Adobe InDesign Image Frames [Video Tutorial]

Adobe InDesign Image Frames

In this tutorial we go over InDesign image frames and how to work with rotating, scaling, and editing the formatting of images in InDesign. This is especially useful when working with catalogs and other publication design that include images; especially those with multiple images, product photography, and layout. Knowing how to work with InDesign image frames can help you keep your documents clean and consistent while also speeding up the design process. The transcript for this tutorial can be found below.

Adobe InDesign Image Frames Work Tutorial

In today’s tutorial we are going to go over how Adobe InDesign image frames work.

So when you place an image into InDesign it is in this blue box. The blue box is called an image frame. If you move the frame you can see that it cuts the image off. This might be confusing right now, but it is super useful for publication design because you don’t necessarily need to make changes to the image, just the frame when you want to combine them with text and other page elements.

If you double click the image frame you can see this orange outline which is what the image is actually contained in. By adjusting this orange frame you can edit the image while also making sure it stays within the blue image frame. You can rotate, scale, and make other changes this way. By making changes to the orange bounding box you are able to keep a clean document and not have to worry about your page looking like this.

More Catalog Resources

Here at Catsy we love to make and collect resources for product managers, sales representatives, designers, and business folk on topics related to catalog publishing and product information management. Check out our Resource Center for more video tutorials and articles along with our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

Save InDesign PDFs – [Video Tutorial]

Save InDesign PDFs Video Tutorial

In this video we go over how to save as InDesign PDFs. Although packaging files is standard for sending print work to press, often times it is necessary to create small InDesign PDFs that can be emailed easily or used as quick printouts of your work. Learn how to best optimize your file along with how to adjust settings for small file size while still preserving image quality.

Save InDesign PDFs

In this video we are going to go over how to save documents as PDF for email and previews. If you are getting your work professionally printed chances are you are going to package the document, which I have gone over in another video. This video is for if you are printing a draft office computer or sending a draft over email.

To export your video you’re going to want to go to file export or Apple E on Mac. In the drop down select Adobe PDF (Print). Next, InDesign opens the settings window which is extensive but pretty easy to navigate. A lot of the time you will be ok with default settings.

Change File Size

So the first thing I am going to do is select smallest file size for preview. This won’t be good in all situations, but for an email preview this should be good. You can also make your own presets and save them for quick exporting later.

Pages or Spreads

Under pages, you can specify if you want to export the whole document or if you want to just do certain pages. If you want specific pages you can type them in as ranges such as 1-2 with a comma in between ranges for multiple. The next option is for spreads or pages. Spread view shows you a book view where as pages separates each page.

Compression

Next is Compression. These controls give you the power to change how large or small the file is. With each preset these are auto generated but you can make more granular adjustments here. I’m not going to leave these as default. One thing in this section that I typically change is I uncheck “Compress Text and Line Art” because sometimes if I am using a line that is .5pt, exporting to PDF will change it to 1pt.

Marks and Bleeds

As far as Marks and Bleeds go, these are primarily used when you are getting a document professionally printed. If you are just exporting for a quick print or email preview like we are in this video, bleeds aren’t necessary. Feel free to check out our Bleed and Slug video if you want more information on this topic.

Finishing the Export

I’m going to skip over the rest of the settings because they are not especially important in this scenario. After clicking export you can see the file and check if the quality is up to your standards or if you need to make adjustments in compression. Right clicking the file to Get Info will show you the size of the file and it if is suitable for email. This size looks great, and the document looks good, so now I can go ahead and print a preview or email my document.

How Catsy Helps

Catsy Automatic Catalog Creator completely eliminates the need to fuss over export settings, creating an index, or manual design. In four quick clicks sales reps and non-designers can quickly create opportunity specific catalogs to send to prospective customers. To learn more check out Catsy PDF Catalog Software.

Know When to Use Line Sheets

You use a line sheet to provide information about third-party products that you offer as a wholesaler, suppliers that you work with, or distributors that offer your manufactured goods for sales.

Line sheets take many forms, from a simple listing of partnered companies to a full-blown product comparison chart.

