In addition, if you drag and drop a text file or picture into your layout, QuarkXPress will create the box type needed to import the kind of content you are


You will find that QuarkXPress 8 does a lot of things for you “under the hood,” and your access to text and picture manipulation is not impeded by a string of tool selections, mouse movements, and clicks. This in turn allows you a deeper engagement level with your creative work.

Solution: Here are some tips on how to work with the new tools.

  1. When creating boxes, don’t worry about what you’re going to put in them. Build the objects and put whatever content you want to into them. As always, lines can only have a content type of “Text,” but you can anchor a picture into any text string that occurs on a line.

  2. When you are drawing an object with the Bezier Pen tool, QuarkXPress will build a bezier box if you close the path. If you don’t close the path, a bezier line will be created instead.

  3. The Orthagonal Line tool is no longer a part of the QuarkXPress tool set. You can, however, constrain a line to draw horizontally or vertically by holding down the Shift key while you draw the line. If you absolutely have to have an orthagonal line, you can draw a horizontal or vertical line with the line tool and go to Item > Shape to change the shape type.

  4. You can use the Text Content tool or the Picture Content tool to draw boxes with a specific content type.

  5. If you want create text on a path, choose the Pen or Line tool to draw the path. Then choose the Text Content tool and double–click on the line.

  6. If you double click on a picture box with the Text Content tool selected, QuarkXPress thinks your intent is to work with picture content and switches to the Picture Content tool. Conversely, if you double click on a text box with the Picture Content tool selected, QuarkXPress thinks your intent is to work with text content and switches to the Text Content tool.

  7. You no longer need to hold down the Option key to draw multiple boxes or link multiple text boxes. The normal state for each tool is the draw state. QuarkXPress no longer switches out of draw state immediately after you have drawn a box or line.

  8. If you have the Item tool selected and you hold down the Option key before you click on any object and drag, the Pan tool is activated and you will be able to drag the page to the location you want to view (this is how the QuarkXPress Pan tool has always worked). However, if you first click on an object and then hold down the Option key and drag, the object will be duplicated.