[Hidden-tech] Question about Quark - InDesign conversion

Jason Miranda | Miranda Design Studio, Inc. jason at mirandadesigninc.com
Tue Feb 23 09:36:39 EST 2016

Hi Julie,

I’ve had some experience going from Quark to InDesign on a Mac on a number of projects. Also been the recipient of archive files to base new publications on that were clearly converted to InDesign from older Quark files.

The plugins are OK, but the conversion is never one-to-one — that is, there are options in character and paragraph stylesheets that don’t translate from Quark to InDesign (especially kerning settings and H&J settings). The conversions are a good starting point, but you’ll need to do pretty significant cleanup work on the text, the character/paragraph stylesheets (and any other table/cell/object styles), and also on the master pages.

The fonts may also cause some reflow as the metrics will change a bit. If the layouts use Postscript fonts on the Mac you’ll need to find a Windows equivalent. You’ll find that lines break in different places, maybe some different hyphenation. Using OTF fonts may minimize this, but I’ve still found differences between Mac and Windows versions.

Last, I’ve also experienced some file corruption with converted files — so beware of that. May be a good idea once the files are converted to export them to IDML and then re-open those IDML files to rebuild the INDD ones. That may be a bit of voodoo, but I’ve found it sometimes clears out whatever is causing the corruption.

I’ve had better luck using other utilities to get styled or tagged text out of a Quark file the, then using the converted files as the basis for rebuilding the master pages and character/paragraph styles (and any other table, cell, or object styles) in InDesign.

A side note: A much earlier version of InDesign (forget which version this was, but it was way back around 2004 or 2005) had the native capability of converting old QuarkXPress files (I think QXD 4.1 files, but may have support QXP5 files). But, if the QuarkXPress files you have were generated by a more recent version, you’d need to do a very byzantine backsaving routine to get to QXD4.1 files and by then some content may drop out if the file format doesn’t support it.

Happy to talk more about it, if you encounter any specific problems or questions!

Jason Miranda | Miranda Design Studio, Inc.
281 Main Street | Easthampton, MA 01027
617-501-1328 (office)

> On Feb 23, 2016, at 9:15 AM, Julie Waggoner <jwaggoner at micablue.com> wrote:
> Has anyone had experience converting Quark files (Mac based) into PC based
> InDesign files?  I see a couple of different ways to do it, listed in info
> blogs, and some of them include purchasing a conversion plugin.  Just
> curious if anyone's tried it, was it successful?
> Thanks!
> Julie Waggoner
> MicaBlue Creative
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