Quark this morning announced Quark Interactive Designer, a major new application that extends the capabilities of XPress 7 to the web and beyond.

The company also released an essential update to its design application. QuarkXPress 7.0.2 is required to run Quark Interactive Designer. The update offers a selection of new features, including the ability to authorise machines from within the application. The release also offers typographic support for new languages as well as resolution of some reported bugs.

A new License Transfer function lets users deactivate and activate the software without relying on external resources (or the Quark call centre). It also allows customers to run previous versions of QuarkXPress in parallel to QuarkXPress 7 on the same machine.

Quark UK marketing director Gavin Drake described the challenges designers face when confronted by clients wanting more than just a print document.

He believes designers lose out on work because of their inability to offer multi-channel solutions such as print, web, interactive material, and content for mobile phones.

"If a client comes to a small design agency and asks them to produce a print brochure as well as a website and an interactive and they can only do one component of it, the client will find someone who can do it all," he said.

Quark Interactive Designer aims to address this. While Flash is aimed at developers Quark Interactive Designer is a design tool that achieves similar results.

It's an extension of XPress 7, meaning designers can continue to work within an application they are already familiar with. The solution gives designers and page layout artists the ability to create interactive materials inside XPress 7. The results can look exactly as they do in print.

It's the XPress 7 heritage that is the real advantage for designers, according to Drake. "I don't think there is any Flash authoring environment that has a more mature set of design tools. Because it's based on XPress it's got 25 years of design around it. Whether you want kerning, or tracking, opacity, open type support, you get all the integrity of what you have in your print application - there is no need to compromise when you go interactive," he explained.

The new software is being offered at a special introductory price of £69 for the first six months, rising to £139 after this.

Macworld UK will have a full review and a trial version of the new software from Quark inside the Expo issue out today.