Quark 6.0 is happy to tell you that it is able to export PDF files as one of its features in the newest, greatest release. What it does not tell you is that in order for this feature to work "out of the box" you must have a local postscript printer installed on your system.
Here is a workaround that has been recommended by Quark for the Windows platform that should definitely be in their documentation (Quark Support agrees with me on this, since it would save them a lot of telephone calls).
Idea: you must create a "virtual printer" and that can write PostScript to a file. Quark then picks up this intermediate file and converts it into a PDF during the export process.
To install a virtual printer in Windows XP:
-- go into the Control Panel and select Printers -- Add a Printer -- select Local printer attached to this computer (uncheck the box for Plug and Play if its marked) -- Use the following port: FILE: (Print to File) (this is a selection from the drop-down menu) -- under Install Printer Software, select this printer: + Manufacturer == Apple + Printer == LaserWriter Personal NT v51.8 -- type in the name you want to see on your printer list (I just put "Virtual Printer") -- select as default printer (you can change this back later after you get everything the way you want it) -- Do not share this printer. -- Do not printer a test page. -- Click Finish and you should see your Virtual Printer.
Now (re)start quark and Export->Layout as PDF should work regardless of the Page Setup setting (it seems to detect a PostScript printer of the type above automatically).
The files generated by this export utility are huge. I haven't been able to verify the quality but for a conservative font palette they seem to be about three times the size of what you would get from Adobe Distiller.
While waiting for the above workaround I found a driver from Adobe that works as a PostScript printer that sends its output to a file that you select in the printing process. You can then use a service at Adobe that produces high-quality and dense PDFs from this raw Postscript. (I don't know if Quark output when treated this way results in higher quality output than the Distilled output from InDesign, but it would be a worthy and useful comparison to make and share the result of.)
The process is explained in detail at the following URL:
It is similar to setting up the Virtual Printer above, except that you include a PPD file for Acrobat Distiller. Once adding this virtual printer, it will be accessible from *any* application: I think the ability to be able to write PostScript files from any application from MS Word to AutoCAD without any third-party conversion software is a real hoot and generally appealing.
An attractive option when is to go to the Adobe site (http://createpdf.adobe.com) and create the PDF there. The resulting files are small and of very good quality as best as I can judge it. Adobe gives you five file conversions free, thereafter it is about $10 per month.
I hope this clears up the questions that have emerged in this thread among Windows users.