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Editing Color in QuarkXPress

written by: •edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 5/29/2009

Creating new colors in QuarkXPress is a simple process, allowing users to expand on a very limited default color palette.

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    Editing color in QuarkXPress

    Unless you work only with black and white documents, knowing how to create and edit colors in QuarkXPress is crucial.

    The default colors for QuarkXPress are black, blue, cyan, green, magenta, red, white, yellow and registration (which is not really a color, but more on that at the end of this article). Not only is this palette fairly limited, these colors are not all in the same color space. Cyan, magenta, yellow and black are CMYK colors, while blue, green and red are RGB colors (a difference that becomes more important when your document leaves the screen and becomes a printed page).

    However, Quark is not limited to these particular colors. To add additional color to your document, you have to go into the ‘Edit’ tab and choose ‘Colors’. At this point, the ‘Default Colors’ box will pop up, showing the limited list of colors mentioned above. You will then click on the ‘New’ button at the bottom of the box. You will be given a number of options as to the color space your new color will reside in (CMYK, RGB, Pantone and Web Safe are a few of the many choices). It is important that you think ahead at this point as to how the job will be output when it is finished. If the job is going on a printing press, pick CMYK or spot color, depending on whether it is a spot color job or a process color job.

    Once you pick the color you want, you will then name it. If it is a spot color, it is important that you click the ‘Spot Color’ option, otherwise it will not separate properly if you are making color separations. After you have gone through all of this, click ‘OK’, and you will find yourself back in the ‘Default Color’ box, but with the new color now in the palette. Click on the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the box, and you will have the new color to work with in your document. You can create as many colors as needed in this way.

    A note about registration; even though listed in the color palette, it is not technically a color. When you apply registration to an object in your document, it prints on every separated color plate of a job, making it ideal for things like registration marks and crop marks. By default, it is black on your screen, but you can change it to any color you want if you feel the need to differentiate it from the black you are using in your design.