A new "Layers" feature would seem to be a direct response to the capabilities of Adobe's applications. It is said to allow users to isolate items within documents, thereby facilitating the production of targeted marketing materials, versioned projects and documents with language or text changes.
Version 5.0 also provides a more efficient print user interface, enhanced PDF support and better color management.
"I like the improved interface for printing in QuarkXPress 5.0," comments Michael Kresse, director of technology for EconoPrint, a small commercial printer chain based in Wisconsin. "The new Print dialog box is very straightforward, and I especially like the fact that our customers will be able to package fonts with their documents. It's also working well with our variable data imaging software, which is an added bonus."
With the release of version 5.0, Quark is introducing new license management software targeted to multiple-seat installations. Quark License Administrator is said to make it easier for organizations to install software and manage user access, so very large enterprises can share the use of a smaller number of licenses.
Ironically, QuarkXPress 5.0 and InDesign 2.0 really are not so much competing against one another as they are both challenging the dominance of QuarkXPress Version 3.1. Quark has been a victim of its own success, with many users so far finding no compelling reason to upgrade beyond that level. Whether or not the rest of the user community decides to upgrade or switch will have far more to do with the adoption rate among prepress/ printing operations than any feature enhancements.