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QuarkXPress ("Quark") is a computer application for creating and editing complex page layouts in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) environment. It runs on Mac OS X and Windows. It was first released by Quark, Inc. in 1987 and is still owned and published by them.

The most recent version is QuarkXPress 8.5 and it allows publishing in English ("International and U.S."[1]) and 36 other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German, Korean, Russian, French, and Spanish.[2]

QuarkXPress is used by individual designers and large publishing houses to produce a variety of layouts, from single-page flyers to the multi-media projects required for magazines, newspapers, catalogs, and the like. QuarkXPress once dominated the market for page layout software with over 95% market share among professional users. While one publisher estimates that share has fallen to below 25% and Adobe InDesign is now the market leader, QuarkXPress still has significant marketshare.[3] There are open source competitors in the page layout space, the most notable of which is Scribus.



Quark Inc. was founded by Tim Gill (born October 18, 1953) an American computer software entrepreneur and LGBT rights activist in 1981 with a $2,000 loan from his parents. Gill announced in 2000 that he sold his 50% interest in Quark, Inc., citing his growing involvement in his philanthropic and activist endeavors. The first version of QuarkXPress was released in 1987 for the Macintosh. A Microsoft Windows version followed in 1992. In the 1990s, QuarkXPress quickly became widely used by professional page designers, the typesetting industry and printers. In particular, the Mac version of 3.3 (released in 1996) was seen as stable and trouble-free, working seamlessly with Adobe's PostScript fonts as well as with Apple's TrueType fonts.

QuarkXPress early on incorporated an application programming interface called XTensions which allows third-party developers to create custom add-on features to the desktop application. Introduced in 1989, Xtensions, along with Apple Computer's HyperCard, were among the first examples of a developer allowing others to create software add-ons for their application.

Having gained a marketshare of approximately 90% in the 1990s, Quark attempted a hostile buyout of Adobe in 1998, which was rebuffed[4]. That action, as well as criticism that Quark had overly long innovation cycles and was too expensive, encouraged Adobe to launch InDesign in 1999.

The release of QuarkXPress version 5 in 2002 led to a conflict with Apple's user base, as Quark did not support Mac OS X, while InDesign 2.0, launched in the same week, did. At the same time the Quark CEO Fred Ebrahimi exclaimed that "the Macintosh platform is shrinking," and suggested that anyone dissatisfied with Quark's Mac commitment should "switch to something else."[5]

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