Quark 2015: Fixing Polka Dot Pictures

by | Sep 26, 2015 | QuarkXPress | 0 comments

This is a problem with a simple solution.

The Problem

Halftoning Illustrated

The dots on the left are produced through the half toning process. If seen from far enough away or if the dots are small enough, they will produce a nice even greyscale as shown on the right.

The problem is that when you send your QuarkXPress 2015 document to your laser printer,  the photos and gray boxes have visible dots.  These dots are created by the halftoning process that Quark uses.

Halftoning is intended to accommodate output devices that are capable of only putting tiny dots on the paper.  Half toning sets up your output of photos, for example, by creating dots of different sizes or spacing to create what should appear on the final print as a smooth grayscale and nice clear images.  If, instead,  your photos and graphics look like a collection of dots and a bit jagged, you probably have an issue with half toning.

What it boils down to is that the half toning options are not set up correctly in QuarkXPress.


The Solution

When you choose File > Print (on a Mac anyway), you will get a dialog box with a lot of panes that are listed on the left.   Choose “Colors.”  You will see several options:

Mode:  for a laser printer, you will be printing all colors (or shades of gray) at one time on the paper.  Choose “Composite.”

Setup:  for my black/white laser printer,  I use “Grayscale” since I could see no difference with “Greyscale 100”

Halftones: When I chose “Conventional”, Quark’s default, the grays were much darker than I wanted.  “Printer” lets the printer use the halftone settings it was designed for.  In my case, and probably yours as well,  “Printer” produced the best output.

Set up your print as described here, print your document and compare it to the original.  It should look much better,  but if not, try different options on the Colors pane until you get the best output possible.