Sales Reference

Your sales representatives have a lot of information to juggle already, and inaccurate details can lose you customers and suppliers. Line sheets act as the sales team’s reference sheet that they always have on hand. They don’t have to guess whether you work with a particular company or offer certain products. Instead, they have it right in front of them.

If you use a single sales team, but work in many categories, create a line sheet for each. These sheets should give salespeople an answer in a single glance, rather than requiring a full read through to figure out the right information.

Customer Information

Line sheets also offer a valuable lead magnet for potential clients or partners. You can build their trust in your company when they see you working with industry leaders or providing high-quality products in the market segment. Some line sheets act as comparison charts, giving leads a visual way to determine the right options for their needs.

Line Sheets Information Management

CATSY’s Line sheets creator is a valuable tool, but it needs up-to-date information to do its job. A product information management system, such as CATSY, offers several features that help you give your sales teams and customers the data they need to make informed decisions.

A centralized database of product, supplier and third-party company details streamlines the line sheet creation process. When you add new vendors or remove old products, this change is reflected throughout the entire system. If your PIM solution is integrated with your website, you don’t even need to upload the new files.

Line sheets offer another information channel for your company. When you use a product information management system to coordinate all the data that goes on the cards, you ensure that your staff and customers are empowered with the proper details.

Managing Artboards in Illustrator – [Video Tutorial]

Managing Artboards in Illustrator

Managing artboards in Illustrator are essentially the digital equivalent of a canvas or drawing space. They enable you to create multiple compositions in a single document and are ideal for working on multiple versions of a project visually side by side. They also control how your work is cropped when exported.

In this video we go over the basics of working with Illustrator artboards including resizing, setting up multiples, and settings. The transcript for this tutorial is included below.

Managing Artboards

When you start a new document you can see this white area surrounded by dark grey, which is called an artboard. It is essentially like your paper if you were creating a drawing and only what is on the artboard will be visible in your final file. Art boards are great for creating iterations, testing designs, working on multiple versions within the same file, and many other uses.

When creating a new document Illustrator sets you up with one artboard, but you can add more simply and even adjust the spacing and columns for multiple artboards.

Adding More Artboards

If you have already started a document and want to add more artboards you can use the Artboard Tool (Shift O) to draw new ones. You can also Click Alt Drag to copy existing artboards and their contents.

Resizing Artboards

Resizing is easy with the Artboard Tool. You can manually drag the sides or corners just like when creating a new one, or you can enter in the dimensions.

Once you have your artboards set you can choose to Show Center Mark, Show Cross Hairs, Show Video Safe Areas, and access the full panel for more granular adjustments.

Uses

Now artboards are great because you can create multiple iterations or versions of the same project all in the same document. For example if you wanted to see how this design looks with a different color or typeface, I can duplicate the artboard and use that one for all changes.

The Power of Customized PDF Catalogs

Customized PDF Catalogs

You work with many online and offline channels, but if you’re like many companies, you simply duplicate your print catalog. If you fail to take advantage of your digital catalog capabilities, you’re leaving money on the table. Here are a few ways customized PDF catalogs benefit your company.

Improve Relevancy

Content customization lets you deliver highly targeted catalogs to your audience. You don’t face the overhead costs of printing multiple versions when you work with PDFs. Use a customer’s previous purchasing behavior and demographic data to build a fully personalized experience for their needs.

Use Templates to Speed Up Creation

Don’t create your layout from scratch every time. You can save a digital PDF catalog design and quickly plug in the information you need. If you have a modern product information management system, such as Catsy, you have many catalogs template options and data imports quickly on hand.

Track Analytics and Optimize

Data makes the business world go ’round, and you get plenty of it from your digital channels. Get as much information as possible from every person visiting your customized PDF catalogs. You can optimize everything from product selection to the layout, testing everything as you go. Over time, you find the versions that work the best for your particular market segment.

Use a Content Management System

Forget about adding product information manually into every PDF catalog you make. Use a content management system to create a centralized database of your products, marketing assets, copy and other essential components. When you work off a single set of product data, you reduce the risk of bad information showing up in your catalogs.

Extend Print Content

You’re limited in many ways when you print off a catalog. You can’t fill up page after page with product details, nor can you take readers directly to an ordering link. Get more out of your customized PDF catalogs by going a step beyond your print copies. Add in-depth product information, videos and links to the ordering page.

