SAN FRANCISCO (04/19/2000) - ImagePort
After ten years of hearing people ask why they can't import an Adobe Photoshop file directly into a QuarkXPress picture box, I developed a stock answer:
"Because you have to save the image as a TIFF, EPS, JPEG, or DCS file first."
Fortunately, the folks at a lowly apprentice production have apparently heard the same complaints, because they've developed a Quark XTension that not only lets you import native Photoshop files into QuarkXPress picture boxes, but also lets you manipulate layers, channels, and paths from within XPress. ImagePort 1.0 isn't perfect-it can't handle some Photoshop files-but many users will find it an invaluable productivity tool.
Let me be clear: ImagePort provides no tools for drawing or editing pixels (you still have to use Photoshop for that). However, in addition to letting you import layered Photoshop files and hide and show layers, layer masks, and channels, ImagePort really shines in its control over spot-color channels. To modify the color of spot-color text in a Photoshop image, you just make the change in XPress's Color palette; ImagePort updates the screen preview to display the new color. To build a varnish plate in the shape of your image, you create a channel in Photoshop and then tell ImagePort to separate it as a varnish "color." (ImagePort can also import and separate indexed-color images.) Printing is equally easy, though your service bureau will need the free Print-Only ImagePort XTension (which ships with the product and is also available online) to print your document properly.
Like most newly released software, ImagePort is missing several important features. For instance, it can't currently read images in Duotone mode; it can't even read Photoshop's adjustment layers or effect layers. (You have to render these effects to a layer or flatten the image before importing it.) Nor will the program let you convert clipping paths to XPress boxes, apply spot colors to paths, or merge QuarkXPress objects into your images.
Macworld's Buying Advice ImagePort 1.0 isn't for everyone. Many production workflows still require that you use TIFF and EPS files, and many people will find dealing with bulky, layered Photoshop files more painful than working with nice, small, flattened JPEG images. But after years of using a particular workflow, you just might find that the ImagePort XTension breathes new life into your QuarkXPress documents.rating: 4.0 mice #pro: Program lets you open and print layered Photoshop files in QuarkXPress, assign spot-color channels, and hide or display layers.
#con: Doesn't work with all Photoshop files.
#comp: a lowly apprentice production (888/818-5790, www.alap.com).