Plug-Ins and XTensions: Image Ager & Repair, Tracing Tool, QXP Scaler
Which Old XTensions are Updated?
Some third-party XTensions for QuarkXPress get updated, some don't, and some get their features absorbed into new versions of QuarkXPress. For a list of XTensions and their current status, see www.thepowerxchange.com/qxp_compatible_mac.html. If an XTension won't be updated, the chart lists other products to replace it.
- Really Easy Image Repair
AKVIS Retoucher 1.5 ($87) is a plug-in for Photoshop that dramatically speeds the process of restoring damaged photographs. It can remove scratches, water spots, flakes, stains, tears, and other surface defects, and even rebuild backgrounds. You can use its QuickMask mode to roughly paint over blemishes, then invoke AKVIS Retoucher and enjoy your repaired images. Their Web site shows amazing examples.
- Instantly Age Images
Mister Retro's Machine Wash Filters 2 ($32) is a plug-in for Photoshop that can age, distress, weather, and texturize an image many different ways. Effects include Chalk, Sandblast, Paper Bag, large halftone dots, and as if under the ice of a hockey rink. You can add rust to the effects as well -- great for making a retro-looking design seem as if it had been through a lifetime of wear. Their Web site has excellent examples.
- Better Redeye Removal
Andromeda RedEyePro Filter ($39) is a plug-in for Photoshop that gives professional control over redeye removal, replacing the red color with natural iris tones, and preserving glints and reflective details and transitions. You can even choose the color to remove -- great for for animal shots.
- Compound Style Sheets in QuarkXPress
Techno Design's MultiStyle II ($99) is an XTension for QuarkXPress 3, 4, 5 or 6 that lets you define a complex style sheet based on an existing paragraph, then apply it to new text. For example, a style could encompass a large bold product name, followed by a smaller italicized description, followed by a price in a different typeface.
- Batch-Convert to InDesign
Cacidi Systems' Q-to-InDesign Batch ($65) is a plug-in for InDesign that batch-converts QuarkXPress and/or PageMaker documents to InDesign.
- The Most Powerful Scaler
Gluon's ProScale 7 ($139) is an XTension for QuarkXPress 4, 5 or 6, or a plug-in for InDesign, that lets you resize an entire multipage document with complete control over what gets scaled, and how. For example, you can scale all the pages of a document, including the text, but maintain rule and/or frame sizes. You can scale pages non-proportionally, while maintaining the proportions of page items. You can save your settings to reuse in the future, and undo a scaling operation with Command-Z. A "Fit To" pop-up menu lets you choose common sizes such as A4, A5, business card, 1/3 page, 1/2 page, letter size, tabloid size, etc. Or, you can just click and drag selected items to a new size. You can quickly fit an entire ad to a column width, or scale from the center of a selection. You can step-and-repeat your scaling -- perfect for logo sheets. It's extremely fast, and you can undo the scaling.
- Open QX 6 Documents Directly in QX 4.1 or 5
You can now open a QuarkXPress 6 document in QuarkXPress 4.1 or 5, if you install Markzware's MarkzTools 5.5 ($199). This XTension for QuarkXPress 4.1 or 5 lets you use the standard File> Open menu item in QX 4.1 or 5 to open a QX 6 document. If the QX 6 document uses features not available in QX 4.1 or 5, those features will not be included in the opened file. Markzware recommends that you import only QX 6 documents with just one Layout, and the company advises against importing multiple Layers into QX 4.1.
MarkzTools also has other extremely valuable features, such as warning you when you're about to save a document created by a lower version into a higher version. (The XTension works in QuarkXPress 5 as well as 4.) It can check documents as they are saved to be sure they aren't corrupted, and salvage text or graphics from corrupted documents. It can save files on the local Mac before saving them on a networked server; add the XPress version number to the document's icon and Comments field; and also display it in the title bar of an open document.
- Easier Logo Tracing
ComNet's LogoSpruce ($199) is a plug-in for Illustrator 8, 9, 10, and CS that intelligently helps you straighten up artwork from scanned logos and diagrams. Specialized tools let you quickly make perfect corners and curves, and create guides from any angled line. It was designed specifically to speed the creation of logo outlines from scanned artwork.
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