Guide on Creating a Product Catalog
This is a brief tutorial on using MyBusinessCatalog - the application for creating digital product catalogs.

This is a brief tutorial on using MyBusinessCatalog - the application for creating product product catalogs. This document is not a replacement for the help system of the digital catalog; its purpose is to explain step by step the basic moments. And we hope it will help you create your digital catalog quicker, letting you skip the specific settings that you do not need yet.

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MyBusinessCatalog is an application purposed for the creation and development of a digital catalog of products and services. The application contains a great number of settings for all kinds of situations, structures of your product lists, bulk-order and currency settings, different view modes, and appearance.

With MyBusinessCatalog, you can create a digital catalog that would allow your customers to submit the orders to one of your branch offices (if you have more than one of those), generate and send out a digital catalog in the PDF or HTML format upon the customer's request, print the catalog or price list, etc.

Briefly the idea of the application can be seen on this figure
Main idea of the create a catalog software

The application's basic concept is that your primary and most labor-intensive job is to enter your product information - price lists, photos, descriptions, flash-movies, etc. - in the catalog; the application will generate the rest automatically, upon your request.

You don't have to learn the complicated and meanwhile unclear settings of the digital catalog from the very beginning; you can use the advanced functionality when you need it. The application is ready for the use right after it has been installed, and by default it is configured to operate in the most commonly used format.

Another word on the "hardship" of using the application. The application's interface for both you, the creator of the digital catalog, and for the end user looks very similar. In other words, the user will see the CD catalog on his computer pretty much just the way you see it on yours. The difference is that one will not have any configuration settings available to you, it won't allow editing the data, etc. The end-user interface is quite clear and straight-through. The primary emphasis in the client part of the digital catalog is made toward the convenient viewing of the products and composing and submitting an order.

Below you will see the list of recommendations on operating the digital catalog; the sequence of operations in the majority of cases doesn't matter.

So, you have installed and activated the application (for the free version - obtained the activation key; for the premium one - obtained it from the registration message).
Launch the application in the administrator mode
(Start-Programs-MyBusinesCatalog Free / Platinum - MyBusinessCatalog (Administrator's console)

Quite often in the text you can read about items of the main menu - here it is.
Main menu items, example
Some items of the menu are active in certain situations only. For example, the 'Order' item is inactive until you open the 'Orders' tab.

Let's get going!!!

Customizing the catalog. Basic settings.

1. We are looking at the welcome page. What is it? This page will pop up the same way when your users open the CD catalog. The thing is just that the text will be yours and not ours. On this page, you are encouraged to provide information about your company, discounts, office hours. You can also add driving directions or give a helpful hint on operating the digital catalog. Maybe you shouldn't do it right off - do it when you have the passion for that. If the passion is not expected, you can simply disable the welcome page and leave this assignment for the remote future.

2. Let's enter information about your company now. This way, when you begin filling up the digital catalog with your product data, you will see that all printable documents (catalog, price list, etc.) already have your company information on them, and you don't need to configure anything else. So, click on the Tools-Options-Company information item and replace the demo information with yours.

3. In the same window - if you have closed it already, that's the Tools-Options-Currency setup menu - check whether the default currency was selected properly during the installation. If the currency is selected incorrectly, replace it with the right one. Don't forget to click on the 'Save List' button.

4. Again, without leaving this window, jump to the 'Order Submission Settings' item (Tools-Options-Submitin Order )
Configure the method and properties for submitting orders by customers.
The window has three tabs.
Order settings
Submitting Order
Select the way your customers will submit the orders to you over e-mail. Carefully read the comments in the window and then enter your data. If you select 'Using e-mail client', no other settings are to be made. 'Via your mail server' - the settings are the same as you have in your e-mail application. We encourage you to create a separate mailbox for receiving orders.

Please note that if you have selected the submission 'Via your mail server', you shouldn't enter your corporate LAN server information (an external customer simply can't access it). Also, don't set the application to send order messages via a GMAIL account - the application doesn't support sending messages through a secure connection.

Sales Department List
Everything is simple here. List your branch offices, which your customers will submit their orders to (they will choose the recipient branch when submitting their first order; later they can alter the choice at any time). If you do not have any branch offices, simply enter your data in the first line.

