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Mass production of data sheets using InDesign and the preview module

Böblingen 04/03/2015: The preview module allows the product manager or editor to generate the PDF print preview of a page in a selected language at the touch of a button so that product data can be seen instantly in the layout, e.g. after product information has been changed. Production takes place on the print server so Adobe InDesign doesn't have to be installed on the workstation PC.

Production of data sheets

This module also now allows product data sheets to be generated en masse. Users can therefore generate a preview or data sheet for a product as a PDF and use this function for a large number of selected products and languages on the print server. The result is linked directly to the product as a language-specific InDesign and PDF file and is therefore also updated for download as a PDF on the website.

Easy and flexible configuration possibilities

As you would expect, administrators can configure the data sheets themselves. They simply need an InDesign table template with placeholders to define the layout and an XML configuration file to establish the link between the placeholder and database. The placeholders can be filled with product images, product texts, product features and prices, taking account of the inheritance concept. The product features can be determined dynamically and the number of table rows is adapted dynamically too.

The application

The product preview can be accessed from various applications in the context of one or more products. For example, the user can gather all the items which have been changed since a particular date and produce new data sheets in selected languages as PDF.

Parameters can be stored in the XML configuration file so that e.g. features which have not yet been updated are highlighted in a certain cell color. This option is very useful with new products as it allows the user to see instantly what data still needs updating.

Advantages:

  • Use of the preview module for product preview as a visual aid to data maintenance – missing fields are highlighted in color
  • Use of the preview module for mass production of PDF data sheets
  • Simple and flexible ways of configuring the data sheet. InDesign does not have to be installed on the workstation PC

Dialog in crossbase.print with selection of products and languages, for which a data sheet is to be produced

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^ Generated data sheet with fields highlighted in yellow as visual indication of missing fields

The applied application modules

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Michael Binder
Project managers
+49 (0)7031 / 714 – 7296
m.binder@crossbase.de

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