Indesign automation for catalogue creation

The 64 page catalogue is produced around 8 times a year and contains approximately 700 product blocks containing price, description picture, pack size and bulk buy offers.


Currently the process of creating the pages involves rekeying the descriptions from the database, adding in the product codes and linking in a picture.? Just before going to print an exhaustive checking process ensures that the prices and descriptions line up with the ms sql based accounting system (odbc connection available).


Product blocks can be inserted into the main catalogue in a variety different block sizes based on an A5 page with a 4x18 grid (excluding borders).? Although templates suit certain products, it is handy to be able to add some elements to the templates for special offers etc.


Our preferred route at the moment is to have a template page, the operator inserts a product code and that retrieves the relevant information from the database for the product including picture, description, price etc and fills in the template.? The template page “makes?? a variety of sizes of product blocks ??" see scan page.


When we come to assemble the full catalogue, we simply pull product blocks from the template page into the main catalogue and all the links to the database are maintained.? That means that the following month, if the price changes in the database it will update in the indesign layed out catalogue page.

## Deliverables

You can assume that

-? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? in the database we have a link to the file containing the picture

-? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? there is only one record per price

-? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? we would be happy having one template page per product so that if we do add some extra bits/design that is not in the database that we do not lose those changes everytime we change the product code

-? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? we have two screens on our computer so we can drag and drop

-? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? we store product pictures with the product code as the file name.? where we have multiple pictures per product code, we suffix them with a -1, -2 etc


It would be good if

-? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? we could find out which page of the catalogue the product block has gone onto so that we can show this in another database


We need some assistance making droplets that will take over the processing of a file in photoshop so that after we have provided a clipping path it makes the relevant file sizes and formats.? Eg web small, web large, .eps for indesign etc? without the operator doing lots of saves and resizing.


It maybe that all the pictures should be stored in a ms sql database ?


We have used some of the datalinking functionality in indesign but met certain blocks.? We have used xml in other projects but are not very good at writing schemas.? We have fairly good database skills and can extract the data in a variety of ways.? Our aim is to automate everything possible in a robust way that allows some changes and removes the repetitive aspects of creating the catalogue.? We are open to ideas of different ways of doing this provided they meet our criteria. We need our hand holding to get this implanted.? Some discussion about how it might work, some clear instructions on how to do it and some scripts/droplets prepared.

Evner: Photoshop

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Projekt ID: #3031691

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