Can I export Quark to Word?

The surprising answer to this question is ‘yes’ — but only up to a point.

If you place the cursor inside a text box and go to File>Save Text, QuarkXPress will let you save the entire story — the contents of the text box and all those linked to it. If you select some text additional options will appear; either to save the selected text or the entire story.

You are presented with a number of options in the ‘Save as Type’ drop-down menu, although you will presumably want to save to the most up-to-date version of Microsoft Word.

There are sometimes good reasons to do this — if authors decide to do a substantial rewrite, or wish to update a previous version of a publication, it makes sense to let them edit the text directly. Of course, this may only be a good thing if your publication is essentially a single, long text thread. You may wish to sit down with authors and explain how the formatting works, to avoid having to tidy up their text too much at a later stage.

Depressingly, the other reason you get asked is because some people assume there’s some magic feature that transforms a Quark document into a faithful Word version (or that you’ve managed to do it in Word in the first place). And there obviously isn’t. Any independent elements such as manual footnotes, tables, standalone text boxes and images will not export.

What to look out for in your Word export

  • The good news is that exporting to Word from Quark brings all your Quark styles into Word. This is a huge time-saver, as your styles should be intact when you import it back again using File>Import Text
  • It’s likely that you’ll be using fonts the author doesn’t have and these will carry through into the Word version. There are two options here. The first is to go to Tools>Options>Save in MS Word and embed the fonts in the document. If that’s unsatisfactory, then edit the Word style sheets to change the fonts to standard Windows (or Mac) ones. When you import the text back into Quark, it should change them back to the fonts you defined in your Quark style sheets
  • Certain Quark-specific functions, for example thin spaces and non-breaking hyphens, aren’t recognised by Word. They will probably export as square-shaped characters in the text. However, they should be restored when you reimport into Quark, so tell your authors to ignore them
  • The Word export will convert your defined colours to RGB. Although coloured text should be converted back to the colour defined in the style sheet, the RGB value will appear in your colours palette and may be lurking somewhere in your document. To be on the safe side, delete this colour from the palette and replace it with the correct one
  • Any text not defined by a style in Quark tends to look horribly unformatted in the Word version
  • The process is not foolproof and you should still check the Quark version carefully after you reimport the text. Don’t come running to me if it goes wrong!

5 Responses to “Can I export Quark to Word?”

  1. Hi, thanks for any help with this: How about exports from QXP 7 into Rich Text Format, for example. Are QXP styles preserved then? Jim

  2. Good question–I didn’t know the answer, so gave it a try.

    Exporting to RTF and opening up in Word does preserve styles, but only sort of–a lot of style variants appear, which would need some work to sort out.

    However, if you save a text string in Quark as RTF and reimport into a blank Quark document, unfortunately all your styles disappear.

  3. Boy, hate to disagree with a lot of what you wrote, but if using Quark for what it is intended, as a design program for documents, even those containing no graphics, but with the use of tabs, you can’t export into Word and hope to have anything copy over.

    I received this link in response to someone in our office wanting to make changes as a word document to an employee handbook that, in Quark, is 76 pages long, all linked type. But as pages of headings, subheads, bulleted points, etc. anything with a tab is set at what word sees as a pre-set tab indention, such as 1/2″ each. Some columns set with a mere 1 pt. indention, or a series of indentions, now take multiple lines of text to try and set what was in a small six inch column in Quark. Am I really missing something in the options to save the text from Quark and then placing it into word? Ed

  4. Hi Ed — you´re kind of correct, but there are some ways around this.

    The important thing is that your paragraph, which contains a tab or indent (and I’m assuming it’s something simple like a numbered list or bullet points), has its own style. When you export the text to MS Word, the style will carry over.

    If the result looks garbled in Word, you can always quickly edit the Word style sheets to improve the appearance.

    In terms of putting the text back into Quark, as I outlined in my post about importing Word files, you often encounter problem with tab spacing. The solution I’ve found is to alter your Word styles so that the indent and tab sizes match exactly the corresponding styles in QuarkXPress (with which you’re replacing the Word styles). Therefore, if your “body text” Quark style has a 5mm indent, put a 5mm indent into your “body text” Word style.

  5. I’d like to export ALL text from a Quark document into word (in one easy go). I’m not bothered about the formatting. I just need the raw text for other people use.

    I’m using Quark 7 on Mac OSX.

    So far I’ve only been able to export a ‘story’ rather than the whole document using ‘Save Text’. Any ideas? It’s going to save me a whole lot of copying and pasting!

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