AutoPrice™ Sales FAQs


Q. What is GroupPicture and how does it work?

A. GroupPicture is a unique product that allows you to save groups of elements (text boxes, picture boxes, line boxes, etc.) in a single file format that “behaves” like a picture. What this means is that you can store complete product blocks consisting of any number of native InDesign elements in a file format that is compatible with virtually any image database system. Once the files have been saved, they can be imported back into the layout in the same fashion as a picture file. The difference is that when you import a GroupPicture, a picture is not imported into onto the page - rather, you receive the original, native InDesign elements perfectly positioned on your page and ready to be edited, styled or updated. Of course GroupPicture elements can contain AutoPrice or DesignMerge links, so after the GroupPicture has been imported, any linked data inside of the group can be updated automatically.

Q. How can GroupPicture be used in catalog production?

A. The catalog customers that use GroupPicture have incorporated the product into their workflows in two ways:

Archived Product Blocks: We think of a “Product Block” as a collection of InDesign elements that have been grouped together and describe one or more related SKU’s. A typical product block might include a product photo, headline, body copy, and a price table. The concept here is that the entire block is stored as a single file inside of an image database. Then, for pickup catalogs, the user can query the database based on product SKU, locate the product block associated with that SKU, and drag the entire block onto their page. The block is placed onto the page as native InDesign elements, styled and sized appropriately. If the product block contains AutoPrice tags, those tags are completely valid and can be updated from the database immediately.

Templated Document Creation: In this scenario, a user creates “dummy” product blocks using GroupPicture. Each block contains AutoPrice tags that identify where information will be placed in the group. However, the tags that are placed in the group are generic, meaning that they do not have valid SKU’s assigned to them. The idea here is that a user would select one of these blocks and drag it onto their page to establish the desired layout for the product. Next, the user would assign a Search Key (typically, a product SKU) to the imported layout, and AutoPrice would then update the block and import all of the data for the specified SKU. Think of this as a way to define product block templates that can be imported and populated with information for any product SKU. Meadows offers a separate product that works with GroupPicture to automatically construct catalog pages. The product is called Page Builder, and it is available for Adobe InDesign. Please contact Meadows for more information about this optional module.

Q. Can GroupPicture files contain AutoPrice tags?

A. Yes, absolutely. They can contain any type of InDesign object, including text or picture boxes that have been tagged using AutoPrice.

Q. Can GroupPicture files be edited after they have been created?

A. Yes. They can be opened and edited just like normal InDesign documents.

Q. Does GroupPicture work with image database products?

A. Yes, definitely. We provide a way to attach keywords to each GroupPicture element at the time it is saved. This information is automatically imported with the GroupPicture file when it is cataloged into the image database system (assuming the database system supports this method of accessing such meta data). GroupPicture has been utilized with many different third-party database and content management systems. It also works very well with “home-grown” image database applications created using products such as FileMaker Pro.