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Ten years ago, Quark was the tool of choice for producing Wired magazine and many other high-production-value publications. Since then, Adobe’s less expensive, aggressively competitive InDesign has stolen a lot of Quark’s customers.

Now, Quark is making a move to win back glossy-publication developers trying to move onto digital platforms without hiring lots more staff. This morning, the company announced a three-way partnership with Ray Kurzweil’s K-NFB Reading Technology and digital distributors Baker & Taylor. QuarkXPress, the new authoring tool, is being beefed up to enable non-engineers to add animation, interaction, and video into their content, in the same way Wired used InDesign to create its hotshot demo of iPad publishing.

I got a long demo yesterday, but the videos below do a better job of showing what’s new. QuarkXPress can be used to add motion and embed slideshows and video clips to content already produced for print. K-NFB’s Blio software enables the multimedia content to play on a wide range of laptops, netbooks, smartphones, and forthcoming tablets. Yes, it works on Apple gadgets.

Baker & Taylor are where new media meets old-school distribution. The Charlotte, North Carolina company is unheard of in San Francisco, but they’ve been in business for 180 years. Baker & Taylor distributes digital wares to retailers like Target, device manufacturers, libraries, academic institutions and corporate customers — tens of thousands of companies and organizations.

The video below shows what Quark and Blio can do technically.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4BRsIKQAy0&w=480&h=385]

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