Quark at Macworld Expi introduced new XTensions portal, Quark Labs and ushered in Leopard support within Quark Interactive Designer.

The new Quark Labs portal offers innovative QuarkXPress 7 XTensions that are not initially being released as commercial products, the company declared. The portal is designed to act as a testing ground for QuarkXPress technology and a community for QuarkXPress users and developers. It offers free access to technology previews, proofs of concept and both new and familiar XTensions.

New XTensions featured on Quark Labs include Welcome Screen, Image Drag and Drop 1.0b, and ShadowCaster 3.3.

Welcome Screen is a navigation screen that appears immediately upon launching QuarkXPress 7. It allows users to open recent projects, create new projects, create new libraries and more without clicking through a variety of menus or options. It also offers training videos and an RSS feed of Quark-related news.

Image Drag and Drop 1.0b allows users to drag images from almost anywhere - folders, their desktop - and drop them into a QuarkXPress 7 document; meanwhile ShadowCaster adds transparency, blend modes and special effects such as shadows, glows and bevels to layouts.

Quark Labs will be updated continually with new technology previews, concepts and XTensions.

The release of Quark Interactive Designer 1.02 follows the November 2007 release of QuarkXPress 7.31, a maintenance release of the professional design software that is optimised for Mac OS X Leopard.

"Quark is dedicated to providing the Mac community timely updates to our software that support the Mac OS. Quark Interactive Designer 1.02 now offers designers Flash authoring capability that works in conjunction with QuarkXPress 7.31," said Tim Banister, Quark's general manager of QuarkXPress.

The new Quark Interactive Designer 1.02 update is free for existing Quark Interactive Designer users.