Activating and Managing a Catalog

Learn how to create a customized course catalog for your users.

Last Updated

January 22nd, 2021

Docebo Module


Reading Time

11 min

User Level


The Course Catalogs feature in Docebo allows you to create a customized set of courses and learning plans in your platform that your users can either enroll in freely or purchase, depending on if you’ve set the course to be sold using the E-Commerce feature in your platform. You can activate either an internal catalog that can be shown to users once they’ve logged into their learning platform or a public (external) one, which is shown on the login page.

You can also give a specific set of users visibility to certain catalogs, meaning they have a selection of courses and learning plans that they can either purchase or enroll into. Catalogs are a great option for selling your content to users and giving them the ability to continue their learning by enrolling in courses that may interest them.

This functionality is a core feature of Docebo, available to all clients.

Use Case Scenarios

The following are some useful scenarios for catalogs:

– Activating a public catalog is a good option to build a storefront landing page for potential customers. In order to put personalization and creative force behind the look and feel of the public catalog view, it is possible to create multiple catalog custom pages including elements such as subscriptions, instructors, company information, etc.

– A catalog is a pratical option to group courses together that are for professional development and supplemental learning purposes. These courses are not mandatory or required, but you as a Superadmin would like to encourage your learners to take them. By leveraging a catalog, you can include all of the professional development type courses and give visibility of the catalog to particular groups, branches, or individual users. Giving visibility to a particular set of users will allow those users to browse the catalog and self-enroll into any courses that they wish to take. Reporting for progress in these courses will be available by pulling a course report or user personal summary report.

For example, a Tech Writer may be enrolled in a formal learning plan full of courses related to the product that they’re writing about, documentation methods, and more. However, multimedia skills may not be necessary for their job, but still useful. With catalogs, you can set up a catalog full of multimedia skill content, give your Tech Writing team visibility to said catalog, and allow them to self-enroll into the courses while growing their skill set.

Managing Catalog Settings

In order to activate catalogs and manage their settings, log in as a Superadmin, then access the Admin Menu from the gear icon in the top right corner of the page. Click on Advanced Settings in the Settings section and move to the Course Catalog tab.

In the first section, use the dropdown menu to decide whether or not to display an internal catalog to your learners. Please know that this option only applies to those using the Docebo 6.9 theme. If you are using the Docebo 7.0 theme or if you activated your platform on or after October 16, 2018, please refer to the Creating a General Catalog section below to learn more about displaying your internal catalog for your users.

Next, flag whether you want to show the internal general catalog if a user is not assigned to any specific catalog (see the Creating a General Catalog section of this article for further info on the general catalog). Then, move to the Public Catalog section, and flag whether you want to show the catalog to non-authenticated users. If you flag this option, the catalog will appear in the login page and anyone that lands on the login page can see the catalog, even if they are not authenticated users in your learning platform. When activating this option, consider using a smaller image for the background on the login page, since the area dedicated to the background image is partially overlapped by the catalog area.

Once this option is flagged, you then need to decide whether the public catalog will display all public courses and learning plans, or specific courses and learning plans. You can also set up external pages that will display as tabs in the catalog. Refer to the Creating Public Catalog Custom Pages section below to learn more.

In the Catalog Options section, flag whether you want to display the categories tree in a catalog. When this option is selected, the category tree can also be displayed in the Catalogs widget

Define whether to enable the Share this View button in the top right corner of internal and external catalogs and in the Course Catalogs tab of the platform Global Search results page so that users can use it to copy the page link on their clipboard in order to share the filtered results of their search within the catalog with other users. Refer to the Advanced Filtering article for further information on sharing filtered page deeplinks. This option activates the Share this View button in the catalog page; if the catalog is displayed in a Catalog Widget, activate the button in the pages including the widget. Refer to this article for further information on widget pages.

Press Save Changes when you’re finished. 

Before you start creating your course catalog, make sure that the catalog will be reachable from the user’s main menu, by inserting the catalog page or a page including the catalog widget into the menu. 

Decide now whether to create a single general catalog for all of your users, or different catalogs to assign to different users, groups or branches.

Creating a General Catalog

A general catalog is a catalog that users will see if they are not assigned to view a specific catalog. You can decide the general catalog visibility by accessing the Admin Menu, then press the Course Management subitem in the E-Learning section.

Once on this page, find the course you are interested in. Then, click on the course description, move to the Advanced Properties tab and select Catalog Options. Here, you can decide whether you want to show the course to Everyone (included users not logged into the learning platform), only to users logged to the platform, or only to users that are enrolled in that specific course. Please refer to the section Creating Custom Catalogs if you want to add the course into a specific catalog.

In the Catalog options tab, you should decide:

– Course Visibility. If you set the course view option to everyone, the course will appear in the external catalog (if you’ve created one). The second option, only for logged in users, allows the course to be shown in an internal catalog. The third option allows access only to the users enrolled in the course (the course will not appear in any catalog). Please note that you as a Superadmin are subject to the same visibility rules that you’ve configured for your users for courses in catalogs. This means that, for example, if you’ve created a course that is only visible to users enrolled in the course, you as a Superadmin will need to be enrolled in that course in order to view it.

– Max Subscription Quota. The default value is 0, meaning there is not a maximum. Set the maximum number of enrollments in the corresponding text field.

– Waiting List. If the maximum enrollment quota is reached, any users that try to enroll in the course can be placed in the waiting list of the course (for further information, refer to this article).

– Demo Material. This material is shown in the general catalog. You are able to add one file to the demo material section. Demo material can be uploaded in the following formats: pdf, .ppt, .pptx .doc, .docx, .mp4.

– Course Enrollment Settings. Establish if enrollments are closed, open, or available during a specific time period.

