• Price: 69

  • Pros: Easy-to-use Flash (SWF) authoring integrated into QuarkXPress 7. Lets you create cross-media print, Web, and Flash projects with shared elements.

  • Cons: Cannot import and modify existing projects or SWF files from other applications. URL linking was a bit temperamental on our installation.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

Quark Interactive Designer is an XTensions kit for QuarkXPress that lets you set up interactive Flash presentations from within the DTP application. QuarkXPress can already create and export Web pages in parallel with print layouts, but Interactive Designer extends this toolset.

Quark Interactive Designer lets you include Shockwave Flash (SWF) graphics with sound, movies, animation, and interactive buttons in Web sites created in XPress. It’s intended to be more designer-friendly than Adobe’s own Flash Professional application, with no need to learn scripting or timeline concepts.

It can access XPress’ standard tools such as layout, typography, transparency, and drop shadows. Elements can be shared between print, Web and SWF designs.

There’s a decent library supplied, covering page transitions, buttons, media playing, and menu building.

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Interactive Designer is based on objects and pages rather than the timeline model of Flash. For example, to add a music button you just draw a box, add a click event and a sound action. Sound, video, and other SWF content can be linked or embedded.
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Interactive Designer requires the latest XPress 7.02 update. After installation, the XPress New Project menu includes a new Interactive layout option alongside Print and Web. This gives you a further choice of Presentation, Image Sequence, or Button type, with size, frame rate, and several other options. Existing print layouts can be converted to interactive, or you can set up HTML pages with embedded SWF content.
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