Quark Author Overview Quark Author

The Smart Content Tool

Quark Author is Web-based content creation software that, together with Quark Publishing Platform, enables business and IT leaders to streamline and automate high-value customer communications across every channel. The intuitive online authoring experience means subject matter experts – wherever they are – can rapidly create, preview, publish and reuse content. Lead your competitors, delight your customers. Quark Author – Smart Content for Smart Businesses.

Quark Author

Features

Smart Content Creation

Smart Content Creation

Once content is locked into a document with formatting, it’s very difficult and expensive to break it apart. This is the single biggest barrier for organizations to efficiently create and update high-value communications across channels. Quark Author was purposefully built for business users to create structured content (XML) within a familiar word processor-like environment. Authors can create and organize content components using standard content types such as sections, paragraphs, lists, tables, charts and figures. These content components can be dynamically assembled for any output. Quark Author is based on the Quark Smart Content Schema.

Guided Authoring Experience

Guided Authoring Experience

‘Make it easy’ for subject matter experts is the mantra for Quark Author. The software uses a guided authoring approach based around sections. Different section types can be configured, each with their own unique properties. For example a ‘Procedure’ section could have a title, description, steps and sub-steps. When the author adds a new section, these tags appear, preformatted in the editing canvas ready for the author to type over. In the same way users can create Smart Documents, which are defined in terms of the sections they can contain.

On-Demand Content Validation

On-demand Content Validation

Rather than enforcing rules during the authoring process, which can be cumbersome and slow down the learning and authoring process, users can validate the content they have created at any time or as it’s checked into the system. The validation rules are completely customizable and include things such as checking that terms used within the organization’s content guidelines or that a document contains all of the required sections, such as necessary legal disclosures. This removes all of the typical barriers to creating structured XML content that are present in XML authoring tools.

Content Components and Media Reuse

Content Components and Media Reuse

One of the most important benefits of authoring content components is being able to easily reuse content across documents and media channels. Authors can create new sections within their Smart Documents by directly inserting any section stored on the server. Inserted sections are locked by default but can also be edited inline and any changes made are then reflected back into other documents also utilizing this section. This same principal applies to rich media content, for example the ability to insert video references that can be played inline.

Fine-grained Metadata Support

Fine-grained Metadata Support

Metadata is information about information. For example the ability to identify a specific audience – such as employees, partners or customers – for a specific run of content. This information is generally best captured when the content is authored. In Quark Author, rich metadata can be added at a very granular level, even down to an individual word level and with multiple values to ensure the content is truly smart.

Automated Multi-channel Publishing

Automated Multi-channel Publishing

The Smart Content Schema used by Quark Author was developed with two things in mind: easy of use for subject matter experts and multi-channel output. Quark Author generates semantically rich XML that can be used to drive Quark Publishing Platform’s automated, multi-channel publishing to reach employees, partners and customers. The content, formatting and branding can be customized for each channel, geography, division etc. in order to maximize the effectiveness of your high-value communications whether that be for print, PDF, the Web or mobile apps.

Versioning, Workflow and Component Content Management

Versioning, Workflow and Component Content Management

When you create content at a component-level, a traditional DAM or CMS is not going to be adequate because you need to track, version, permission and workflow content components as opposed to files and documents. Quark Publishing Platform includes out-of-the-box versioning, granular access control, workflow and component content management and as it’s directly integrated, Quark Author benefits from an established, enterprise-class platform.

Real-time Omni-channel Previews

On-Demand Omni-channel Previews

One of the difficulties of creating content is not knowing how it will look in its final published form. That’s even more challenging when the content could be published in a variety of different ways. Through tight integration with Quark Publishing Platform, authors are able to see previews of how the content will look directly within Quark Author. What’s more, they can even select from different media types and formats and thus radically cut down on review and approval cycles, creating content that’s appropriate for its final form.

Works in Any Modern Web Browser

Works in Any Modern Web Browser

Quark Author Web Edition has been built with the very latest in Web standards – HTML5. That means you can use any modern desktop Web browser with Quark Author without the need for annoying plugins. This makes for an easy and dynamic deployment for IT departments and local and remote authors can use the software via any HTML5-enabled, desktop browser.

