QuarkXPress is a desktop publishing (page layout) application for Mac OS and Windows, produced by Quark, Inc.
The first version was released in 1987. XTensions technology, which allows developers to create custom software add-ons for Quark products, was also introduced in 1987. QuarkXPress Passport is QuarkXPress with the added ability to handle multiple language documents.
Although there are similar applications for the home and small office market, such as Adobe PageMaker and Microsoft Publisher, QuarkXPress has long been the dominant application for professional design of magazines and brochures.
Adobe InDesign, launched as a direct competitor, was slow to gather speed, but outsold QuarkXPress in 2002.
However, even if this trend continues, Quark's much larger installed user base would take years to erode. According to Meryl Lynch in 2004, QuarkXPress' market share was still 8 times that of InDesign.
However, for much of its history, Quark had a history of doing relatively infrequent new versions, and pricing them at a high level. This, combined with public perception of former CEO Ebrahimi's attitude towards the company's customers, has resulted in a strong negative feeling among many of Quark's customers, which seems to be enhancing competitor Adobe Systems' ability to woo people to try their competing software, Adobe InDesign.
Recent new versions of QuarkXPress have emphasized web development features almost as much as print publishing, which has frustrated some of Quark's traditional print users seeking feature parity with InDesign.
Since version 6.0 QuarkXPress offers multiple undo/redo functionality, enhancements to the table, XML and web page features and support for direct PDF output. Quark has said that it will not support advanced layout features of OpenType before version 7 and also Unicode will be supported only in QuarkXPress version 7.
New versions of the software introduced new file formats. However, in order to retain compatibility QuarkXPress 5 can save in 5 or 4 format, QuarkXPress 6 can save in 6 and 5 format and both QuarkXPress 5 and 6 can open QuarkXPress 3, 4, and 5 documents. Obviously, only QuarkXPress 6 can open version 6 documents. This creates a number of problems for users trying to maintain compatibility with each other and is holding back the upgrade process since a large share of users still use Quark 4.11.