EDIT: A note that I’ve edited the title of this document to reflect that the workflow works for the 2015 edition of QuarkXPress too.
I’ve been writing and researching a book for some considerable time on Gremlin Graphics – the Sheffield videogame developer that played a huge role in my life growing up as a Yorkshire teenager and whose former staff have gone onto dominate the games industry in some high-profile positions around the world.
I’ve been working in QuarkXPress 10 and have been happy with the results so far, regardless of the idiosyncracies that the software brings. I chose Quark over InDesign because of Adobe’s move to a subscription system via Creative Cloud. The book is a personal (vanity) project and I didn’t want to leave myself high and dry in the future if I’d had little progress with a project that I had to continually pay money for the editor just to do the odd change here and there.
I’d also chosen Blurb as the proposed “first-print” of the prototype book I’d produce as they seemed to offer plenty of configuration options such as page sizes, paper types and book cover choices and had received good reviews. I pushed aside their claim that Quark to PDFX/3 (the format required by Blurb) had an unreliable workflow as their website still referenced v8 of the software and it had moved two iterations since then – surely it had been fixed?
Well to cut a long story short, I managed to battle through the various failures and specification mismatches and finally got an exported Quark project accepted through the Blurb preflight.
So, to get started, here is the QuarkXPress 10 project file that has the correct specifications for page-sizes, margins, etc for a Blurb Standard Landscape book – 25cm x 20cm:
The project file may contain some residue from my project such as Meta Data but you can get around that!
So, when it comes to export for Blurb, do the following:
File > Export > Layout As PDF
Change PDF Style to PDF/X-3:2002
If your project has intentional blank pages then ensure that options is selected:
Pages > Tick > Include Blank Pages
Colour > Setup > Composite CMTK and Spot
Marks > Registration Marks Options > Mode > Off
Bleed > Symmetric > Amount > 0mm
And that’s it! Export the project to a PDF and this should pass the “pages” preflight check for Blurb.