Quark is demonstrating new technologies for desktop publishing at DRUPA 2004 – the European print-media and publishing show.

QuarkVista is an image-manipulation XTensions module for QuarkXPress 6. Many of its features – which will be available free to XPress 6 users – may reduce the amount of time users have to spend using graphics applications form third parties. The move comes as Adobe continues to enjoy strong Creative Suite sales.

The company's senior vice president of product development Jürgen Kurz claimed: "QuarkVista will give creative professionals a new image-manipulation tool designed exclusively with common page-layout tasks in mind.

"Dedicated tools are overkill for some users. QuarkVista puts everyday features like colour correction and other image adjustments at your fingertips right inside QuarkXPress."

In addition to standard image adjustments such as colour balance, levels, brightness, and contrast, QuarkVista allows users to apply a variety of common filters to images used in a layout. The filters are non-destructive, so users can change filter parameters at any time without losing image data.

The software will also optimize images for output, and can apply a selection of transformations, including scale, crop, angle and skew.It will also perform graphic file format conversions and supports EPS, JPEG and TIFF. No release date has been announced.

The company also announced it has joined CIP4, an international association that defines standards for the integration of prepress, press, and postpress processes at DRUPA 2004. The company said it "hopes to take an active role" in defining new publishing standards, such as Job Definition Format (JDF).

"Quark has joined the organization as part of an ongoing effort to help publishers deliver content in a more streamlined, cost-effective manner," said Kurz.