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How to Produce a Catalog with Adobe InDesign

The easiest, fastest, and most efficient way to create a catalog using data from a spreadsheet or database is with CatBase! The steps are as follows:

  1. Get your data organised!

Maybe you already have everything entered into a spreadsheet or database: in that case, you can import it into your CatBase publishing database. Or you can enter the product information directly into the CatBase database. You'll then have a database that looks something like this:

List view of catalog data in database

2. Prepare your InDesign template

You'll want to set up the basic page elements on the Master Pages: adding your page header, logo, page numbers, and so on. Make sure that the main body of the page contains one or more linked text frames - this is where your catalogue contents will go - for example:

InDesign Master Page spread

3. Decide what information and images you want to publish in the catalog.

In CatBase, this means defining a Publishing Stylesheet. Publishing Stylesheets tell CatBase what you want to publish, how you want it sorted and styled, and what images you want to include. In this example, we're going to include the product name, product image, description, a list of variants (eg different size or colour options), an optional Special Offer message, and a QR code containing a link to each product's dedicated web page:

Publishing Stylesheet for a catalogue

4. Select the products you want to publish

all of them, or just a certain category, or ones that have been selected for inclusion in a Special Offer catalog, or whatever (you can use the handy Sets feature to manage selections of data). You can set up a Publishing Project to automate the production of your catalog:

Example publishing project

5. Click the Publish Now button in your Publishing Project.

CatBase creates a text file which contains all the catalogue information: the content, style definitions, and image.
Import that text file into your InDesign template.

6. Watch as your catalogue is created right in front of your eyes!

Sweet Tooth Fairy example catalogue page

More Info

Learn more about CatBase.

Get a free, fully functional Trial of CatBase.

Learn more about Publishing Stylesheets and Publishing Projects.

Any questions?

Contact us and our friendly and knowledgeable team will answer them.

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