Reviewing Tools

Reviewing Tools

Track Changes is an essential feature for an efficient review and approval process. By enabling all of the feedback to be collected and viewed directly with the content, the content owner can easily see the proposed edits to decide whether to accept or reject them. Additionally, the Comments Pane provides a convenient way for contributors to add comments and authors to combine these comments.

Collaboration

Collaboration

In a large organization, many business users will contribute to a document either directly or as part of the review and approval process. Quark Author was engineered for demanding, collaborative environments. Different authors can work on different sections of a document at the same time with permissions control deciding which authors can edit which sections. For example, only the legal team may have access to the legal sections of a document. This eliminates lengthy serial workflows where one author has to pass off a document to the next contributor, minimizes copy and paste rework and avoids the confusion over content and document versioning. Quark Author together with Quark Publishing Platform keeps track of it all.

Add Text, Images, Tables, Multi-Media and More

Add Text, Images, Tables, Multi-Media and More

Quark Author was engineered for a multi-channel world so not only can you use it to create text, you can also insert images, video, audio and even specify interactivity such as slideshows and animations. Ordered, unordered and nested lists are supported as well as tables, including preconfigured table templates that define the shape and outline of a table. If your data resides in Excel or another data form, Quark Author - in combination with Quark Publishing Platform - can generate tables, charts and graphs automatically from relational or structured data. Note that tabular and chart data from Excel can be referenced so that any changes to that data in Excel can be dynamically updated at any time.

Semantic and Emphasis Tagging

Semantic and Emphasis Tagging

For content to be truly smart it needs to know what it is and where it needs to go. Quark Author supports semantic tagging at a section, paragraph and character level to enable you to add meaning to content. For example, tagging a company name to enable the company name to be handled differently on output to other text. Equally important is the ability to add emphasis to content. Bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, subscript and superscript are all available from the toolbar to enable authors to add emphasis without being too concerned with the application of that emphasis in each output channel.

Standard Word Processing Tools

Standard Word Processing Tools

There are certain essential tools that any business author needs and we built all of them right into Quark Author including search (Find/Change), Undo/Redo, special character insertion and auto-saving of draft documents to the server. Quark Author can be configured to use either the native spell-checking capabilities provided by the browser, or a spell-checking web service. Out-of-the-box it’s configured to use WebSpellChecker but other options such as JSpell and jQuery Spellchecker may be integrated.

Component Usage Tracking

Component Usage Tracking

One of the major advantages of creating Smart Content is the ability to reuse content components across multiple documents and in multiple media. The flip side of this is ensuring you know which components are used within a document and conversely, which documents use each component. Quark Author provides this information directly within the authoring environment. So if you change a specific set of terms and conditions for example, the author can see every document using these terms that will be impacted by any updates.

Component Pinning

Component Pinning

While content components can be dynamically updated across every document that uses them, there are many instances where you would want to prevent this happening. For example, if you have included database content with fund performance on a specific date, you may want to pin that version of the data to not change in the document. The Pin feature enables authors to associate specific versions of a content component within a document.

Extensible

Extensible

By using standard and familiar Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, XML and Web Services, Quark Author and Quark Publishing Platform can easily integrate into existing IT infrastructure and business systems.

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Quark Author

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Benefits

Efficient Review and Publishing ProcessEfficient Review and Publishing Process

Email and PDF-based review and approval processes are hugely frustrating and inefficient. By directly connecting Smart Content to the multi-channel output, authors can see how their content will look and fit the final output without lengthy back and forth with a design and production team. When combined with Web-based review and approval and automated multi-channel publishing, organizations can benefit from up to 85% more efficient end-to-end publishing processes.

Shortened Time to ResultsShortened Time to Results

Quark Author is a ‘built-for-purpose’ authoring tool designed to provide subject matter experts with an authoring environment that’s efficient, intuitive and works the way they do. With built-in previews providing pixel-perfect renditions of how content will appear in each output channel, authors can create Smart Content in real-time without having to wait for designers to assemble their content into the final design.

Rapid DeploymentRapid Deployment

By removing the need for desktop application installation and management, Quark Author Web Edition is extremely easy for IT to deploy, update and maintain across an organization. As it’s built with native HTML5 code, Quark Author runs on any modern desktop browser without the need for plug-ins. The use of standard Web technologies ensures easy integration with existing business systems.

