How to Convert Quark Files to Adobe InDesign

This article will discuss how to convert Quark XPress files in to Adobe InDesign. There are 3 conversion methods outlined here and depending on what programmes you have and your situation will determine which option is best for you.

With competition for the number one spot for professional desktop publishing, Quark and InDesign have become incompatible with their files. So if a project changes hands or moves on to the next phase and the same programme isn’t used by each party involved a problem occurs. Luckily there are a few options to convert Quark files to InDesign files.

Option 1 – Opening Quark Xpress 4 files in Adobe InDesign – FREE

The only Quark files InDesign can open are version 4 files and earlier. With this conversion option, what you have to do is open the Quark file in Quark Xpress and ‘back save’ to version 4.

  • Quark 4 files and earlier – Open InDesign and go to File – -> Open, change the format to ‘all files’ and select the quark file you wish to open and InDesign will convert it.
  • Quark 5 file conversion – Open in Quark 5 and go to File – -> Save As… and ‘back save’ to version 4, now you can open this in InDesign. Remember to save the newly opened file as an .Indd file.
  • Quark 6 file conversion – Open in Quark 6 and go to File – -> Save As… and back save to version 5. Then open the new v.5 file in Quark 5 and ‘back save’ to v.4. Now you can open this in Indesign.
  • Quark 7, 8 file conversions – Do the same as above with these versions of files.

Unfortunately for this is the only free option and you need the different Quark XPress programme versions to be able to backward save the files and if you don’t then this option isn’t possible.

Option 2 – Convert Quark to InDesign service – $5 per file

With this option you get someone else to convert your quark files to InDesign files for you. If you know someone with the Quark programmes, ask them and they can do it. If you don’t there is a conversion service, which charges $5 per file to be converted. They will backward save the files, open it in InDesign and email the file back, all within 24 hours. It’s not free but with a minimal fee it will save you lots of time and effort. There are a few out there but this is the cheapest by far and with a quick service.

Option 3 – Q2ID Plug-in – $199 – £199 (depending on your location)

Q2ID - Quark to InDesign PluginThis is the best option if you have lots of files to convert and don’t want the hassle of backward saving the files or if you don’t have the different Quark versions. Q2ID is a plug-in made by Markzware for Adobe InDesign which converts Quark Xpress v3.3-v8.* files into InDesign files. For Mac or Windows.

Markzware have also developed a plugin for QuarkXpress to allow you to convert InDesign Files into Quark.


None of these options produce a perfect duplication of the quark file but they are a good layout match and all will save lots of time and effort recreating the files from scratch.

You will need to re-link images and fonts, but this is a quick process.