We’ve negotiated the rights with Darryl Keck to make his blockbuster Xtags book freely available, Xtags Maximized. The book has over 200 pages in 9 chapters, diving both deep and wide into using Xtags for serious production work.
You can download the book from the link above, or from the sidebar on this page and the Xtags product page.
Even though it’s some years old now, and written for Xtags for QuarkXPress, the book is still fairly accurate, since the features described haven’t changed. (Xtags certainly has had new features added since then, which you can explore using the release history links found in the download sidebar elements on this page.) The book also generally applies to Xtags for InDesign, since we try to keep the two versions working as closely as humanly possible.
To paraphrase an old proverb about justice, “the wheels of Em Software development turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.”
It’s been a very long time since we’ve released any news about our XTensions for QuarkXPress 10 under Mac OS X—the Windows port was done mid-last-year—, mostly because we had no good news to share. We’re a small 4-man company, severely engineering-resource-limited (there’s really only one engineer who could do the work, Chris Roueche). The QuarkXPress 10 Mac OS XTension porting work loomed as a mountain we couldn’t really start climbing until we had cleared away some major obligations (the ports involved converting all code from Carbon to Cocoa, which is a serious change). We kept having to make tough engineering resource decisions over the past year that we judged the best for our customers overall. The end result of those decisions was a major delay affecting some of our QuarkXPress customers, and we’re sorry for that.
Chris was able to start the porting work in earnest this year, and so we’re very happy to show concrete porting progress in the release of Xtags 3.8.4 for QuarkXPress 10 under OS X.
Our current best estimate is that Xdata for QuarkXPress 10 OS X will be available by mid-March, with Xcatalog (the largest of the ports, due to its relatively large user interface) to follow a few weeks later.
The good news is that, once these ports are done, there shouldn’t be any more serious mountains to climb for future releases of QuarkXPress.
As a case in point, we’re also simultaneously producing versions of these XTensions for QuarkXPress 2015, which is due in late March, according to Quark. If you’d like to test our prerelease versions of Xtags—and perhaps Xdata if we hit our target—under the QuarkXPress 2015 beta, please contact support, and we’ll put you in touch with the Quark 2015 beta test folks (who will require you to join their beta program under NDA, so only ask if you’re serious).
With this release of Xtags, we are pleased (and relieved!) to announce the addition of full support for QuarkXPress 10 on Mac OS X. Please note that with this release, our QuarkXPress 10 XTensions now require QuarkXPress 10.2 or later (both Mac OS X and Windows).
This release includes minor improvements to product stability and scripting.
This patch release improves compatibility with the Electra LH font family.
This release adds a box fitting enhancement, improves PDF importing, and fixes an issue with inline frames and vertical justification.
This release adds compatibility with InDesign CC 2014 and a few minor fixes.
This Xtags update fixes a problem when using Save with Xtags… on Windows. (Sorry, Xtags for QuarkXPress 10 is still Windows only at this point.)
This release of Xtags adds support for QuarkXPress 10 (Windows only, for the moment), discontinues support for QuarkXPress 8, and includes minor fixes.
This patch release includes a fix for a problem that could cause InDesign to shut down in some OS X 10.6 and 10.7 configurations.
This patch release fixes a problem with frame creation on master pages.
This quick-patch release fixes a frame width problem introduced in the 2.0 release.
This major update adds compatibility with InDesign CC, and also includes long-awaited support for object styles and lines. Yes, lines. Woot!
This patch release of Xtags for InDesign provides fixes for tagged text importing and exporting, display updating, and the preferences dialog.
This release of Xtags for QuarkXPress adds the ability to size anchored frames to their column and fixes problems with tags output.
This release of Xtags for InDesign adds a progress bar and support for OpenType features, and addresses a couple of import issues.
(Click on the graphic to see the full pdf.)
- The data is maintained in CatBase. This includes all the details, picture names and sizes, etc.
- The customer selects which products to publish (e.g., all products for one manufacturer, as in the attached example; all products of a certain type, such as sofas; all products that a certain dealer sells; all products in a certain collection; etc.).
This release of Xtags for InDesign adds the ability to size anchored frames to their column and includes several other improvements and fixes.
In 1999, Pre1 first sold its newspaper software to an alternative newsweekly in Portland, Oregon. Today, more than 400 titles are printed using Pre1’s SmartPublisher, with more coming online each month. By now, literally millions of ads have been converted into print. Xtags made it all possible.
Pre1’s mission is to streamline workflow for publications by integrating into one product multiple business processes vital to newspaper and magazine publishers. For the most part, every publication works the same. The sales reps sell ads, the accountants collect money, and the production department builds the ads. When deciding how to unite these various disciplines in a single software product for newspapers and magazines, Pre1’s challenge was which technologies to count on to get the job done.
This release of Xtags adds support for relative line sizing and POSIX paths, and fixes some minor box-creation issues.
