Got some data that you want to turn into a good-looking price list?
Whether you need to produce a simple list of products and prices, or a more sophisticated price list with product descriptions and pictures, the basic steps are the same:
1. Check that your data is consistently organised
For example, if your product information is entered into a spreadsheet, make sure that each product is contained within one row and each column contains one item of data - the product name, or the price, or the description, etc.
2. Decide what software you're going to use to publish the price list
Suitable choices include page layout programs such as Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress, and word processing programs such as Microsoft Word. A word processor will give you good results, but if you want to produce a sophisticated price list, a page layout program such as InDesign offers many more style and formatting options. But they are not as simple to use as Word!
3. Design your price list
Whichever publishing solution you're going to use, you will need to create a template and a design. Things to consider include the page headers and footers; page numbering; the number of columns on a page; which fonts to use; what information to include for each product; and the page size and orientation. You can find plenty of example templates on the internet - just search for "price list templates for InDesign" or "price list examples for Word" or similar.
4. Tag your data
Tags tell the page layout program or word processor how to style each item. Usually the tags are in the form of stylesheet names. For example, you might tag the product name with a stylesheet called "product name" and the description with a stylesheet called "text". Each solution has its own tagging system ... some are more complex than others :) If you use a data publishing solution such as CatBase, the tagging is all managed for you.
5. Import the tagged data into the publishing software
If you've done a good job with the tagging, you'll instantly have a perfectly styled price list!
Using a Data Publishing Solution
If you just need to occasionally produce a small price list, the above method should work just fine. However, if your needs are more demanding, you might like to consider using a database publishing solution like CatBase.
You can use CatBase to manage all your data and publish it, or you can import the product data from another source - such as a spreadsheet, csv file, XML, etc. - and then publish it. With CatBase you can:
- Produce any number of different publications from the same data (eg a catalogue, price list, Special Offer brochure, and so on).
- Include images and have them automatically resized as needed.
- Create Rules to determine what data to include or leave out, and/or how to style it, according to criteria that you specify.
- Dynamically create barcodes and QR codes and include them in your publications.
- Create hyperlinks - eg have a link to each product's page on your website.
- Produce labels, reports, spreadsheets, and text files from your data.
- Update your web database.
... and loads more!
Here's a short video that shows you how CatBase works: