Create a catalog merge

Publisher features templates that you can use to create a short catalog. Just choose a catalog template, and then replace the placeholder pictures with your own and type in the text that you want.

If you want to create a longer catalog, you can use catalog merge. You can also use catalog merge to create directories, photo albums, or any other type of publication that displays one or more items on each page. The Microsoft Office Catalog Merge task pane guides you through the catalog merge process step-by-step.

In this article


How catalog merge works

Catalog merge is similar to mail merge. When you use catalog merge, you create a catalog merge template, and then you combine the template with information from a data source to generate merged pages.


Data source combined with a merge template to generate pages for a publication

Callout 1 Data source with record information, such as item names and descriptions.
Callout 2 Catalog merge template with catalog merge area and merge fields that are placeholders for record information.
Callout 3 Resulting merged pages displaying multiple records per page.

You can save your catalog merge as a new publication, or you can add it to the end of an existing publication. You can also save your catalog merge template and use it again, whenever you update the information in your data source, to create additional sets of merged pages.

Before you start

The following tips will help you create a successful catalog merge:

  • Start the catalog merge in a new publication.
  • Limit the length of your catalog merge template to one page.
  • Set up the catalog merge template with the page dimensions that you want for your final merged pages.
  • If you plan to add the merged pages that you create to the end of an existing publication, make sure that your catalog merge template matches the existing publication in the following ways:
    • Page size (height and width)
    • Page view (one-page spread or two-page spread)
    • Publication type (Web or print)
    • Page order (left-to-right or right-to-left)

Top of Page Top of Page

Plan your catalog

Before you begin your catalog merge, think about what kind of information you want to list in the final merged pages.

  • Do you want to list item names and prices?
  • Do you want to include a description of each item?
  • Do you want to include a picture of each item?

Plan your data source

After you decide the kind of information that you want to include in your catalog, you can create the data source that you will use for your catalog merge. If you already have a data source, you can make sure that it contains all the information that you want to include in the merge.

The Catalog Merge task pane can use a variety of data source formats. If you don't already have a data source to use for your merge, you can generate one in Publisher. You can also create a data source in a Microsoft Office Excel worksheet or in a Microsoft Office Word table.

The data fields (data field: A category of information that corresponds to one column of information in a data source. The name of each data field is listed in the first row (header row) of the data source. "PostalCode" and "LastName" are examples of data field names.) that you include in your data source correspond to the merge fields (merge field: A placeholder for text or pictures that you insert into your publication. Information from a data source (such as a name, address, or image) is inserted in each merge field. You can format, copy, move, or delete a merge field.) that you insert into your catalog merge template.

When you set up your data source, create a column for each type of information, such as the item name, the stock number, and the price. Each row, or record, corresponds to the information for one item.

 Important   Make sure that your data source includes a data field, or a column, for each kind of information that you will merge. Depending on the type of your data source, you might be able to make some changes to the data after you connect to it in Publisher, but it's better to finalize the information before you start.

If you plan to merge photos into your catalog pages, you need to include a column for the path (path: The route that the operating system uses to locate a folder or file; for example, C:\House finances\March.doc.) of each picture file that you plan to use. Do not include the actual pictures or images in your data source.

If you plan to create your data source in Publisher, you can do that after you create the template.

Top of Page Top of Page

Create a template

Now you can create your catalog merge template, where you design the layout of your final merged pages. When you complete the merge, you use the catalog merge template to generate merged pages, which you can save as a new publication or add to the end of an existing publication.

Your catalog merge template should have the same layout (page size and orientation) that you want for your final merged pages. Also, it should contain any text or graphics that you want to appear on each page of your final publication, for example, a background image or the name of your company.

If you plan to add your merged pages to the end of an existing publication, make sure that your catalog merge template matches the existing publication in the following ways:

  • Page size (height and width)
  • Page view (one-page spread or two-page spread)
  • Publication type (Web or print)
  • Page order (left-to-right or right-to-left)

Create the catalog merge template

  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. In the New Publication task pane, click Blank Page Sizes, and then choose the size that you want..

 Note   If you plan to post your catalog to a Web site, click Web Sites under Blank Page Sizes, and then click the size that matches your target screen resolution.

  1. Click Create.
  2. On the File menu, click Page Setup.
  3. In the Page Setup dialog box, make any changes to the margins that you want, and then click OK.
  4. On the Tools menu, point to Mailings and Catalogs, and then click Catalog Merge.

Top of Page Top of Page

Connect to your data source

After you format your catalog merge template page, use the Catalog Merge task pane to create or locate and connect to your data source. The option that you choose next depends on whether you already have a data source or whether you want to create a new list in Publisher.

  1. In the Catalog Merge task pane, under Select Product List, do one of the following:
  2. Click Next: Create or connect to a product list.

Use an existing list

  1. In the Select Data Source dialog box, locate and click the data source that you want.

By default, Publisher saves data sources in the My Data Sources folder. You may need to browse to the My Data Sources folder to locate your data source.

  1. Click Open.

Depending on the type of data source you select, other dialog boxes may appear requesting specific information. For example, if your data source is an Excel worksheet that has information about multiple tabs, you must select the tab that contains the information you want, and then click OK.

Select from Outlook Contacts

  1. Do one of the following:
    • In the Select Contacts dialog box, click the list of contacts that you want to use.
    • In the Choose Profile dialog box, select the correct profile for the contacts that you want to use.
  2. Click OK.

Type a new list

  1. In the New Product List dialog box, type the information for the first item, or record, that you want to include in your catalog.

If you want to add or remove columns — for example, if you aren't including pictures — click Customize Columns, and then make the changes that you want.

  1. After you type all the information for your first record, click New Entry, and then type the information for the next record. Continue until you have typed information for all the records that you want to include.
  2. When your new list is complete, click OK.
  3. In the Save Address List dialog box, type a name for your new list, and then click Save.

Add more lists

If you want to use more than one list in your catalog merge, you can add lists.

  1. In the Catalog Merge Product List, under Add to product list, click Select an existing list or Select from Outlook Contacts, depending on the publication that you're making.

Add more items

If you want to add just a few items, you can create a list of those new items and combine it with the list that you've already selected.

  1. In the Catalog Merge Product List, under Add to product list, click Type a new list.
  2. In the New Product List dialog box, type the information for the first item that you want to include in your catalog.

If you want to add or remove columns so that the match the other list that you are using, click Customize Columns, and then make the changes that you want.

  1. After you type all the information for your first record, click New Entry, and then type the information for the next record. Continue until you have typed information for all the records that you want to include.
  2. When your new list is complete, click OK.
  3. In the Save Address List dialog box, type a name for your new list, and then click Save.
  4. Your new list automatically appears under Data sources in the Catalog Merge Product List dialog box.

Select the records that you want to include

  1. In the Catalog Merge Product List dialog box, do one of the following:
    • Select the check boxes next to the records that you want to include, and clear the check boxes next to the records you want to exclude.

 Tip   If you want to include only a few records in the list, click Clear All, and then select the records you want.

  • Filter your list by a specific criterion by clicking the arrow next to the column heading of the item that you want to filter by and then clicking the value that you want to use as a filter.
    • (Blanks) displays all the records in which the corresponding field is blank.
    • (Nonblanks) displays all the records in which the corresponding field contains information.

 Note   If your data source contains records that share the same information, and there are ten or fewer unique values in the column, you can filter by specific information. For example, if your data source is a list of properties for sale and there are multiple property records that list Buffalo as the city/location, you can filter on Buffalo.

The Catalog Merge Product List dialog box displays only the designated records. To display all the records again, click (All).

  • Sort items in the list by clicking the column heading of the item that you want to sort by. For example, if you want to display the list alphabetically by city/location, click the City/Location column heading.
  1. Click OK to return to the Catalog Merge task pane. Publisher will use the records you designated for the merge.
  2. Click Next: Prepare your publication.

Top of Page Top of Page

Insert merge fields

Now it's time to arrange the information that you want to display in your publication. To lay out the page, you add merge fields to the catalog merge area. Each merge field represents a column in your data source, and the catalog merge area displays how the information in one record will be displayed.

You arrange the catalog merge area the way that you want, and then you specify how many times the merge area repeats on each page. For example, you might want to show four items on each page. Each item will be displayed in the same way, based on how you arrange the catalog merge area. You can adjust the size of each item, and you can change the size of the catalog merge area.

 Important    If you insert merge fields outside the catalog merge area, they will not repeat when you complete your merge.

Insert merge fields into the catalog merge area

  • In the Catalog Merge task pane, under Prepare your publication, click the first merge field that you want to insert.
  • In the catalog merge area, select the merge field and then move and resize the merge field by doing the following:
  • Click outside of the merge field so that it is no longer selected.
  • Repeat Steps 1-3 until you have inserted all of the fields that you want from your data source.

