EasyCatalog for InDesign CS4


EasyCatalog for InDesign CS4Based on the cost of EasyCatalog and the add-on modules, you can see that this product isn’t for the casual user. However, if you create any form of data-driven publication, including product catalogs (with photos), table-based documents, and more advanced paginated layouts, you should check out this product. As the name implies, EasyCatalog is actually easy to set up and use, but like most programs, one must read the (relatively short) manual to know the full capabilities.
By itself, EasyCatalog works with standard tab- or comma-delimited text files from a database. Add-on modules are available for more advanced features including: ODBC Data Provider for creating two-way links to a database including FileMaker and Access (this requires setup with the OS); Relational for working with multiple data sources; XML Data Provider for importing data directly from an XML file; Pagination, which is required for doing advanced paginated layouts; and Scripting, which, like InDesign, works with JavaScript, AppleScript, and Visual Basic.

Photos can be imported if the info is included in the database file, either by full path name or just the image name if the images are stored in a predetermined location. The latter is a nice option since the images can quickly be moved and the location updated in the field options.

As it stands, many users will want to get the ODBC and Pagination modules, which adds another $798 to the cost ($199 and $599, respectively). EasyCatalog is available for older versions of InDesign, too. If this product is overkill for your needs, check out 65bit’s EasyCatalog Lite, available for $299.—David Creamer

Company: 65bit Software Ltd
Price: $1,299 (Optional modules: $199–599)
Rating: 5

Hot: Basic database publishing is easy to use