EasyCatalog Plus FAQs

Q: What is EasyCatalog Plus? A: It is a service that can take your digital content and transforms it into print files. Using your data, we download that information to an EasyCatalog data source. This data source is specially designed to populate page content into Adobe InDesign desktop publishing software to create print ready Adobe PDFs.

Q: What are the benefits? A: EasyCatalog Plus:

  • Makes print document production easier, faster and less costly.
  • Reduces time-wasting manual keyboarding and/or copying and pasting of document information – and the typos inherent to these processes.
  • Provides a single version of the truth by letting you sync all of your documents and website from a database for consistent messaging.
  • Is very flexible. It can create catalogs, price books, directories, private branded distributor catalogs and more.
  • Makes updating a catalog fast and easy. It downloads your current data and compares new and existing information. From there, the data is downloaded to pre-formatted InDesign templates.

Q: Can EasyCatalog Plus use our database-driven website files? A: This is an ideal use. EasyCatalog Plus is compatible with most database or spreadsheet formats:

  • Delimited files, such as CSV or tab-delimited
  • Excel spreadsheets
  • Any ODBC-compliant database
  • An XML file or XML feed from a URL

Q: What about high-resolution images and graphics needed for printing? A: If these images are in the data, that would be perfect. If only low-resolution images are available in the data, there are options:

  • Add the high-resolution to your data. This is the best option. It lowers initial development costs and update costs in the future.
  • We can add these images in the page development process.

Q: What is the process? A: Let us help you get your data in perfect shape before we pull the data into EasyCatalog Plus. Then, we’ll create a bridge that translates your database into a usable data source. At this time, we will share the data source with you to ensure we have the proper data.

From there, we create custom templates within InDesign including master pages, introduction pages and product pages. Once your content is loaded in the templates, we will provide a first PDF proof for review.

Based on your comments, we can adjust templates and/or manually add photos or other content not included in the data. You will get another PDF to review after the changes have been made.

Once the pages are approved, we use EasyCatalog Plus to create indexes including alphabetical, part/catalog numbers or pictorial.

Lastly, we export print ready PDFs and low-resolution Internet PDFs.

Q: What about future updates? A: This is when EasyCatalog Plus really shines. With the auxiliary database and InDesign templates in place, all that’s needed is a new data pull of your information. EasyCatalog Plus compares new and existing information to populate the templates.

Q: We need our catalog in various languages. Is EasyCatalog Plus a good solution? A: We can help you coordinate the complex task of getting your information into other languages. Once your templates are set up with EasyCatalog Plus and InDesign, dropping in translations is a smooth process.

Q: Bottom line, what is the cost? A: The initial cost is a little more than creating a printed catalog from scratch. However, updates can be 20 to 40 percent lower in cost than manually produced changes.

Q: What experience does Media II have in catalog development? A: Over three decades, Media II has developed B2B catalogs for electric motors, speed reducers/gearmotors, machine tool components, hand tools, instruments, hardware, replacement truck parts and more. In that time, we learned catalog best practices to increase user usage while lowering development costs. This is why we are offering EasyCatalog Plus – to add to value to our clients.

Q: Does Media II offer data-driven website catalogs? A: Absolutely. We use proven Ecommerce platforms that offer easy-to-use content for users, and low development and update costs, order entry security, flexibility, search engine friendly awareness and more for you.