Rapid Content UpdatesRapid Content Updates

Content lifecycles can be extremely complex whether they are related to standard operating procedures, company policies, research opinions or even marketing copy. Keeping track of which content (text, images, charts, data) has been used where, in which locales and languages and then making those content updates is usually a manual, error-prone and costly process. By creating and managing Smart Content, subject matter experts create content once that can be instantly updated in every document instance.

Streamline Compliance and Regulatory ControlStreamlined Compliance and Regulatory Control

In many industries and departments, ensuring the right version of content is used in the right documents is essential and yet with traditional document-based workflows this can be extremely painful, manual and error prone. By creating Smart Content (also known as content components) that are tracked, versioned and permissioned independently by Quark Publishing Platform, users can be confident the correct legal text, declarations, marketing copy and data is being used and have a full audit trail of which content components have been used in each document and output channel.

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Customers

Quote

“The ability to ensure that the latest compliance information is being used in every document across our business is huge. Previously it was a completely manual process to track down where content had been used and make updates to countless related documents and significant implications if anything was missed. Now it’s a single click and we have complete transparency into where content is used, when it was last updated and who the content owner is.”


Quote

“Our authors are constantly on the go and were previously very frustrated with their ability to make content updates while traveling. Now with a mobile-enabled authoring tool that’s tightly integrated with our customer communications platform, there has been a profoundly positive impact on time-to-market for these subject matter experts.”


Quote

“It is important for us to reduce our dependency on desktop software applications as we move to a more deployment friendly model. From a content authoring perspective, Quark Author is exactly what we need to realize this strategy.”


Quote

“Content used to be locked in PDFs, which made it hard for our customers to consume it in a friendly manner across the new digital channels. Quark Author has enabled our authors to create media-neutral content without having to know all the details of any particular channel, making our content future proof.”


Quote

“While I can’t share the specific details, this new solution with Quark Author has reduced our total time to update a document from weeks to days. The main reason is componentisation, which means most of the content in a document that does not change frequently does not need to be reviewed again and again.”

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Screenshots

Preview Print PDF

Preview Print PDF

Create New Component

Create New Component

Track Changes

Track Changes

Excel Charts

Excel Charts


Semantic Tagging Inline

Semantic Tagging Inline

Semantic Tagging Paragraph Block

Semantic Tagging Paragraph Block

Component Pinning

Component Pinning

Commenting

Commenting


Preview Tablet

Preview Tablet

Emphasis Tagging

Emphasis Tagging

Preview Web

Preview Web

Inserting Special Characters

Inserting Special Characters


Pane Settings

Pane Settings

Check-in Smart Content to Server

Check-in Smart Content to Server

Smart Document in Quark Publishing Platform

Smart Document in Quark Publishing Platform

Insert Chart Table from Server

Insert Chart Table from Server

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Demos

Quark Author Demo

See for yourself the simplicity and power of Quark Author for creating,
reusing and updating content components using any modern desktop Web browser.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can Quark Author be integrated with Component Content Management (CCM) software systems?

Quark Author Web Edition is tightly integrated with Quark Publishing Platform, which is the component content management system for all authored content. Quark Publishing Platform goes beyond other CCM software systems by also being able to manage all of the graphical, interactive and brand components and then dynamically combine content and graphics to assemble the output for all digital channels.

Does Quark Author Web Edition work on the Mac

Yes. You can use Quark Author Web Edition to create structured content on Mac OS X using any modern desktop Web browser.

Which schema and DTDs does Quark Author support?

Quark Author uses the Quark Smart Content Schema. This was created from combined decades of XML authoring and publishing experience within Quark and heavily informed by DITA and other schema. The benefit for customers is reduced time from project start to results. If you have specific schema or DTD requirements please feel free to contact one of our experts or take a look at the Quark XML Author product.

What’s the difference between Quark Author and Quark XML Author?

Quark XML Author is an advanced authoring plug-in for Microsoft Word that enables non-technical authors to create XML content using the familiar Word interface. Outside of one product working with Microsoft Word on the desktop and the other running in a Web browser, there are a number of differences between the products. Speak with one of our experts and based on your specific situation and requirements, they will be able to recommend the best choice for you.

Why not just use Office 365 or Google Docs?

