QuarkXPress 9, a new version of the popular graphic design and layout application, has been announced by Quark.

QuarkXPress 9 preview

The company is holding a worldwide event today to celebrate the latest version of the 24-year-old software package.

"Publishing has changed significantly over the past decade and the rate of change we are experiencing is accelerating," Quark president and CEO Raymond Schiavone told Macworld.

"Today our clients need to publish more customized content to more channels. With QuarkXPress 9 we offer our users – from individual designers to multinational corporations – the ability to dynamically publish to print, the Web, and digital devices, like the iPad, and in many ways automate the process," Schiavone continued.

The new version of QuarkXPress lets designers publish directly to digital devices such as the iPad and e-readers, as it includes App Studio for QuarkXPress, though this will not ship with the software immediately. Instead, it will be available as a free add-on at some stage within the next 90 days.

The desktop publishing side of QuarkXPress 9 hasn't been neglected - new features have been added to automate the design process and cut down the time spent on many manual, time-consuming design tasks. Conditional Styles lets designers automatically style content based on pre-set rules, and there is a new wizard for creating and modifying difficult or unusual shapes called ShapeMaker.

QuarkXPress 9 runs on Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher and requires an Intel processor. It will ship in April 2011 and will cost £779 for a full product license and £279for upgrades from QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7.

QuarkXPress 9 will be available through authorised Quark resellers and through the Quark Store. App Studio for QuarkXPress will be available as a free update to QuarkXPress 9 users within 90 days after QuarkXPress 9 ships.

Read Macworld's QuarkXPress 9 preview