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QuarkXpress has been a standard in page design software in the design industry for more than a decade. While competitors, notably Adobe InDesign, have emerged, Quark is still a vital piece of software for a freelance artist to know.
Quark is most commonly used on Macintosh computers, though the company does publish a Windows version. If you are a student, you may purchase an academic version for a reduced price, though it is considered unethical to use this for commercial work.
If you are familiar with older versions of QuarkXpress, it may be a good idea to get some time in using QuarkXpress 7, which has a number of new features. Quark has also released QID (Quark Interactive Designer), which allows the designer to add Flash animations to Xpress projects.