Xcatalog Automates Catalogs & Directories

Em Software’s Xcatalog lets you create bi-directional links between a QuarkXPress document and an external database. You can link any picture or text element, from a single character to a phrase or paragraph or entire story. It’s excellent for making sure that you’ve included the absolute latest pictures, text, and prices in a catalog or directory.

At $800, Xcatalog isn’t cheap, but it can save time and money if you regularly create or update these kinds of projects. They have versions for QuarkXPress 8 and 9, and for InDesign as well. Their free trial version lets you work with up to 50 records, so you can see if it will work for your needs.

Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press

When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.

Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.

In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.