QuarkXPress? Isn’t that the ancient crumbly DTP software that your grandpa once used, and which vanished long ago?
Oh, my… how times have changed. The DTP desktop software QuarkXPress is still here and still venerable, yes, but their sprightly annual releases have been playing ‘the tortoise and the hare’ with Adobe since 2015. Six years later it’s catching up in numerous ways, and even surpasses InDesign in many features. Their polished 2021 version is now out, and has .SVG support among other things. I recently took a look at the free trial and was pleased to find it very mature and with annual updates at a one-time purchase of £362 (an annual subscription, but if you cancel then it appears you get to keep the software). Expensive but not the silly prices of yesteryear, and within reach of many. Oh, wait… 50% off for August which puts it about £180…
The cheap and relatively friendly Affinity Publisher and Microsoft Publisher don’t offer HTML5 export at all. Adobe’s equivalent DTP software InDesign still requires a third-party plugin to export an HTML5 layout, and both are monthly subscriptions.
So I’m pleased to find that QuarkXPress seems a viable Adobe-alternative for DTP and the WYSIWYG Web. It is now sitting at a quite nice point in the market, in terms of a reasonable price, superb export features, and having a perpetual licence version. There’s a QuarkXPress 2021 free-trial (Windows 8 and up, v.2018 being the last Windows 7 version). One to look at if you want to make a device-responsive online magazine with creative interactivity that goes beyond page-curls and a few clickable Web links.
That said, it may not be what some will need for making motion-comics or basic 2D interactive Web ‘visual novels’. There is now software dedicated to such things.
As with all major software these days, there has to be a warning as it’s being newly mentioned here: Windows 10 and Mac OS desktop updates may bjork your favourite feature or break the software totally. But that doesn’t appear to be the case here.