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Catalog tool

Create great-looking catalogs and brochures with this free design and inventory database tool.

Online sellers, small-business owners, retailers, auctioneers, and collectors will want to take a look at Catalog Creator. It's a free tool for designing, filling, printing, and posting catalogs, brochures, and similar documents in print, online, and on CD-ROM. It offers a wide range of customizable templates for creating colorful catalogs and an efficient means for displaying lots of wares, up to thousands of items. It's compatible with Microsoft Office features, too.

Catalog Creator, or CatCreator, has a unique interface based around a Main Menu with clearly marked buttons that open new pages for their functions and settings. Clicking Exit in any of CatCreator's pages returns you to the Main Menu, or you can click Previous Page. The Main Menu has a link to a handy online tutorial and a PDF-based quick start guide as well as several sample inventory entries related to phones. We clicked on Cordless Phones and got a page filled with sample data on what would be our in-stock inventory--part number, SKU, cost, price, and so on--all easily customized via the Page Setup options on the Template tool's dialog. You can select between a spreadsheet-like Data View for quick checks and an Inventory option that displays individual items, including pictures. We created a new catalog, which involves choosing a template, making changes in the Page Setup editor, selecting options like categories, entering or populating data, and saving it for printing or posting. The results were more than acceptable, even for our simple project. We were impressed by the option to import XLS inventory files, especially by the Data Mapping option, which offers more than 20 selectable fields for specifying exactly what to import; for instance, price but not part number. It even has six custom fields. Append and Update buttons let you add and update data instantly.

CatCreator is easy to use and cannot only help you create and publish attractive, professional-quality catalogs and brochures but also manage your inventory through its database features. It's free, too, which the bottom line loves.

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