If you’ve ever wondered how those clever folks who automate the production of catalogs actually do it, check out Cyndie Shaffstall’s article in X-Ray magazine.
She focuses on Em Software’s Xdata XTension for QuarkXPress 6 & 7, which brings incredible power to database-publishing tasks. You create a QuarkXPress “template” that defines how you want the information to look, then Xdata imports and automatically formats data you’ve exported from a database or spreadsheet.
In addition, Xdata can import specific pictures that are cited in the template and the data file. It can manipulate text from inside individual data fields and create “directory-style” headers and footers on each page or spread.
Xdata costs $400 and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.