Digital catalogs reduce your printing costs, offer you the chance to convey more information to your customers and are environmentally friendly. Get the most out of this format with a modern product information management system designed to accommodate multi-channel companies.

Free B2B Halloween Catalog Template

Free B2B Halloween Catalog Template

Last week we gave you a treat, a free b2c Halloween catalog template, and this week we have another treat for you (or is it a trick?)! We know Halloween is approaching so we created a spooky catalog template for you to utilize for free. This catalog template is equipped with ghosts, an autumn color palette, and even tables.

Free download at: www.catsy.com/catsy_halloween_template_2.zip

More Catalog Templates & Resources

For more catalog tips, templates, and resources check out the Catsy Resource Center. Our Youtube channel is packed full of InDesign Catalog Tutorials, educational videos, and more. For free information on how you business can benefit from product information management and catalog automation request a demo at http://catsy.com/contact-us.

Why Wholesalers Should Be Utilizing Price Books

Benefits of Wholesale Price Books

You have a large product range, and you struggle with conveying all the information your distributors need. They may end up with inaccurate prices, incomplete collections or other problems that make it difficult to move inventory. Wholesale Price Books provide several benefits capable of improving your sales.

Quick Inventory Reference

Your distributors have busy schedules, so calling every time they need to check your inventory is an inefficient process. Price Books are on hand whenever the company needs it, which creates a streamlined ordering process. These businesses often work with multiple wholesalers, so it’s important to make it as easy as possible to order from you.

Consistent Style

If you rely on marketing assets when a distributor asks for information, you may end up with a mishmash of formats. Your clients have to scan through every page to find the data they need since it’s in a different location for every product. Wholesale price books have a consistent style that makes your company look more professional. The distributor can also find relevant information in the same place every time, which limits frustration.

Up-to-date Prices

Have you gotten into an argument with a distributor because they insist that a product’s old price is what they’re going to pay? You end up with a headache and a dissatisfied client, which is never a good combination. A modern product information management (PIM) system keeps costs up to date, so you always get your asking price without an unpleasant encounter.

Templates

Wholesale price books are only as good as the information contained within them. If your prices fluctuate on a seasonal basis or another schedule, you can use templates to reduce the time it takes for you to push another catalog out. If you have a Product Information Management system, such as Catsy PIM, you can automate many of the updating tasks. A wholesale price book performs a valuable duty for your company. It’s the go-to guide for every client that wants to place an order with your business. When they reach for this catalog, you need to feel confident that they have access to the correct information.

How Catsy Can Help

A PIM system, such as Catsy, offers many features that help you develop these books quickly and without needing to involve your marketing team. Enable your sales team with the proper tools to generate automatic price books within minutes. For more information on how Casty can help you organize product data and publish wholesale price books sign up for a demo at http://www.catsy.com/contact-us.

Managing InDesign Links – [Video Tutorial]

InDesign Links

Every time you place an image into InDesign, instead of embedding all of the images (which would make your document unmanageably huge) InDesign creates a simple link to the file. This is great because links can be updated easily if you make changes to your images. Once you understand InDesign links you can avoid a lot of tricky problems with image pixilation and missing images. Check out the video and transcript below to learn about what InDesign links are and how to manage them.

Hello everyone. Today we are going to go over what links are in InDesign. Understanding links is imperative when using images. When you place images into indesign, the program creates a link to the image file. This is a great way for indesign to keep your document small and also create a way for you to easily update the files since they aren’t embedded.

The links panel is a great thing to keep an eye on because sometimes you might break them, and if you don’t notice your document could have a pixilated images since InDesign is really just showing a placeholder. I will go over broken links more a bit later.

The first thing you might want to do is customize your panel for your needs. If you click the dropdown in the upper righthand corner you can see options to display. Some useful ones could be color mode and page number. Sometimes the default can work just fine, but other times it is useful to see more settings.

So there are four buttons in the links panel that are especially useful for working with links. The first button is relink. This is good if you have linked an image and you decide that you want a new image instead. So here we have options for adding new images.

The second button, go to link, is good for when you have a large document and you can’t find the link based off of the file name. This will lead you directly to the page with the link.

