I used QuarkXpress years ago when freelancing on a temporary basis with a local printer/publisher, when I edited manuscripts for local authors and developed the layouts. The version with which I am familiar is Quark 4.1. (A long time ago!)

But I am now considering returning to editing and publishing manuscripts, so which is preferable please: QuarkXpress or InDesign? I have a 64-bit PC running Windows 10.

I have little to no experience of Adobe as I have never used PhotoShop, as I used the software provided by marketing departments at the time, such as PaintShop Pro.

Thank you

  • 1
    This might get closed as "opinion-based" but you should give a thought to Affinity Publisher too - appleinsider.com/articles/19/07/18/…
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 8, 2020 at 12:38
  • ".. editing and publishing manuscripts .." -- if these are existing manuscripts and they are sent to you to process, you don't really have a choice. Transferring an entire design from either program to the other one is a lot of work.
    – Jongware
    Jul 9, 2020 at 9:24

2 Answers 2


If you don't need to deliver source files for other people to use, then go with Quark, since you're already familiar with that.

If, instead, other people need access to the source files, Quark is probably not going to work, because it is very likely most people now are so deep into the Adobe workflow, they may not even know what Quark is honestly. Let alone having a licence or be willing to purchase a licence just to open some specific files.


FrameMaker, also by Adobe, is preferred for books and technical manuals. It was the standard long before InDesign. Adobe acquired FrameMaker long ago, and has continued development. FrameMaker's workflow, interchange format, customization, and other features (running headers/footers, for one) are much appreciated by technical publishing outfits large and small. I've used QuarkXPress, InDesign and FrameMaker, and I prefer FrameMaker for books like software and hardware manuals. Quark was my preferred tool for newspaper layout. InDesign bothered me for a long time because it could be unstable, wasn't really publication-oriented, and overlapped with other Adobe products.

Almost every long publication gets delivered as PDF now (even for commercial printing), so you need to be comfortable with the PDF end of the workflow too.

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