Plug-Ins and XTensions: PDF Fixers, EPS Squeezers, BMP Exporters
- PDF Fix-it
Quite Software's Quite Revealing ($249) is a plug-in for Acrobat that displays and fixes troublesome items in PDF files. In side-by-side before-and-after windows, you can see overprints, fonts, RGB colors, ICC profiles, separations, transparency, transfer functions and spot color plates. From there, you can choose to let Quite Revealing help you fix potential problems.
- Crops & Regs on InDesign Objects
alap's ItemMarks ($50) is a plug-in for InDesign that lets you create crop marks, color bars, registration marks and text slugs on an object or group of objects.
alap (a lowly apprentice production)
- Make Skinny EPS Files
If your workflow requires pixel-based images in EPS format, consider Ultimate Technographics' SkinnyEPS 2.0 for Mac OS X ($195). This plug-in for Photoshop 6 or 7 reduces EPS image file size by an average of 15x. The resulting EPS is handled exactly like any other EPS by all applications. A full-featured, limited-time demo version is available at their website.
- Upgrade to XPert Tools Pro
Alap's XPert Tools Pro ($180) is a major upgrade to XPert Tools Volumes 1 & 2 for QuarkXPress. It adds 16 XTensions to QuarkXPress 4.1 or 5, including: ItemStyles lets you click and paste item attributes, and later change them globally; FindChange lets you search and replace item attributes such as location, shape, color, and frame style; XPert Guides lets you specify guide position numerically, copy & paste or mirror guides, and control guide color and display; XPert Align lets you align items with each other or in relation to the page; PageSets lets you save New Document settings for repeated use; XPert Print lets you select an item or portion of a page and print it or save it as an EPS file; XPert Text Link eases the process of linking and unlinking text boxes; XPert Paste lets you paste items in the same location from which they were copied or cut; XPert Layers lets you use layers in QuarkXPress 4: and others provide palettes for adjusting type, boxes, and scale. Upgrades cost $60-$80.
alap (a lowly apprentice production)
- Identify Style Sheets & Graphics
alef's explainItXT 1.2.1 is a remarkable free XTension for QuarkXPress 4.04 and above that in seconds will automatically place colored labels next to text and pictures. The labels list the Style Sheets applied to text, along with Style Sheet command keys and whether the Style Sheet has been overridden by local formatting. For pictures, it shows their name, file format, percentage reduction and offset. explainItXT is terrific for figuring out exactly what someone (or you) did to a QuarkXPress document -- including Style Sheets, picture usage, and more. explainItXT can also remove these labels in seconds -- a unique and useful XTension! Our subscribers may download it from the Software Closet at the Design Tools Monthly website.
- ContactPage XT
Badia's ContactPage XT ($60) is an XTension for QuarkXPress 4.1 or 5 that quickly creates contact sheets, along with captions, for entire folders or volumes of pictures. You can use it to create an index of clip art, photos, or logos, with control over page size and margins, grid layout, picture and text box dimensions, and caption info.
- Export Bitmaps from QuarkXPress
Gluon's XPressImage 5 ($199) is an XTension for QuarkXPress 4.1 or 5.x that lets you convert a selection, page, spread, or document to more than 20 file formats, including: EPS, TIFF, PICT, GIF, JPEG, PDF, PNG, Scitex, Targa, BMP, fax and PCX, at any size and resolution, with or without crop marks. It can also create Java or HTML pages from any or all of your document's pages, with a Table of Contents that links to each page. When exporting to GIF, JPEG or PNG format, you have control over color indexing, compression and interlacing.
In addition, you can export to the Clipboard, so you can instantly paste your image into another document or application without having to "open" it first.
It even includes a Photoshop plug-in that automatically controls Photoshop to rasterize vector drawings that were imported into QuarkXPress. The Pro version ($349) can save QuarkXPress boxes as layers in Photoshop, send documents directly to email, and export selections, pages or documents to Acrobat Distiller to instantly create PDFs with custom sizes and resolutions.
So, for example, you could use familiar tools in QuarkXPress to create a button or banner for a Web page, and export it in GIF, JPEG or PNG format, with control over color indexing, compression and interlacing. Or, you could convert several of your best ads or page designs into images for use in another layout or on the Web. You can select among five color models: RGB, CMYK, Indexed Color, Grayscale or Black-and-White. XPressImage also lets you save settings as presets for future use, and supports batch processing, so that any document you put in a "hot" folder will be converted to one of your preset formats.
We use XPressImage every time we need to convert a QuarkXPress item or page to a bitmap format.
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