Xtags helps CatBase automate imoderni catalogs

December 19, 2012 by

Pat Bensky of CatBase fame, describes how Xtags works with CatBase to produce imoderni‘s catalogs. (Also see the CatBase case study for Kellogs for another application of Xtags Pro.)

imoderni catalog p43The entire document was built automatically, with minimal intervention from the user, telling InDesign to create the table of contents, for example.

(Click on the graphic to see the full pdf.)

  • The data is maintained in CatBase. This includes all the details, picture names and sizes, etc.
  • The customer selects which products to publish (e.g., all products for one manufacturer, as in the attached example; all products of a certain type, such as sofas; all products that a certain dealer sells; all products in a certain collection; etc.).
  • They then click the Publish button in CatBase, and CatBase creates an Xtags input file.
  • The resulting input file is imported into the InDesign template using Em’s Xtags plug-in.

    The Xtags input file places and formats all the text, places and auto-sizes the embedded graphics, and applies different master pages for the Legend and Warranty pages at the beginning of the document.

  • An InDesign script is run, which does certain manipulation of the product detail tables.
  • The table of contents is built.
  • The price list is converted to a pdf.

This project was set up for our client, imoderni, in Miami. They represent a number of Italian furniture manufacturers in the USA. They needed a way to combine all the manufacturers’ price lists–which are of course all in completely different formats–into one database so that they can produce consistently-formatted price lists. CatBase provided the solution.

Neil Somerfield of imoderni says:

I really don’t know how we could have accomplished this project without CatBase and Xtags. We are able to combine price lists from various manufacturers into one database and then publish the data in any way we choose really quickly. CatBase works with Xtags and InDesign to produce complex, beautifully formatted and illustrated price lists in a matter of minutes.


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