Retraining ahead for subs as Guardian quits Quark

By Mary Stevens

Sub-editors and writers throughout Guardian Newspapers are to be retrained after the company announced plans to ditch Quark’s publishing software, which has been the industry standard for the past 20 years, and switch to rival Adobe InDesign.

The company’s titles – including The Guardian, The Observer and all digital titles – are to switch from Quark XPress and QPS to InDesign and In Copy. The move will lead to speculation that more papers – both national and regional – will now abandon Quark.

The group will hold a series of workshops during the next six months so that journalists can understand the new system and offer feedback.

Nick Passmore, head of editorial systems development, said: “There will be a period over the next few years where almost a generation of people who have used QPS and not InDesign will have to change. But the Telegraph Group has committed to changing and we expect other significant publishers to change also.”

The company will develop the new system until November when a six-month period of testing will begin. InDesign will then be rolled out across 750 Apple Mac computers and 200 laptops used on The Guardian, The Observer, its magazines, website and smaller products.

GNL IT director Derek Gannon said: “Over the past five years we have pushed very hard on innovation. We think Apple and Adobe will continue that and offer a much more flexible system. We want a more flexible way of working to get a better work/

life balance. Also, this will give us advantages when working across both web and print. We want to make sure we are ready when people make the cross between web and print. We think cross media publishing will come more and more to the fore.”

Gannon said he hoped the system would be in place by 2004.

Quark has been criticised in recent months for its delay in coming up with a new version of XPress compatible with the latest generation of Macs and their Mac OS X software. The new Quark 6 was only unveiled at the start of last month and was expected to arrive in the UK this week.

The delay has allowed InDesign to step in and secure contracts with several leading publishers. They include Reed Business Information, whose magazines will switch over in the next 12 months. In February the National Magazine Company announced it was switching 17 titles to InDesign. CondŽ Nast’s Glamour was the first major magazine in the UK to use InDesign. The Telegraph titles announced a switch from Quark to InDesign in 2001.

Cross Head, page 26

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