Designers using the QuarkXPress 7 page layout application will get a free bonus on April 2, when Quark will release the Quark XPert Tool Pro set for free from the company's Web site. The giveaway follows less than a week after Adobe's March 27 announcement of the full details for its Creative Suite 3, which should include a new version of QuarkXPress's main rival, InDesign.

The XTensions within the set, which was previously the ALAP XPert Tools Pro set until Quark acquired ALAP last year, are compatible with QuarkXPress 7 for the first time. They include XPert FindChange, which allows designers find-&-replace many different types of page element. XPert ItemStyles enables users to quickly create attractive pages while keeping design consistent, and the XPert Pilot feature will let them go beyond tiny thumbnails to see large, graphically rich overviews of their projects.

Other XTensions in Quark XPert Tools Pro include XPert Guides for creating and editing on-screen guides with precise control, XPert Scale for scaling multiple objects and their contents in a layout quickly and easily, and XPert BoxTools to ease the process of adjusting the size and placement of items, text, and graphics.

XPert ImageInfo allows designers to access information about pictures and the capabilities for modifying pictures placed in layouts, XPert PageSets can save frequently used settings in the New Project dialog box as a style, and XPert Toolbars can create custom palettes for quick access to any QuarkXPress function.

XPert TextLink provides an intuitive palette for linking and unlinking text boxes and text paths, while XPert Print can print or export pages or spreads as EPS files, and XPert Type allows users to access and apply common text-formatting options quickly and easily.