How to Make a PDF Catalog in Quark

Written by shawn m. tomlinson
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QuarkXPress became the most-used desktop publishing software package when PageMaker failed to live up to its original promise. OXP makes designing virtually any print package doable in a short time if you know the tricks that make it quick. There are two ways to make a PDF catalogue in QXP: Design the catalogue, then export it to a PDF file or design the catalogue using PDF image files inside it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Open QuarkXPress and set up the parameters of your catalogue project. For example, if you want an 8-by-10-inch standard print catalogue, go to "File" then to "New" and "Project" in QXP 7 or later. Set "Style" for US Letter and make sure the "Orientation" is set to portrait. You can use the default margins or set your own.

  2. 2

    Design the grid you will need for the type catalogue you intend to create. For example, if you just want photos of items with a small description beside them, you may want two columns parallel to each other with the photo to the left and the description to the right. You can set guides for the insertion of image and text elements by going to the rulers on the top or bottom of the page, clicking with the mouse and holding and dragging the guides that appear to the location you want. The top ruler provides horizontal guides, while the side ruler provides vertical guides. These work just like preset guides by making image and text boxes "snap" to them.

  3. 3

    Set up one photo box and one text box. Go to the side Toolbar and select the picture box--with the X in the centre--then click on one corner, hold and drag to create the photo box. Do the same with the text box--with and "A" in it--for the text. When you have these two set, and before you import images or text, select both by dragging the mouse around them.

    Then use Command-D (Mac)/Control-D (Windows) to duplicate the set. You can move that into the next slot and repeat the action. An alternative is to use a Library--go to "File" then "New" and then "Library"--where you can store the combined boxes for continual use. Once they are in the Library, you can drag as many copies as you want onto the page.

  4. 4

    Import the graphics and text. You can import JPEG, TIFF, PDF and other formats by clicking once on the picture box, then going to "File" and "Import Picture." Text importation works the same way. The shortcut is Command-E (Mac)/Control-E (Windows). Once you're catalogue is set, you are ready to create your PDF version of the catalogue.

  5. 5

    Export the catalogue to a PDF file. Go to "File" then to "Export" then to "Export Layout As PDF." This brings up a dialogue box where you can choose all pages or specific ones for export. For more control over how the PDF will appear, click the "Options" button and set such things as hyperlinks and Metadata for the file. When you are set, name the file at the top of the dialogue box and click "Save." If it is a big catalogue, it will take a few minutes to export.

  6. 6

    Check how the PDF looks by opening it in Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop or some other program. Some things are noticeably wrong when viewed as a PDF, so you may need to fix them back in QXP and export it again.

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