Release: InCatalog 2.10 for InDesign CS5/5.5/6

December 6, 2012 by

This release of InCatalog adds support for a keyboard shortcuts-based auto-tag’n’update-style workflow, includes a fix for where tags could spontaneously appear in tables, and addresses various issues with link markers, empty links, empty keys, and ODBC updating.


With the improvements to InCatalog’s link, selection, and keyboard shortcuts handling being introduced in this release (see Changes, below) comes the possibility for a new, very efficient tag’n’update-style workflow. Entire fields can now be both inserted and immediately updated with the press of a single key. Where filling in a table, for example, took a mix of tabbing, typing, mousing, and Tagger palette fiddlings, you can now, with the proper settings, use a simple hot key sequence.

To help use this feature, we’ll cover the settings here with a simple example.

First, bring up InCatalog > Preferences > User Interface:

InCatalog Keyboard Shortcuts

In this dialog, select a set of Field hot keys — we’ll use Numeric keypad keys for our example; enable Add/change link on field hot key, so that a hot key’s field is applied to selected text immediately; and enable "Update" linked element when add/change link, to auto-update a link as soon as it’s created. If your data’s keys will require manual entry, then also set Edit hot key to Num * and On hot key to Select entire Key.

Next, visit Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts… to connect Num 0 with the InCatalog > Clear All Links > in Selection menu item.

Connect Num 0 to (No Links)

Be sure to select Text as the shortcut’s Context, so that the hot key will work while editing text. Note that if you haven’t already set other shortcuts, InDesign may require you to create a new shortcuts set before you can save this shortcut. Now, with this hot key, you’ll be able to apply (No Link) without using the Tagger palette.

Finally, ensure each field entry in your Data Descriptor contains the appropriate L, T, and P qualifiers. (These are described in detail starting on page 4-20 in the InCatalog User’s Guide.) With these qualifiers, links applied with hot keys will have the appropriate key type (key from group, L"G"; key from text left, L"B"; etc.), tagging and price style settings for each field. For our (brutally) simple example, the Data Descriptor looks like:

<tab>SKU[K L”C”]<tab>retail price[P, L”B”]<tab>sale price[P, L”B”]<tab>% saved[P L”B”]<tab>description[T L”B”]

Note that you must re-select the Data Descriptor file in InCatalog after making any changes.

Now, with hot keys established, the DD file modified and a data source selected and opened, we’re ready to begin tagging. Since our example’s data keys are the SKUs themselves, we press Num 1 to pre-load the text insertion point with the first field, SKU, and type “1-101”.

Type the key field

We then press Num 0 to clear the insertion point so that the separating tab we’re about to type won’t be included in the previous link. Next, for the product’s description, all we have to press is Num 5; because the description field is getting its key from “text-left”, InCatalog can update and link the proper text from the data source automatically.

The Description is a Single Hot Key

Adding the remaining fields is as simple as typing: Num 0 <tab> Num 2 Num 0 <tab> Num 3 Num 0 <tab> Num 4 Num 0 <enter>. (We’re exploring ways to avoid having to press Num 0 at the end of each auto-updated link for a future release.)

Fields by Shortcuts

Entering fields into a table is even simpler, since tabbing to the next column exits the current link: there’s no need to end the current link (press Num 0) before moving to the next field. We’re also exploring ways to avoid needing to press Num 0 at the end of auto-updated links when working outside of tables for a future release.

We hope this new capability improves your tagging experience!


  • Allows the updating of a catalog link applied only to the text insertion point.
  • Clears the text insertion point of any catalog link when (No Link) is selected in the Tagger palette.
  • Switches back to the OS’s native 8-bit encoding if Unicode was selected as the update’s encoding but the incoming (narrow) text doesn’t appear to be valid UTF-8. This change should mean that an encoding no longer needs to be specified for normal ODBC connections (which default to Unicode/UTF-8).
  • Improves error messages given for ODBC decoding errors.
  • Displays a “missing key” warning in the Tagger palette when a catalog link with a missing indirect key is selected.
  • Fixes a problem introduced in version 2.9.6 where neighboring catalog links were being applied to pasted tables and to text pasted into table cells.
  • Fixes a problem where DD-supplied settings (like default key type, tagged and price style) were being lost on catalog links applied by keyboard shortcuts.
  • Fixes the handling of hidden placeholder characters when updating an empty price-styled catalog link.
  • Removes hidden placeholder characters when extracting empty catalog links as plain (untagged) text.
  • Fixes the spurious display of link markers at the end of some stories.
  • Fixes an ODBC issue where an update with an empty key could produce an SQL syntax error.
  • Fixes a problem where a failed auto-update with the Add/change link on field hot key preference active could cause a crash.

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