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CleverCat organizes your product data into categories. You can create as many categories as you need and those categories can contain an unlimited number of records.

It is important to understand that, within CleverCat, a category can also be thought of as a Printing Group.
You can change the Printing Template as required but, because only one template can be assigned at any time, all Products or Product Groups in a category will print using the same Product Layout. Turning that around, this also means that if you want certain products to print using a different Layout, you will need to assign them to a different category.

Many users will use the same layout for all their products so categorization may not be required for the purpose of changing the Layout. However, it is still a good idea to categorize your products because the default printing option causes each category to begin printing at the top of a new page.
The Compact option allows you to override this default and begin printing categories mid-page, using a common template, but its still a good idea to categorize your data to organize the data into more manageable chunks.


Subcategorization often depends on point-of-view and what CleverCat refers to as a Product, some users will consider a subcategory and vice-versa.

The easiest way to explain how CleverCat handles subcategories is to look at an example using the maximum level of organization.

In this sample, the products belong to the
Category - Baseball Gloves, the Subcategory - Fielding, the Product Group - Vapor 360, and then the Product Detail specifies the individual color.

So, for the purposes of printing, there are four levels of organization.
Of course, not all products require the fourth level and their Product Layout will not include a Data Table (Detail Table) at all, so there are only three levels for those products.


Here's how that data is recorded in the Datasheet. In this example, there are five related records which form a Product Group. The Print Order and Sub Order columns are highlighted to show how CleverCat creates a Data Table. Each item in the Product Group shares a common Print Order number and the Sub Order number sets the printing order within the Group.

CleverCat has tools for Sorting data on up to three columms, and these could be any column, including the Subcategory column.

However, this Sorting only sets the Printing Order and is not the same thing as Subcategorization.

In CleverCat, a Subcategory can be used to create a visual break in the page (when using a Dynamic Template style) but otherwise is nothing more than a label.

Users requiring higher levels of subcategorization can change the text to represent this.

For example, instead of having the very basic subcategory of Fielding, some users will create labels such as:

  • Nike -> Fielding
  • Nike -> Catching
  • Rawlings -> Fielding -> Right Hand
  • Rawlings -> Fielding -> Left Hand
and so on. When using a Dynamic Template style, each change of subcategory can be used to create a visual break in a product listing.

NOTE: It is not necessary to enter Subcategory text for every row in the Datasheet. The Subcategory text can be set to print with every Product Group, at the top of every page or column, or just where the Subcategory changes.
So, this example could print exactly the same if the text were entered in just the first row of the subcategory or if it were entered in every row.

The Subcategory text can also be printed in the Page Footer or in the Page Header, as shown in the screenshot at the top of this page. When this option is used, it is the Subcategory of the first product on the page which is printed there. So, if your subcategory changes multiple times in the same page, this change will not be shown in the Header or Footer and the best way to indicate a change is to choose an option on the Page Setup form which prints the Subcategory mid-page.

Of course, this option does not work with Grid-style templates as the subcategory text would displace the Product Layouts, reducing the number of items per page and misaligning the Grid. If it is necessary to indicate a change of subcategory mid-page in a Grid-style template, that change must be part of the Product Layout itself.

The Product Layout Editor allows you to add the Subcategory text the same way you would any other Data Field. If each row of the Datasheet contains subcategory text, then that text will be displayed in every Product Layout. If only the first row of every subcategory has that text, then it only prints for that product, similar to the way it prints as a break in a Dynamic template, but inside the Product Layout instead of above it.


Category / Subcategory Breaks in a Grid Template

A technique that may be a better option is to insert blank records in the product listing and then enter only the text or images which represent the Category of Subcategory.

In this example, the Subcategory text is empty for all rows and new rows have been inserted above the start of each Subcategory group. The template has then been setup to print the Subcategory text covering the entire Product Layout. The result is shown below.

Because there is no Subcategory text for the product rows, only the product data and photo are printed. In the rows where there is only Subcategory text, that text covers the entire Product Layout, giving a clear indication of a change of Subcategories.

This same technique could be used with a photo, instead of text, or even together with text to create a more visually appealing Category or Subcategory break. Also, you could use a Data column other than the Subcategory column. That way you could use a longer, or more descriptive, introduction to each Subcategory while keeping a shorter text for the Page Header or Footer.

One additional feature has been used to create this look. A Column Break has been set to force the Product Layouts with the Subcategory text to print in the Left column, along with the Product Layout of the first product in that Subcategory. This is of course optional and you could allow the Product Layouts to print in their natural positions.


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