Quark has acquired the business and assets of popular XTensions developer A Lowly Apprentice Production (ALAP).

Quark has acquired ALAP's complete product suite of software, including design tools such as ImagePort and ShadowCaster, imposition tools such as Imposer Pro, and productivity tools such as XPert Tools and MarkIt.

Founded in 1990, ALAP has over a decade of experience producing leading-edge software that dramatically extends the functionality of XPress and other publishing applications.

In its release detailing the acquisition, Quark suggests at least some of the features added to its DTP application through use of ALAP software will be in future versions of XPress: "Customers of Quark and ALAP will see an immediate benefit from the closer collaboration between Quark and ALAP, particularly with regard to the development of QuarkXPress 7," the company said.

However, the future may be pretty bleak for ALAP's Adobe InDesign and Acrobat plug-ins, such as Imposer Pro, InBooklet or InEffects. On the future of such products Quark would only say it is: "Finalising the transition plan and evaluating the product roadmap and the integration of ALAP's products into the Quark family".

ALAP president Paul Schmitt will join Quark as vice president of product development.

The terms of the acquisition are confidential, ALAP's Canadian offices seem unlikely to be maintained.