Ad Template Maker


UI of Ad Template Maker


For Clipper Magazine I designed and implemented an application that queries the main SQL server and gives artists all available information about an advertiser and their current ad. Applescript then directs Adobe InDesign to pre-fill a document template with the data. This application uses multiple Objective-C classes, Applescript/Applescript Objective-C, third party ODBC classes, direct SQL queries in code, and command-line statements.

Design Highlights:

  • Designed to meet the needs of over 400 artists who use this every day to build ads
  • The layout and entry tab order had to match their thinking and previous expectations of how to enter data quickly
  • Large lower table had to show important book/issue information but not require window resizing
  • Certain elements needed to be selectable/copyable to paste into documents
  • Multiple layouts managed invisibly based on magazine type

Program highlights:

  • Communicates with MS-SQL server, using stored SQL procedures and raw queries
  • Parsing data from query to multiple objects/classes
  • Custom table view cells implemented before it was available by default in Cocoa
  • Manual/custom drawing for a large scroll view (Ad Color and Feel/Images box)
  • Scans file system and sorts files to display in tab views and popup menus
  • Data transfer with Applescript Objective-C classes to drive Adobe InDesign to build customized documents
  • Mutliple keyboard shortcuts


A compound row drawn using a custom class implementation (before there was easily customized NSTableViewCells).

Compound Row


Custom (fully manual drawing code) table, and custom menu items, with keyboard shortcuts.

Custom table drawing   Menus customized for exactly wha the users need



Who can resist a fancy futuristic about box?

Fancy about box