If a previously inserted merge field is selected when you insert a new merge field, Publisher will insert the new merge field together with the previously inserted merge field.

Format the merge fields

You can format the merged catalog data by formatting the merge fields in your catalog merge template.

  1. In the catalog merge template, select the field containing the information that you want to format, including the surrounding merge field characters («« »»).
  2. On the Format menu, click Font, and then select the options that you want.

Move or resize the catalog merge area

If your formatted merge fields no longer fit in the catalog merge area, you can resize it.

 Note   If you increase the size, you may need to fit fewer items, or records, on each page.

  1. Click the Catalog Merge Area to select it.
  2. Position the mouse pointer over one of the handles (handle: One of several small shapes displayed around an object when the object is selected. You can move or reshape an object by clicking on a handle and dragging.) on the Catalog Merge Area, and then drag the mouse.
  3. Specify how many items should appear on each page by typing the numbers that you want for items down the page and across the page on the Catalog Merge Layout toolbar.

Finish and preview the template

  1. Type any recurring text or information that you want to appear next to the information from your data source. For example, add a currency symbol next to the merge field for a price.
  2. Under Preview page, click the arrows to view each page of merged data.

If you decide not to include an item, click the catalog merge area for that item, and then click Exclude this item in the Catalog Merge task pane.

  1. When you are ready to continue, click Next: Create merged publications.

Top of Page Top of Page

Complete, print, and save your catalog publication

To complete the merge, you have three options:

  • You can print your merged publication directly.
  • You can create and print a new publication that contains the merged content. You can make changes to the content of this publication just as you would change any other publication in Publisher.
  • You can add the merged content to an existing publication.

If you want to add a front and back cover to your publication, or if you want to add any other pages, you need to create a new publication or add your content to an existing publication.

Print your merged publication

  • In the Catalog Merge task pane, click Print.

Publisher prints the merged pages.

Merge to a new publication

If you want to edit your merged pages, save them for later use, or print them at a later time, you can collect and save all of your merged pages as a single new merged publication that contains the actual data — for example, product names and prices — instead of merge fields.

  • In the Catalog Merge task pane, click Merge to a new publication.

Publisher creates a new publication that you can save and edit. You can even add front and back cover pages.

 Note   If you plan to print your catalog as a booklet, make sure that the total number of pages is a multiple of four.

  • In the Catalog Merge task pane, click Save this publication.
  • In the File name box, type a name for your new publication, and then click Save.
  • If necessary, save any changes that you made to your catalog merge template. You can use this catalog merge template again to create additional merged pages whenever you update the information in your data source.

Add to an existing publication

If you already have your covers set up in a separate publication, or if you want the catalog placed at the end of a longer publication, you can add your merged content directly.

Before you add your merged pages to the end of an existing publication, make sure that your catalog merge template matches the existing publication in the following ways:

  • Page size (height and width)
  • Page view (one-page spread or two-page spread)
  • Publication type (Web or print)
  • Page order (left-to-right or right-to-left)

 Note   Publisher cannot add merged pages to an open publication. If you are working on the publication to which you want to merge, make sure that you save and close it before you complete your merge.

  1. In the Catalog Merge task pane, click Add to existing publication. In the Open Publication dialog box, locate and select the publication to which you want to add the merged pages, and then click Open.

Publisher adds the merged pages to the end of the existing publication.

 Tip   To rearrange the pages in your updated publication, click any page that you want to move on the page sorter, and then drag it to the location that you want.

  1. In the existing publication, click Save on the File menu to save your updates.
  2. If necessary, save any changes that you made to your catalog merge template. You can use this catalog merge template again to create additional merged pages whenever you update the information in your data source.

Print and save your catalog publication

If you created a new merged publication or if you added your catalog merge to an existing publication, you can print that publication by clicking Print on the File menu.

Print your catalog publication as a booklet

  1. On the File menu, click Page Setup.
  2. Under Margin Guides, click Advanced.
  3. Under Layout type, click Booklet.
  4. Under Page, adjust the Width and Height settings so that they match the original dimensions of your publication.

 Important   If you don't adjust the page width and height, Publisher will fit place two booklet pages on the original page size, and your catalog will not fit.

Save your template so you can use it again

It is a good idea to save your catalog merge template. You can use it again to create additional sets of merged pages when you update the information in your data source. To save your catalog merge publication, do the following:

  1. Be sure that you are in the catalog merge publication.
  2. On the File menu, click Save.
  3. Give the catalog merge publication a name, and then click Save.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Publisher 2007