Three Underused InDesign Tools

Catalogers are almost always using tools that were designed for magazine and newspaper production, so great tools are often hidden or have unfamiliar names. Here are three that I dug for and now use all the time.

Books: You can create small “chapters” within your catalog and link them to make one large catalog. At Catalog Design Studios we use this feature for any catalog over 48 pages. It allows us to repaginate on the fly, and to have designers and copywriters work on different files within the same catalog at the same time. If you have a catalog over 48 pages you will want to learn more about this feature. If you do a lot of versioning it will save you time. If you repaginate your catalog seasonally you will LOVE it. (There is a class on this at Catalog University.)

Non-printing Attributes: This handy little tool is tucked away in the same menu as the overprint attributes. Use it for elements you want to see when the page is open, but which are non-printing so they never show up on the PDF’s or printouts. You can add reminders to yourself and make them non-printing and add messages to team members. This is great for once a year catalogs that need manual updates or where there are references that will need to be updated if some specific thing happens, say something is 150 years old this year but it will need to be updated to 151 years old next year. Non-printing allows you to leave yourself a reminder that only you will see.

Hyperlinks: If you are avoiding cross selling because you don’t have the manpower to keep up with cross references—you are in luck. The InDesign Hyperlink feature lets you create an automatic page reference to either anchors, images or text on a page. If you repaginate, the hyperlink automatically updates so you don’t have to comb through the catalog and re-jigger all the cross sells and up-sells.

I hope these features make your day a little easier.

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The Catalog Blog covers opinions and information on all things catalog. Have something to add? Leave a comment below. Catalog University is devoted to helping you get ahead in the fun and fascinating world of catalogs. If you want even more information about cataloging, including FREE Pub Talks, be sure to sign up for the Cat-U mailing list. We will never share your name with 3rd parties.

Sarah Fletcher
President/Creative Director
Catalog Design Studios Inc.
Co-Founder Catalog University