In this window, you can:
1. Configure attaching the order file in a format you find convenient to the order message (i.e., you select the format which YOU think is convenient for eceiving orders from your customers).
2. Request any additional data from user; for example, credit card or discount card information.
Find out more on this here, but you can deal with these settings later, after you have evaluated the necessity of these settings.

So, we have completed the general configuration of the catalog, and it is ready for use - you can start creating a catalog this very moment; it's YOURS, the orders will arrive to YOU, in all places where it's necessary we have entered YOUR information.

Now we are moving on to...

Filling our product catalog

The data in your digital product catalog have a multi-level structure.

Products groups in the  in the catalog
First, we need to define product GROUPS.
Click on the 'Add/Edit' item on the drop-town group list or on the 'Tools-Groups settings' item on the main menu.
In the window that appears, you can define the basic structure of the catalog. You can add new groups or change the settings as necessary. If something seems unclear at the moment or you can't figure out where to start - no problem; you will be building the structure gradually, as needed, and we will help you with that.

The group setup window has two tabs.

On the first tab, we define which fields (i.e. columns on the product list) are to be shown on the list and on the product profile by setting/clearing the checkboxes by the field names. Give it a try - the changes appear in the catalog instantly, and you will catch the idea quickly.
Group settings
The profile appears under the product list, and its purpose is hide a part of the data from the main list (as its width is limited by the screen width, and we still want to place some graphics on the right). Here you can also name the additional fields. They can contain absolutely any data - size, width, weight, etc. Please note that the product profile itself can be configured from the context menu, which you can open by RIGHT-clicking on the profile.

On the second tab, enter the actual groups. After the software is installed, the list has two demo groups, which allow creating a demo catalog right off. Simply delete them and add yours. Please note that creating two and more groups makes sense only if you are planning on publishing totally different product groups with totally different specifications in your catalog (one group might have weight and size, the other one - color, diameter, etc.) If this is your case, besides entering a new group you may want to enter custom names for the additional fields, which will override the names entered on the first tab. Also, splitting into groups makes sense when you have very large product lists (tens of thousands.)
Adding / editing the groups
If you have just one group, the client section of the catalog will have no drop-down group menu.
In our case, let's add one group, name it 'Table Top Decorations' and close the group setup window. You can make the other settings later.
Find out more on configuring product groups and fields in your digital catalog here.

We are done with the structure of the digital catalog, there's very little to go...

Filling the catalog with products

This is the most frequent operation you are going to deal with when using your digital catalog. You can create the product list by hand (like in any spreadsheet editor, press Ins, Crtl+Ins to insert a new item, Shift+Crtl+Ins to insert a new Subgroup, F2 to edit an item). Or you can load it automatically with the import wizard.

Be aware of some important moments.
The digital catalog does not make a distinction in kind between a product item and a subgroup. In other words, you can add a subgroup like a plain item and remove the price from it (in this case, a customer won't be able to add it to an order), and then add the children product items or other subgroups to it. You can do it the other way around - add a subgroup with a price (for example 'Kitchen Suite'), and then add a list of components to it WITHOUT the prices, just to inform the customer on the composition of the suite, without the possibility to add it to order (or with such possibility). You solely decide on that depending on the nature of your products.
You may want to check out the help article on filling the catalog with products.

Finally, the most interesting part...
Adding photos and videos

Photos, flash-movies and detailed product descriptions are placed to the right of the product list. The customer's catalog shows them with the following priority: flash, photo, description (if the description is placed under the photo, it will be shown at all times (more). If no information has been entered, the user will see the 'No Image' label.
Check out the help article on adding photos to your product catalog.

Please note these important moments:
These items are not mandatory for adding.
You can set your own image for missing photographs; e.g., your company logo.
Selecting a subgroup in the right part of the window opens the product gallery.
To alter the width/height of the blocks relatively to each other, place the mouse pointer on the block border and then drag the border while holding the left mouse button pressed.

You may find it helpful to read on
adding groups of photographs (for example, to quickly link a large photo gallery)
getting rid of duplicate photos (the case when many items use the same photo).