Demo: Catalog merge turns data into designs

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Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 makes it a snap to turn business information into a professional-looking catalog or directory. Just use the new Mail and Catalog Merge Wizard. See how to start with a blank page and design catalog entries using information stored in a Microsoft Office Excel 2003 worksheet. In the blink of an eye, worksheet columns become catalog sections — including that column of dazzling product photos!

A catalog merge area makes it a slam dunk to customize your catalog layout, to brighten your text with color, or to add definition with decorative borders. Already have cover designs you love? Catalog merge makes it simple to reuse past designs. Are you worried that some aspect of the design won't look right once the catalog is produced? Don't give it a second thought. You can always preview your design the way it will look in the final pages and then change it until you love it.

 Note   For screen reader text detailing the onscreen actions and a screen reader version of the audio script, click Demo text version.

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Screen Action Audio Script
Excel 2003 is open, showing the Alpine Ski House Activities worksheet with records for activities in each row. One row at a time is selected and then one column at a time is selected. You don't need a magic wand to turn business information into a professional-looking catalog. But you do need help from a wizard — the new Catalog Merge Wizard in Publisher 2003. Let me show you how it works.

Excel disappears, and Publisher 2003 appears, showing a new blank publication, and the Publication Designs task pane is displayed on the left.

On the Tools menu, the pointer moves to Mail and Catalog Merge, then clicks Mail and Catalog Merge Wizard. The wizard task pane opens on the left.

The pointer moves to the task pane and clicks Catalog Merge. The Catalog Merge area appears on the page. The merge area is made larger by dragging the black handles on its border. A screen tip appears with the text Catalog Merge Area. This area will repeat 3 down and 1 across.

In Publisher, I start with a blank page the same size as my final catalog. My first task is to design how the entries will look. Each entry contains the information from one row in my spreadsheet. To help me, the wizard adds a catalog merge area to the page. Because I want three entries rather than four on each page, I make the catalog merge area a little larger.

The scene changes to show the Create your catalog merge template in the task pane. The pointer clicks the list next to the Activity field in the wizard, and then clicks Insert as Text. The Activity field appears in the merge area. The pointer moves down to the Photo field in the wizard, and then clicks Insert as Picture from the list. The Photo field appears in the merge area. After the Activity field is repositioned, the Photo field is made larger.

The scene changes to display the Activity and Photo fields, along with the Description, Regular Price, and Special Price fields arranged in a layout.

The wizard shows column headings from my spreadsheet in the task pane. By choosing text or picture for each column, I automatically add a matching field to the catalog merge area. I move the Activity field to the top left corner, because I want catalog readers to see the activity name first. I make the Picture field larger to accommodate my eye-catching photos.

In the merge area, the pointer selects the red text Special Price. The pointer then selects a blue line, which appears between the catalog entries in the merge area.

The pointer moves to the task pane and clicks Next: Preview. The first record from the worksheet appears in the format of the catalog, showing all the data from the worksheet. The pointer clicks the forward arrow in the task pane. The next formatted record appears.

When my layout is final, it's time for pizzazz. I color the Special Price text red so it will stand out. And the blue line will separate one entry from another.
The task pane scrolls down, and the pointer clicks Complete the Merge at the bottom of the task pane. The pointer clicks Add to existing publication. Now I can preview how well information from my spreadsheet fits into the entry fields. When I'm satisfied, I create the final catalog pages. Because I already have front and back catalog covers, I choose to add my pages to an existing cover publication.
Another Publisher file opens to display the cover art. The pointer clicks on the second page in the sorter at the bottom of the view, and the page opens to show the design of a back cover. The pointer drags the page icon to the end of the sorter. The pointer then clicks some page icons in the sorter. With each click, the corresponding page is displayed. These are, in order, the front cover, pages 2, 4, and 7, and then the back cover. The pages I designed are added after the two covers. I use the handy page sorter to move the back cover to the end and to flip through the catalog.
Publisher disappears. The animated text Experience Your Own Great Moments appears. Under it appears the static text For more information followed by a URL: You've seen how the Catalog Merge Wizard can help you turn information into a catalog — or even a price list or directory. Now you're ready to discover what other magic you can perform with Office 2003.

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Applies to:
Publisher 2003