If I create a document in Quark Xpress, can I 'link' / 'join' / what-else an external data source and simply use automatic repeatedd sections and placeholders so updating external source will allow an update in my xpress project?

I do not want to simply import a table!

For example: I have a file with a list of name, surname, phones, address, etc...

I'd like to tell xpress to insert a section with n repeated sections, and in each section place in the top left the surname, in the top right the phone, at center of second row the phone number, etc...

I ask here because I never worked before with this software, and actually as developer I must create 'something' that can be used as 'datasource' to easily generate a document in quark xpress. . .

I think it must be possibile, I simply do not understand how to create this kind of 'macro' or 'automatism' to use an external datasource.

Please, be patient with me, first posts here. Ask, and I'll try to update my question.

If this is NOT possible, an answer with a simple 'it's not possible' will be accepted.

  • It may help us to better understand your requirements if you can clarify why I do not want to simply import a table!? If it wasn't for that sentence, importing a table would have been one of the suggestions I'd make, so understanding why that isn't a good option will help inform other answers. Also, what version of QuarkXPress do you need this to work with?
    – Monomeeth
    Oct 11 '18 at 4:28
  • Well, I have not a tabular structure. There 5 kind of structures. I have full control on how and what to export but data kind are soooooo disomogeneus ...
    – realtebo
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:27

There are two ways to go about this. You can either get commercial QuarkXPress XTension software that handles database publishing or you can attempt to write your own AppleScript that talks to some external data source and builds elements in a QuarkXPress document.

I haven't used commercial database publishing software, I just know they exist. So I can't help much beyond suggesting to search for "Quark database publishing" and looking around. I would imagine that this type of solution would support more different types of databases and would be easier to implement. This would also probably be a little expensive.

The second option - AppleScript - can be difficult, as whoever is implementing this would need to have access to and be familiar with QuarkXPress and AppleScript. I don't think you can even start to develop an AppleScript for an application that isn't installed on your computer.

You would also need to find a way to talk to your database using AppleScript, which might limit the kinds of databases you could use. I've mostly created scripts that used delimited text exports from databases as a starting point, which may not be enough for you.

Writing an AppleScript can be painstaking work, as the documentation is hard to follow and finding the right syntax to accomplish something is often just trying different things until you find something that works. But, you might not need to spend any money at all, especially if you can work from delimited text exports.

Telling you how to write an AppleScript is a little beyond the scope of a StackExchange answer, but searching for "Quark AppleScript" should at least get you started. There are also normally example AppleScripts installed with Quark, I think in the application's folder.

  • Thanks. That was a missing glue . I didn't know that I could use Apple Script versus Quark Express. I will study this route. Thanks.
    – realtebo
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:25

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