I've been a Quark authorized trainer since 1994, and a Quark-using designer since a couple years before that, and there is no way I could use this program to its fullest extent without a current version of Blatner's QuarkXPress book at my side.
Though Blatner is writing a lot about InDesign now, he is still the acknowledged Quark expert in the field. His book goes into detail on every nook and cranny in the program, with copious, well-annotated screen shots throughout. (And contrary to another reviewers griping about figures seldom being on the same page where they're cited, that's totally wrong -- the opposite is true. Just look at the "look inside" excerpt that Amazon provides right here. I flipped through my copy and found that only once in a while are figures are on the next page. And in that case, big whoop! Don't know what's up with that guy.)
I like how he carries on a conversational tone even in the screen shots, like he's sitting next to you showing you stuff. For example on pg. 265 he goes through a series of 6 screen shots showing the same 2 blocks of text that were set on a master, modified on the doc page, then modified on the master and what happens to them subsequently on the doc page. How doc items can remain "partially" linked to their master page sources -- an item link vs. a content link -- are one of the most difficult things to teach let alone understand. But he takes his time with each shot, explaining what's happening and why (for #4 in the series of 6 shots: "Because I broke the item link for the second box, it doesn't get updated. The first box is updated because only the content link had been broken.")
I think if you ask any seasoned Quark user which book they *must* have, they'll tell you it's Blatner's. There's no "tutorials" as one reviewer mentioned, because the entire book is a tutorial! Egads! Every thing he explains is related to when/why you'd use a given feature for a particular purpose. Many screen shots are of real world projects. If you want a canned tutorial on how to create a fake newsletter or something. (...)
Also, note: Right after the book came out, Blatner notified the QuarkXPress listserv and anyone else he could reach that the publisher mistakenly included an old index with the book, but it was reprinted in late 2003 with the correct index.
I'm not sure how people in summer of 2004 are ending up with a bad index. I bought my copy from Amazon in April 2004 and the index is fine. (...)