Web-based authoring tools such as Office 365 (Word Online) and Google Docs are great for adhoc collaboration on documents where there is no focus on content reuse or automating the publishing process of that content out to multiple delivery channels. Rather than being document focused, Quark Author Web Edition is focused on creating reusable content components. You have all the benefits of Web-based collaboration that other online authoring tools provide but online collaboration is just the start. Benefit from reusable content components, real-time previews of your content in different media channels and automated output (through Quark Publishing Platform) to mobile apps, PDF, HTML, print and more.

Is Quark Author customizable?

Being an HTML5, Web-based authoring tool makes Quark Author Web Edition extremely easy to customize. What’s more, the skillsets required for implementation and customization are widely available (CSS, XML, HTML).

What types of documents can I create using Quark Author?

Quark Author can be used for creating a wide variety of business documents. Some examples include policies and procedures, standard operating procedures, investment research reports, analyst reports, product datasheets, marketing campaign messaging and marketing collateral.

Do you offer professional services to help set up and implement Quark Author?

Yes. The first step in any deployment is to work with the client to understand their content authoring and publishing requirements and ensure that the system is configured to maximise your efficiency. Quark has a very experienced professional services team that that has been assisting clients in deploying end-to-end content authoring and publishing solutions for many years. Our services include consulting, customization, content mapping, training and implementation support.

We see that you are based in the US. Do you work with non-US-based clients and languages?

Yes. Quark is a global organization with customers in almost every country. Many of our existing clients are global organizations creating and publishing content in a range of languages, each supported by Quark’s distributed sales, service and support organizations.

What do your support services look like?

Quark offers a variety of support programs that fill most standard business needs, for example 5x8 during local business hours. Should special support requirements exist, Quark provides customized support plans to meet each client’s needs.

How many customers do you have?

Quark has hundreds of thousands of customers around the globe spanning a wide range of industries and applications. The company has more than 20 years of experience in enterprise software development, deployment and support.

How long has Quark been offering authoring solutions?

Quark has been developing software solutions for more than 30 years. While our early page layout software was itself used for authoring, Quark first started offering dedicated authoring solutions with QuarkCopyDesk in the early 90’s, introduced Quark XML Author in 2002 and now the first HTML5-based Smart Content authoring tool of its kind, Quark Author Web Edition. The common thread through all of these authoring tools has been creating structured content for reuse and automated publishing.

Do you work with partners?

Quark has an active partner community and has organized its relationships around strategy, technology, solutions and resellers. For more information on Quark’s partner program including how to become a partner, please see the Quark partner page on our website.

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Resources

Quark Author Info Sheet

Info Sheet:

Quark Author

Quark Author is a Web-based content authoring tool designed for business users and subject matter experts to create Smart Content that can be easily reused across documents and media channels. Download this Info Sheet to learn more about the benefits and capabilities of this innovative product.

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eBook

eBook:

The Beginner’s Guide to Smart Content

For decades technical writers and technical publishers have reaped the benefits of XML to lower the cost and effort associated with creating, managing and reusing content across multiple output formats. Now, with the introduction of Smart Content, business users and subject matter experts can easily adopt XML in order to keep up with consumer demand for high-value communication.

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Tech Specs

Deployment

Quark Author Web Edition is a native HTML5 application that runs within any modern desktop computer Web browser that supports HTML5. The benefits are significant for any IT organization when compared to installing and maintaining desktop applications. Every desktop and laptop computer is guaranteed to be running the exact same version of the software, updates can be deployed rapidly and should the organization choose, the authoring environment could be made available instantly to remote and part time users.

Customization and Integration

Standard Web technologies are at the heart of Quark Author Web Edition including configuration through XML-based config files and cascading stylesheets. Quark Author can be customized using Javascript, CSS, and can be easily integrated with server-side applications using standard HTML and other Web technologies. Customers can choose their server side processing including Quark Publishing Platform’s enterprise Java infrastructure.


Quark Author Architecture

Quark Author Architecture


Quark Author Web Edition requires Quark Publishing Platform for deployment. Quark Publishing Platform provides several services to Quark Author including configuration, management of the content components, versioning, workflow, multi-channel previews and integration with other systems within your organization.

Smart Content Schema

The Quark Smart Content Schema is at the heart of Quark Author and can be configured using the RelaxNG Schema language.

Supported Browsers

Web browsers with support for HTML5 include the latest versions of Chrome (Win/Mac), Firefox (Win/Mac), Safari (Mac) and Internet Explorer 9 (Win) and later.

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