Introduction: The Oldest Living Layout App

Trying to figure out just what type of program QuarkXPress is reminds me of a scene from an old Saturday Night Live episode, when a couple bickered over their new purchase. “It’s a floor wax,” said one. “No, it’s a dessert topping,” replied the other. The answer soon became clear: “It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping.” QuarkXPress is a program with the same predicament. Some people insist it’s a typesetting application. Others bet their bottom dollar that it’s a Web-design tool. Still others make XPress a way of life.

The truth is that QuarkXPress is all these things, and more. However, no matter how you use it, it is never more than a tool. And a tool is never more than the person behind it.

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