Knowledge Base

Creating PDF Catalogs

Overview #

Use eCat to create beautiful PDF catalog presentations in different formats ranging from one to fifteen products per page. Personalize the catalogs with titles for specific programs or customers. Select specific pricing for the catalog, or hide pricing altogether. Organize items and page breaks as needed. Catalogs can be emailed, printed, saved, shared with file sharing services, or opened in other apps on your iPad. Your company's eCat administrator can customize PDF catalog layouts with the information you need to best serve customers.

Here are examples of some of the many types of catalogs you can create for your customers.  Each took less than a minute to create!

Catalog Formats

Quick Start #

Create beautiful customized PDF catalogs in just a few steps.  

  • In Settings (gear), select the price level to show in the catalog, or hide prices
  • Select a catalog format from the list to clear the previous catalog and start a new one
  • Tap photos to select items to include in the catalog, then tap 'Done' to show the catalog preview
  • Personalize the catalog with a title and sub-title
  • Tap 'Edit & Reorder' button to edit and rearrange items in the catalog, if desired
  • Tap 'Change Format' button to select different formats and see which work best for you
  • Tap the Action icon (box with arrow) to share and/or save your catalog

Scroll down for detailed instructions and illustrations.

How To Create PDF Catalogs #

 Set price level #

Catalog Price Level 500W

PDF catalogs display pricing at the same price level currently selected for the catalog.  To set the price level, tap the Settings gear in Quick View, then select the price level to show in the catalog.  Or hide pricing altogether.

Start catalog #

Catalog Start 500W

To begin catalog creation, tap the actions icon in Quick/Grid View.  Then tap 'Create PDF Catalog'.  The menu will slide to the left and reveal a list of available catalog formats from which to choose.

Select format #

Catalog Format Select 500W

Tap a format name to select the desired catalog format.  (This can be changed later.)  Note the item count limits shown under each format selection.  Image quality will be automatically adjusted based on the format and items selected.  Your company can provide PDF catalog layouts customized with the information needed to best serve your customers.  So if you don't see exactly what you need in the format selection get in touch with your eCat administrator!

Select items #

Select the items to include in your catalog by tapping images in grid view or using 'Select All' while viewing the desired product selection.  Hint: If your catalog contains a large number of items, save them in a stack before starting.  This will make it easier if you are interrupted and must start over.

Catalog Select 1000W

After selecting all items for your catalog, tap 'Done'.  eCat will then open the Catalog Creator and display a preview image of your catalog.

Catalog Preview 1000W

Personalize the catalog  #

Tap the 'Title' blanks at the top left of Catalog Creator to reveal the keyboard.  Then enter a custom title and sub-title to tailor the catalog presentation to a specific program or customer.  By default, the PDF file name will be the catalog title followed by the current date.  To change the file name, tap the 'Advanced' button to reveal the file name blank, then specify a different file name.

Edit & reorder items #

Tap the 'Edit and Reorder Items' button to remove items from your catalog and change the display sequence.  If desired, you can also add page breaks to group similar items on single pages. 

Catalog Edit Reorder 1000W

Change the catalog format #

Catalog Change Format 500W

The catalog format selected when starting the catalog can be changed.  Just tap the 'Change Format' button and select a different format.  You may find it useful to change the format to improve its appearance, or when it's necessary to create catalogs with the same items, but for different purposes, or when switching to a different format enables publishing higher resolution product photos.

About product image quality #

When setting up catalogs, eCat automatically adjusts image quality to maintain a reasonable PDF file size and ensure reasonably fast performance.  This is done based on the number of products in the catalog and the size of the images in the selected layout.  Tap the 'Change Format' button to see what the limits are for the formats made available by your company.   The 'Change Image Quality' button can be used to change the image quality for the currently selected format.

Catalog Quality Name

There are three quality thresholds.

  • High Quality photos are suitable for printing the PDF's for presentations
  • Medium Quality photos may be indistinguishable from high quality when view on the iPad or a computer screen, but may print less clearly.
  • Draft Quality photos are recognizable and suitable for quick reference, but shouldn't be used for presentations.  Draft Quality is provided primarily for internal company use when it's necessary to print reports with large numbers of items.

Sharing and saving catalogs #

When finished setting up your catalog, use the email and print buttons or or tap the Action icon to share the PDF. 

Before closing the catalog, you can print or share it as many different ways as needed, usually with just one or two taps.  For example, you could print a copy, save a copy to iBooks, and email a copy to a client. 

Catalog Share 500W

Use built in eCat and iPad features to save and share your catalog as many ways as needed.  Here are some ideas.

  • Save it to iBooks for future reference
  • Use iCloud to access on your Apple devices 
  • Share with a service like Dropbox
  • Use iMessage to text it to a phone.
  • Annotate it with an app like PDFXpert
  • Airdrop it to a nearby iPad, iPhone, or Mac
  • and of course, email or print it!