QuarkXPress 9 Ships April 26, Test Drive Available Now

QuarkXPress 9, the newest version of Quark’s professional page layout application for Mac OS X and Windows, is set to ship on April 26, and a “Test Drive” version of the application is available now, giving users a taste of what the next version of the professional page layout application can do ahead of the official launch. The 30-day trial version is fully functional, and design projects will be compatible with the shipping version of QuarkXPress 9.

QuarkXPress 9 focuses on designing and creating content that can be easily published traditionally through print, and also in the digital publishing world. With this new version of the graphic design tool, the company is looking to attract designers and publishers that create ebooks, digital magazines and other electronic publications.

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The application will include App Studio, a feature that first launched for QuarkXPress 8.5 earlier this year, so users can build custom iPad magazine apps that support one-off content or multiple issues without requiring any coding skills. Interactive magazine layouts for the apps can be exported directly from QuarkXPress without any followup work ahead of publishing.

App Studio will be available about 90 days after the launch as a free update. Until then, users can take advantage of Quark’s iPad Publishing Service to build their apps and publish content.

The QuarkXPress 9 Test Drive is available as a free download at the Quark Web site, and users will be able to upgrade to the regular version after April 26 without reinstalling.

QuarkXPress 9 will be priced at US$799. Upgrades for QuarkXPress 7 and 8 will cost $299, and upgrades for copies of QuarkXPress 8 bought after February 23, 2011 are free.