Quark has introduced QuarkXPress 7 for Intel Macs.

The software is now available as a Universal application for Mac OS X 10.4. The QuarkXPress 7.01 update, which is available at no additional cost for Mac users of QuarkXPress 7.0, was built to run at peak performance on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs.

The move means QuarkXPress is the first major design and publishing tool to be released as a Universal application. It employs a new graphics engine called XDraw, which uses Mac OS X's system-level Quartz 2D software to render text and graphics.

"QuarkXPress 7 delivers on our commitment to being an open and customer-focused company," said Jürgen Kurz, senior vice president of desktop products at Quark. "With this QuarkXPress 7.01 Universal update, forward-thinking designers and publishers can take advantage of high performance and optimum productivity of the latest Intel-based Apple hardware."

"Xcode and other innovative Apple tools give developers the power to quickly and easily create Universal versions of their applications," said Ron Okamoto, vice president of worldwide developer relations at Apple. "We're thrilled to have Quark deliver a Universal version of QuarkXPress 7 to join the thousands of Universal applications now available for our blazing fast Intel-based Macs."

QuarkXPress 7 is shipping now and is available through Quark resellers and partners worldwide, and from the Quark online store at £749 for new users and £249 to upgrade.  

The trial version of the Universal desktop publishing application will be on the Macworld UK cover CD for the issue which reaches shelves on August 17.