A new report claims QuarkXPress 7 has the edge on Adobe InDesign CS3 for creative pros.

The report - from graphics industry website, the IT Enquirer - compares the two applications on the basis of productivity, creativity and efficiency.

The title measured the time taken for identical tasks to be performed in each application in order to assess the qualitative differences between the two applications.

"In some areas, QuarkXPress 7 is faster, supporting the creative process better by including within the application the most needed creative tools and effects. On the other hand, InDesign CS3 offers better support and is faster in crucial areas such as table styling, XML, and Object Styles," said Erik Vlietinck, publisher of IT-Enquirer and writer of the report.

Researchers found that users can perform many tasks without needing to open up the extra palettes in XPress, but did find that the Tools Pro XTensions that ship with XPress 7 don't integrate well on a visual basis with built-in elements of the suite.

InDesign won hands down with regard to look and feel. "InDesign CS3 has a more aesthetically pleasing interface and a more obvious access to its graphic tools and effects," the report explains.

InDesign CS3 integrates well with other tools in the Adobe suite, but this integration requires a user invoke other applications, the report notes. This "costs extra time to perform tasks which could have been done within the application," the report notes.

The report concludes that QuarkXPress 7 is equipped for vertical and horizontal layout markets: print, web, Flash, mobile content, and so on.

Adobe's commitment to offering multiple products within CS3 means that users can't always expect to be able to perform some operations within the one application, while XPress builds many features into the main host app.

The report concludes that: "QuarkXPress 7 offers the best support for professional creatives, with the best toolset for those whose work has to be finished by a deadline."