Load up your catalog page content from an Excel spreadsheet in minutes
The Page Builder module works in conjunction with the Meadows GroupPicture software to automatically build catalog pages from a single data source. Pages are constructed in a building block fashion using a set of InDesign documents that contain individual product block templates.
When we talk about a product block, we are referring to a group of InDesign elements that typically serve to describe a single product in many B2B catalogs. Product blocks generally include a product photo, headline, descriptive copy, pricing, and often a product table that may contain a list of related item numbers and prices. A product block starts out as a product block template, that is created as an Adobe InDesign document. Each product block template is constructed using standard InDesign elements, such as text frames, picture frames, and tables. All of the data elements in the product block template, such as prices and descriptive copy, are also tagged using DesignMerge Catalog software to identify where the data should be imported as the pages are built.
To start the process, the user provides an external data file in tab or comma separated format (CSV). The data file contains the information for each product in the catalog, including the part number and associated catalog content. As the process proceeds, Page Builder imports the specified product block template (GroupPicture file), and instantly associates it with the part number read from the first record of the data file. This process is then repeated, placing and updating a different product block for every item identified in the data file. When the process is complete, a new multi-page InDesign document is ready to go with all of the latest data imported for each product. Of course once the pages are built, you can instantly update any of the tagged items using DesignMerge Catalog software without the need to rebuild the pages again.
Product blocks can contain Adobe InDesign tables that typically hold the information for a number of associated product numbers. For example, you may have a table that contains different color variants of the main product, each color requiring a different product number. During the build process, Page Builder automatically locates each of these associated products, and builds out a table with a separate row for each one. Again, these entries are also tagged with DesignMerge Catalog, so the values can be updated at any time without having to rebuild the pages all over again.
Even if your catalog design does not lend itself to a building block or cookie cutter design, you can still use Page Builder to easily grab all of the desired product information and content, nicely organized and ready to place in your catalog design. Just use Page Builder to build out a separate document that contains all of the building blocks, tagged, updated and ready to go, kind of like your own personalized library of catalog content. Then, simply copy/paste those blocks into your main catalog layout, and style them as you wish. Everything remains in native Adobe InDesign format, so you can edit, delete, cut, copy, paste and style with absolutely no restrictions, and DesignMerge Catalog software keeps everything up to date. What a great way to quickly retrieve all of your catalog content, with your product tables built-out and ready to go too!