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Introduction to Templates

Templates define the arrangment of the Product Layouts within your catalog. They also define how your data is displayed within each Layout.

Before we get into the descriptions, you should know that help with template design is normally available at no charge.

Send us some information about what you want the template to look like - number of items on a page, font styles, borders, colors and anything else that is important to you. You can send us a copy of an existing catalog you would like to duplicate, a rough sketch or even a link to another site.
We'll send back some samples as PDFs and ask you to tell us what refinements you want to see. If your requirements are fairly complex, or you want us to create a complete, ready-to-print PDF catalog for you, we may quote a fee for this service.

Grid Templates

Grid templates are the most commonly used, and you can specify up to 10 columns and 99 rows. Each of these Product Layouts contains a separate product or Product Group.

Grid templates are also the easiest to design. Even if you intend to create another template style, it’s recommended that you experiment with a Grid template first. In CleverCat, templates and categories are closely linked. While you can have as many categories as you need and as many different templates as you want, only a single template can be assigned to a category at any time. Each category can contain an unlimited number of products but each category prints as a separate print job using the assigned template. In other words, you cannot print half a category using one template and the rest of the category using another.


Dynamic Templates

A Dynamic template also uses up to 10 columns, but the Product Layouts grow to accommodate the text so there is no fixed number of rows. Dynamic templates are suitable for products where the amount of text varies between products or groups of products.

In this example, the amount of descriptive text varies for each item. Also, the heights of the images are variable. These two factors cause the overall height of the Product Layouts to be different and, as a result, there can be a different number of Layouts in each column and some white space at the bottom where there is not enough space for another Layout.
While this may seem inefficient at first glance, in almost all cases, the overall number of pages is less when using a Dynamic template when compared to a comparable Grid template which has been sized to fit the text for the largest possible Product Group.


Feature Templates

A Feature template is a variation of a Grid template where a block of Product Layouts is combined to form a single, larger Layout. This Feature Block can have a completely different layout than the rest.

A Feature template is often used as an introduction to a category and there is an option to have it print on only the first page of a category. If this option is used, the remaining pages print as a standard Grid template.

When defining the spreadsheet data for a Feature template, the first row in every group of records on a page is always printed in the Feature position, regardless of where the Feature Block is on the page. So, in this example, the first row of every block of 13 rows will be the Feature.
This gives you the flexibility to change the position of the Feature Block without having to reorganize the data.


Summary Templates

A Summary template is also based on the standard Grid template, just like a Feature Template. The difference is that the Feature Block is evenly divided, vertically, by the number of standard Grid Layouts.

With this style, you design two separate layouts - one for the standard Product Layouts and another for the Summary Layouts.

The most common use for a Summary template is as shown in this example, where the standard Grid shows only the product image and the product data is printed in the Summary.


Hybrid Templates

The final template style is a blend of Feature and Summary.

In a Feature template, the Feature block is a separate product and if you insert a Data Table, all the data will be from the first Product Group.
In the Hybrid template, a Data Table uses data from each of the products in the standard Grid. However, additional elements can be placed in the Feature Block and these will be taken from the first row of products on the page.
So, in this example, there are 6 products on a page and the data in the additional elements will be found in the first of every sixth row on the Datasheet or CSV file.


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