The third button is update link, and this is what you will be primarily using if you break a link. Breaking a link can mean the original file was moved or deleted, or the file was modified in-between when you put it in and now. That is signified by this little icon. So I will show you how this works. Lets open this image and change the color of it. So I am going to save this and then you can see that the link is now modified. I am going to go back into indesign and click the refresh link button and now we have the most current version.

So this leads us to the last button. Let’s say that I want to access the photoshop layers and show a past version. We can do this without modifying the original file. So this is going to open up a preview of the file and you can toggle between layers to select which one you want to show.

The InDesign link system is really great when you understand how to use it properly. When you package a file, which we will go over in another video, you will see how having all these links organized is really the best way to go.

How Catsy Simplifies InDesign Links

With Catsy you don’t have to worry about broken links because all of your product information is sprayed automatically using templates. Catsy InDesign integrates seamlessly with both Box and Dropbox to simplify image storage. Check out our Resource Center for more video tutorials and articles along with our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Free Halloween Catalog Template

Free Halloween Catalog Template

Halloween is rapidly approaching and we don’t have any tricks for you, but we do have a treat… a free Halloween catalog template! Use this spooky catalog template to show off the creepy side of your products. The full InDesign catalog template is available for download below.

http://www.catsy.com/catsy_halloween_template.zip

Want more?

For the past 15 years at Catsy has been been developing product information management and catalog publishing applications for business users and designers. Our resource center is packed full of catalog tutorial videos along with articles and tips on catalog publishing and product information management. Request a demo at http://catsy.com/contact-us

Dieter Rams: The Under Appreciated Legend

What Makes Dieter Rams Famous?

An American movie maker named Gary Hustwit is in the process of making a documentary film about industrial designer Dieter Rams, the design director of German consumer products company Braun from 1955 to 1995 and current chief designer for British furniture manufacturer Vitsoe.

At the age of 84, Rams is something of a legend in product and industrial design circles. His landmark conceptions, such as the ET66 calculator for Braun and the 606 Universal Shelving System for Vitsoe, have created lasting impressions that have influenced everyone from Apple Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive (who copied the look of the ET66 for the onscreen calculator of the company’s iPhones) to Japanese Fashion Designer Jun Takahashi of the cult brand Undercover. Indeed, in Hustwit’s previous documentary film “Objectified,” about manufactured objects, both Rams and Apple’s Ive appear in major sections talking about their design approaches. One can see the impact that Rams’ famous design principles have had on Ive’s methodologies and the products he’s come up with for Apple, including the iPod and the iMac.

How Do Americans Know Rams?

At Braun, Rams designed everything from stereos to electric razors to cigarette lighters. Many Americans know and have purchased his signature alarm clocks, clock radios, watches and coffeemakers, without knowing who designed them. President John F. Kennedy famously used a Rams-designed Braun electric fan at a speech he gave in Frankfurt in 1963. Less well known are Rams’ models of televisions, speakers, movie cameras and slide projectors for Braun, all of which are marked by a conspicuous minimalism and a lack of superfluous controls, styling or excessive markings. At Vitsoe, Rams established well-received lines of chairs, office furniture and storage case goods.

What is Rams’ Style

Rams’ design precepts can be summed up in one phrase: “as little design as possible” — occasionally restated as the even more elegant “less but better.” By stripping a product down to its core functionality and then basing the item’s form on that functionality, Rams allows his designs to incorporate only that which is necessary to operate and understand the object at a basic level. As such, Rams’ executions stand apart from so many of today’s modern products, which chiefly aim to grab attention, distract, waste time and ultimately pollute the environment due to their superfluousness and poor manufacturing quality.

Many of Rams’ products eschew color, using it only for a button or an accent, while the basic product is rendered in a utilitarian gray, black or white. Rams intends his products to be simple, sleek and extremely easy to use — the opposite of anything complex, flashy or garish.

How is Catsy Inspired by Dieter Rams?

For the past 15 years at Catsy has been been developing product information management and catalog publishing applications for business users and designers. We believe that great design is seamless which is why our applications have been rigorously user tested with direct feedback incorporated in. Feel free to checkout out our Resource Center for catalog tutorials and articles along with our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.