Depending on how you want QuarkXPress to describe color, you can either build a customized Color Setup for your legacy files opened in QuarkXPress or choose not to color manage your legacy files. Follow one of the methods below to set up Quark Color Manager to accommodate your desired output.

To set up Quark Color Manager to describe color using the legacy CMYK/RGB color space:

  1. In the Color Manager pane of the Preferences dialog, select QuarkXPress Emulate Legacy.

  2. Do not select Color Manage Vector EPS/PDF or, if creating a customized Source Setup via the Edit > Color Setups > Source Setup dialog, Color Manage CMYK Sources to CMYK Destinations.

    Note!: While using this option tells QuarkXPress to use the older CMYK/RGB method of describing color, you may still see slight differences in color rendering when your legacy files are opened in QuarkXPress 7 and 8.

To set up Quark Color Manager to describe color using the native LAB Color Space:

  1. Ensure that you have installed all the Source and Output Device color profiles that you will need in order to set up your color workflow.

  2. Go to the Color Manager Preferences pane and choose the Color Engine you want to use. The choice you make here will affect how color information will be 'translated' between Source and Output setups.

  3. Go to Edit > Color Setups > Source. In the Source Setups for [your project name] dialog, click New.

  4. In the Edit Source Setups dialog, name the Source Setup, and choose the profiles and settings you want for each type of incoming color (RGB, CMYK, LAB, Gray, etc.).

    Note: One important decision you will need to make is whether to color manage CMYK or RGB source information, such as CMYK or RGB images, to CMYK or RGB destinations. This can determine whether the Color Manager executes a color transform on imported images when they are printed or exported to PDF.

  5. When you have finished configuring your Source Setups, click OK. Then click Save.

Once you have configured your Source Setup, you will need to create an Output Setup for your printers and PDF workflow.

  1. Go to Edit > Color Setups > Output.

  2. Click New.

  3. Name the Output Setup and configure your settings for Mode, color Model, and the Profile for your output device.

  4. Click OK. Then click Save.

Now that you have created your Source and Output Setups, choose your new Source Setup in the Color Manager Preferences pane. Then create an Output Style (Edit > Output Styles) to apply your Output Setup for your print and PDF Output Styles.

Note: Remember to choose the Transformation Method you want Color Manager to apply to your color transforms.


Because the Quark Color Manager is always on in QuarkXPress 7 and 8, color information from older projects may display and/or print differently than they did in QuarkXPress 6.5. By default QuarkXPress 7 and 8 both use an internal LAB color space to describe color information. While the LAB color space provides one of the widest possible color spaces used to describe color, it can also cause color transformations to take place when older QuarkXPress files are opened in version 7 and 8. This may especially be true for images imported into a QuarkXPress layout. By default, QuarkXPress does not convert images of the same color space on output unless you explicitly set this control (For example, turning on Color Manage CMYK Sources to CMYK Destinations in the Source Setup dialog)..

The color transformation occurs because QuarkXPress 6.5 and earlier used an internal CMYK/RGB color engine to describe color (assuming that QuarkCMS was turned off when the project was originally created). You can minimize this color transformation by selecting QuarkXPress Emulate Legacy in the Color Manager Preferences pane. However, you may still see color mismatches for both process and spot color information, especially for any Pantone colors that are used in the legacy project. This is due to changes that have been made in the color look-up tables provided in the latest Pantone Color Libraries. Ultimately, there is no one 'switch' you can turn on or off to get color information to perfectly match what you saw in earlier versions of QuarkXPress. Color matching, being as much an art as a science, involves applying the right incoming source profiles, the correct transformation engine (Kodak, ColorSync, or LogoSync, for example), and the right output profiles for the output devices you use in your unique production workflow.