This release of Xtags for InDesign adds support for InDesign CS6, officially ends support for CS4, improves compatibility with InDesign’s Smart Text Reflow and fixes an issue with the &it tag.
We’re happy to announce the immediate availability of Xtags 8.1.4 beta 1 for Adobe InDesign CS6.
We’re pleased to announce that we now have server versions of our popular, field-proven data publishing solutions available for Adobe InDesign CS5 Server and Adobe InDesign CS5.5 Server.
This patch release of Xtags for InDesign addresses a couple recently found scripting issues.
This patch release of Xtags for InDesign addresses tab composition compatibility.
This patch release of Xtags addresses a minor serialization issue.
This release extends script label support and includes several critical fixes.
This release adds compatibility for Adobe’s 7.5.1 update to InDesign CS5.5 and fixes problems with scripted object exports.
This release of Xtags adds support for QuarkXPress 9 to that for QuarkXPress 8 and drops support for both QuarkXPress 6 and 7.
This maintenance release addresses issues with frame corners and the &it tag and introduces support for character leading.
Quark announced recently that QuarkXPress 9 is set to ship on April 26th (later this month), with a “test drive” version available until then on the Quark web site.
We’re delighted to announce that the 9.x versions of our XTensions–compatible with the final QuarkXPress 9 release–are now available from the right sidebar of this post, and from the respective product pages.
This version of QuarkXPress looks to have a tremendous set of new features and improvements, and should be a must-have upgrade for anyone who wants to build e-books or make mobile apps from QuarkXPress content. This new version also catches up to its main competitor in various ways: conditional styles, bullets and numbering, callouts, story editing, etc.
One of the new features of QuarkXPress 9 that greatly improves our products is the new anchored-table-breaking ability. This means you’ll be able to create anchored tables in Xdata that break automatically over column or page boundaries.
This release provides a fix for the positioning of imported pictures and adds compatibility with InCatalog 6/126.96.36.199 and later.
This release of Xtags for QuarkXPress adds tags for hyperlinks, a speed-up for anchored boxes and, in the server XTension, support for multiple imports into named boxes.
Here and here are a couple of articles from the University of Kent CMS blog, providing a brief overview of how they use Xtags to drive printed output in a Drupal environment, and their experience with the process.
There’s a great article on Xtags here, on the DPCI (Database Publishing Consultants, Inc.) website.
It covers a bit of history, the target audience for Xtags, gives a simple workflow example, and then talks about using the same tags for InDesign as for QuarkXPress, and the issues you might encounter.
Overall, an excellent overview of Xtags!
Since we forgot to include documentation for one major new feature in our original release notes for Xtags 6/7 for InDesign CS4/CS5 (now fixed), we thought we should call attention to it separately: Xtags now boasts new tags for hyperlinks, cross-references and text anchors. See the updated release notes.
These tags have long been requested, and we’re glad to finally deliver them with this release. Let us know how they work for you.
We’re delighted to announce that both InData and Xtags for CS5 (and CS4) are now officially released, and available for download and purchase from their respective product pages:
InCatalog for CS5 is coming to life in the labs, but is probably still a couple of weeks away from beta test.
This release of Xtags for InDesign adds support for InDesign CS5 to that for CS4 (dropping support for CS2/CS3), adds tags for hyperlinks, cross-references and text anchors, adds support for Xtags import and export through the standard InDesign place/export dialogs as well as drag’n’drop, for above-line and custom positioning of anchored frames, for anchored frame position locking, and improves missing picture handling.
This release of Xtags for InDesign adds standard white and black color names for XPress cross-compatibility, and adds more intelligent handling of non-style-applying @ characters in text (e.g., as used for email addresses).
(This release includes all release notes back to the beginning of the CS2/CS3/CS4 series.)
This set of releases includes a huge set of bug fixes, and such features XPress 8 support, XPress Server 7/8 support, as intelligent @-sign handling, improved missing picture handling, Xtags Pro (table) handling improvements, a massive performance speed-up when placing unanchored boxes (up to 10X), “version 2″ variants of all the anchored box tags, new “none” box tags, box background blend support, auto-shrinking of text boxes horizontally and in the face of multiple columns, box background and frame opacity support, blends in table, row, and cell tags, and much more.
Note that this covers all releases back to the start of the XPress 6/7/8 series.
This set of releases fixes a huge range of bugs and adds improved bold/italic font handling, layer support, object-level scripting support, hierarchical styles, no-content (“none”) frames, updated anchored frame variants with more control, full runaround types on frames, translation tables, macros, tagged text output, and much more.
(This includes all release notes back to the beginning of the CS2/CS3 series.)
These early releases of Xtags added quite a few small features, but mostly fixed bugs in the initial release.
Note that this includes all release notes back to the original Xtags 3.0 for InDesign CS.
This set of releases includes a whole slew of bug fixes and adds many features, including additional picture box runaround type support, box placement relative to another named box, PDF page and cropping support on import, Unicode import/export in XPress 7, support for layers on box creation, and much more.