Make an Impressive Product Catalog [spreadsheets for small business]

Posted on July 13th, 2009 in excel apps , Learn Excel - 14 comments

It is the customer on the phone again, she wants to know what products we have.
How cool would it be if we can send her a spreadsheet with all the products neatly listed in a table and she can use filters to find what she likes. Alas, we end up sending a biggish PDF brochure that is both difficult to make and maintain.

Well, not any more.

Today we will learn a very useful and fun trick in Excel. We will create a product catalog using Excel that you can send to your clients or boss (and impress them).

We will create something like this:
Create a product catalog in excel

Step one: Set up the product catalog in Excel Spreadsheet

This is a simple step. Define a table structure for your product catalog. For our example – Supurr Market, I have chosen only one column, with the images of various Cats the shop sells. But you can add more columns like size, age, price, features etc.

Step two: Adjust image properties so that they can be filtered

adjust image properties in ExcelWe will finish this step before you can snap your fingers. Just select all the images, right click and select Format picture (in Excel 2007, you need to select ‘size & properties’) and go to “properties” tab. Here change the option to “Move and size with cells” from whatever it is earlier.

Step three: Apply data filters so that your product catalog can be filtered

Do that.

Step four: Time to impress your clients

Send the lean and sleek product catalog to your clients. Tell your story elegantly and get some orders.

Download the product catalog template workbook

Click here [.zip version here] to download the excel product catalogue workbook. Use it to learn and make your own product catalogs using MS excel.

Do you run a small business? Tell me how you use excel.

I think Excel has great potential to manage 90% of small business IT operations. It is simple to learn and easy to maintain. I want to know how you use excel to manage your small business. Share your experiences and ideas using comments.

Learn how you can do the same for charts: Dynamic Charts in Excel

PS: Special thanks to Gerald Higgins for telling me about the image properties tip.

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Written by Chandoo
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14 Responses to “Make an Impressive Product Catalog [spreadsheets for small business]”

  1. Jeff Weir says:

    Great idea. Here’s another idea…you could use Excel’s group and outline functionality. That way, you can have nested catalogues.

    My reworked example at http://cid-f380a394764ef31f.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/product-catalog-using-excel-grouping.xls

  2. Chandoo says:

    @Jeff… that is even more impressive… thanks for the little surpise hidden in the sheet too :)

  3. Robert DaVia says:

    I recently subscribed to the RSS feed for Pointy Haired Dilbert, and like what I’ve seen so far. Thanks for what you do!

    In Jeff’s reworked example, how do you get the, for lack of a better word, frame on the left side of the sheet with the collapsed rows? It has columns 1, 2 & 3.

  4. XlsAddin says:

    Nice but if You have a lot images that can take long time.

  5. Raghav Malani says:

    Hi, I have 400 images. I normally use excel- but this time 400 images is jst a bit too much for doing it with excel. Is there a way excel can add the file name automatically next to the images? It can save me a lot of time- really a lot of ime!!
    Please help…

  6. XlsAddin says:

    @Raghav Malani
    Insert hundreds file names & images within one minute…
    Search on web “Excel Image Assistant” This add in for Excel and can do it.
    Regards

  7. Brittany says:

    hey how do I like export the thing, like I’m 14 and I’m doing this for my mum’s buisness, so in the image above you have of what it will look like, how do I get it to do that ?

  8. Hui... says:

    @Brittany
    Export what thing and into what format ?

  9. Sophie says:

    Hey Chandoo,

    How do you get the drop down list to look as it does on this webpage?

    I can only get it to be the normal drop down filter where you have to tick (and un-tick) what you want…

    Yours looks much more professional.

  10. [...] boxes to make the dynamic legend, same as the technique demonstrated in smart chart legends & excel product catalog [...]

  11. Luke says:

    Thank you for the catalog filter. However, I am having a problem. I am trying to mail merge only the filtered (i.e. visible) catalog item records into Word 2011 but it merges all the items, including the hidden records. Is there a way to automatically copy the filtered records to a designated worksheet (that always gets erased prior to the new data being pasted) within the same Excel workbook each time the filter is applied? I would like this to happen in the background so that I can remain in the Excel Product Catalog worksheet once the macro is completed.

  12. Emil says:

    Is there a catalog sample for brake rotors?

  13. Bhupinder says:

    not able to download the file. websense does not allow it. Pls host the file in your own website.

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