I am having a problem with QuarkXPress on an iMac running Mac OS X 10.11.6.

The problem is that whenever I try to open a particular project QuarkXPress crashes. I would normally have a backup, but I’ve only been working on this project since yesterday and haven’t got one.

Is there anything I can do that will avoid losing everything I’ve done up to this point?

Please tell me if this is the wrong site for this question. I flipped a coin to pick between this one and the graphic design one. :)

1 Answer 1


QuarkXPress has a built-in process for validating project files that you can use to try and repair any file inconsistencies. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Launch QuarkXPress
  2. Go to File > Open (or press commandO)
  3. Navigate to and select the project file you’re having a problem with, but do not click on Open yet
  4. Now press and hold controlshiftoptioncommand
  5. While still holding these keys down, click on the Open button

You should find that the project opens successfully without crashing QXP, but you may also find that your content has reflowed differently to how you had it originally. Now you should create a new version of the project by dragging the thumbnails from this one to a new one. See below for how to do this:

  1. Still in QXP, create a new project
  2. Make sure the new project has the same layout and setup (such as facing pages or not) and also has the same number of pages
  3. In each of the projects, go to View > Thumbnails
  4. In each of the projects, go to Window > Tile and select either horizontal or vertical
  5. Now, in your original project click the first page and hold down the shift key while you also click on the last page
  6. Now drag the pages to your new project
  7. Save your new project using a different name
  8. Close both projects
  9. Now try to reopen the new project you saved at Step 7

At this point, the best case scenario is that your new project opens without crashing QXP. If so, make a backup of it before working to get your design back to how you wanted.

If you can’t open the new project, then it’s likely the problem was a particular image, font, etc. If this is the case, follow Steps 1 to 9 again except at Steps 5 and 6 only drag one page across to the new project. If that works, then you know that page was fine, so repeat the steps to copy one page at a time and, as you do that, save your file using a different name each time. This way you’ll hopefully identify the page (or pages) that was causing the problem.

I know there’s quite a bit in this answer to follow, so if you have any problems or I’ve not been very clear, let me know and I’ll try to help you further.

  • Wow!! This worked a treat and I swear you saved me like 8 or 9 hrs of work! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)
    – user234025
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 9:21
  • 1
    My pleasure! :) As an aside, QXP also offers native support for automatically saving backups of your projects. Go to QuarkXPress > Preferences... and select Open and Save in the left-hand pane. This will give you access to Auto Save and Auto Backup options. You may want to consider taking advantage of these. Good luck with your project!
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 9:47
  • 1
    I use QXP almost daily and didn't know this trick. Thank you for sharing! :)
    – user205310
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 12:23

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