QuarkXpress 9 , which was announced back in February, has officially gone on sale today.

The latest version of the 24-year-old software package 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.

There are also new features for the desktop publishing side of QuarkXpress 9 too, helping you automate the design process and cut down the time spent on many manual, time-consuming design tasks.

The Conditional Styles feature 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.

First Look: QuarkXPress 9

An upgrade from an earlier version of QuarkXpress costs £279 and new full product costs £779. It can be bought from Quark's online store. There is a 30-day test drive version available too, where you can try out a fully-functional version of QuarkXpress 9 for a limited time, completely free.

QuarkXPress 9 requires Mac OS 10.5.8 or later, and an Intel processor with a minimum of 1GB RAM and 2GB hard disk space.

There's also a version for Windows requiring Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or later and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 with a minimum of 1GB RAM and 1GB hard disk space.