MarkzTools 7

A special temp file will let you recover documents that have become corrupted during a save operation. If your document has already become corrupted, you can try to salvage it – the entire layout if you’re lucky, or just the text if you’re not. You can convert full-colour previews into grey pictures then back again to save space on your hard drive. The last big attraction is its backwards conversion tool: it can convert Quark documents to version 4.1 format.

The XTension is PowerPC-only so you’ll need to run Quark in Rosetta or on a PowerPC Mac. Markzware is working on a Universal version. Documentation is available online, although at the time of writing it hadn’t been updated for version 7 – again, Markzware said it was working on it. The XTension is relatively self-explanatory, however, although Convert Documents… was still mystifying, even with the help of the manual, since it did nothing of the sort.

Unfortunately, MarkzTools just doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. Document verification and the interim save function were fine, and although it slows up the save process considerably, it never actually damaged a document. The picture preview function, when it worked, did everything as advertised, but it would frequently refuse to do as bidden. The salvage functions are crude, never recovering a layout completely, even with undamaged files. The text recover function was able to extract text from all the documents we threw at it, although non-Roman characters were garbled.

The option to save Quark documents as earlier versions didn’t work at all. All the documents converted, no matter how simple, crashed Quark 5, 6.5 and 7. MarkzTools has been around for some time and has had many of these features in previous versions, so hopefully, fixes will be forthcoming to bring version 7 back on track.

OUR VERDICT

Despite its advertised features, steer well clear of MarkzTools for a good few months at least. Unless document corruption is a big problem on your network, you’ll find that most of its functions just don’t work yet.

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