– Enrollment Policy. Who can enroll users in the course? Only the Administrator, Self Registration with Admin Approval, or Self Registration.

When finished, press Save Changes. Repeat this process for every course that you want to display in a catalog.

Creating Custom Catalogs

To create a custom catalog, access the Admin Menu by scrolling your mouse over the gear icon, then press the Course Catalog item in the E-Learning section. On this page, select the New Catalog button in the action bar at the top.

In the pop-up box, add a title and a description. Please note that you cannot add images in the description, and that all text formatting is removed from the learner view and that the added text will be subject to the platform’s default CSS or custom CSS added through the branding settings. You can also add hyperlinks, but please note that they will only work when the catalog description is displayed on the Course Catalog built-in page or on any widget page in a custom catalog widget, while they will not be clickable in the specific catalog built-in page. When you’re finished, press Confirm.

Once you’ve pressed Confirm, you will find your catalog in the list on the management page. Now, you can start adding courses. Press the Courses icon in the catalog’s row. On the next page, press the Assign Course button, then choose from the listed courses in the pop-up box. You can add both courses and learning plans by switching between the corresponding tabs on the left side of the pop-up box. Please note that only courses and learning plans can be added to a catalog. It’s not possible to add existing catalogs to a catalog. Also note that a course or a learning plan can belong to more than one catalog at a time. When finished, press Confirm.

The added courses and learning plans will then appear on the Assign Courses page for the catalog. To remove a course or learning plan from the catalog, press the X icon on the course’s item. To delete multiple courses or learning plans from a catalog in one action, flag the courses’ items on the Assign Courses page, then use the On Selected dropdown menu to delete the selected items.

When you’re finished, press Confirm. Now, you can assign users. Press the Users icon in the catalog’s row. On the next page, press the Assign Users button, then choose from the listed users in the pop-up box. You can add users, groups or branches by switching between the corresponding tabs on the left side of the pop-up box. When finished, press Confirm.

The added users will then appear on the Assign Users page for the catalog. To remove a user from the catalog, press the X icon on the user’s item. To delete multiple users from a catalog in one action, flag the users’ items on the Assign Users page, then use the On Selected dropdown menu to delete the selected items.

In order for a user to access catalogs to which he or she is assigned, he or she can select the Courses Catalogs option from the main user menu on his or her platform. Please note that the general catalog will be only shown to users if they have not been assigned to any custom catalogs (you can manage this option on the Settings page, see above for more information).

If you intend to use more than ten custom catalogs, you will also need to update the elements per page limit. Access the Admin Menu, then press the Advanced Settings subitem in the Settings section to access the all advanced setting options. Once on this page, select Advanced Settings from the tabs on the left. Then, locate and update the Set the amount of elements you want to display in each page option to encompass the number of catalogs you would potentially need to display at once. For the purposes of catalogs, each catalog constitutes one element. Press Save Changes when you’re finished.

Course Pages in Catalogs

Once a user is viewing a catalog, he or she can press the course’s item in the catalog to view more information about the course. Note that if a course catalog doesn’t contain any courses, it is not shown in the Course Catalog page. On the course’s details page, users can view a description of the course, a list of the training material and available sessions included in the course, the duration and language of the course, if users have the ability to rate the course, and the rating of the course. If you’ve assigned the course to a content partner using the Content Partners app, the content partner’s banner can also appear on this page.

If any additional enrollment fields apply to the course, the Additional Information tab will appear. Enrollment additional fields are additional fields that a user or Superadmin must enter when enrolling a user into a course. Please note the iFrame additional enrollments page are not visible in this tab.

catalog details page

IMPORTANT NOTE: When accessing a course from a catalog, all users will either have to enroll in the course or purchase the course, regardless of their level in the platform (learner, Superadmin, or Power User). Power Users and Superadmins can still reach the learner’s view and perform Admin functionalities for courses within catalogs by reaching the course via the Admin Menu.

Hiding a Course in a Catalog

If a course has a specific timeframe in which user self-enrollment from a catalog eventually ends, you can hide the course from the catalog.

By doing so, the course can still remain in the catalog, but learners that are not already enrolled in the course will not be able to see the course in their assigned catalogs. For those that are already enrolled in the course, the course will still appear in the catalog and in the My Courses and Learning Plans area of their platforms as long as they still have a valid enrollment status (i.e. the enrollment is not expired).

catalogs hide course

To hide a course, access the course’s Advanced Settings area, then navigate to the Catalog Options tab. In the Enrollments section, then flag the Enrollments are Closed option. Alternatively, you can open enrollments for a specific period of time by flagging the Enrollment is available during the following period option, then adding the start and end dates in the fields below.

Creating Public Catalog Custom Pages

Public Catalogs are a great way to showcase your organization’s content offerings to visitors who are not logged in or who have not yet created an account. With public catalogs, you also have the ability to create and display custom pages to give your users more information.

If you want to add additional areas (divided by tabs) to your public catalog that appears in your platform’s sign-in page, you can do so from your Admin Menu. Please note that in order to use this functionality, you must have an external (public) catalog properly set up and enabled in your platform. Remember that internal catalogs cannot be shown in public catalogs custom pages. The public catalog itself will be the first tab on your sign-in page, and any additional custom public pages that you create will be additional tabs.

Once logged into your platform as the Superadmin, access the Admin Menu from the gear icon in the top right corner, then press the Public Catalog Custom Pages item in the Settings section.

This page shows a list of all of the custom catalog pages that you’ve created. To create a new one, press the New Web Page button at the top of the page. In the pop-up box, begin by selecting a language from the dropdown menu. The language you select is the language in which the page will appear. Please note that you must add a page in the platform default language.

Then, add the title of the tab that will appear in the sign-in page in the Title text box. In the HTML Page text box, insert the content that you want to display on your page. Note that this is a WYSIWYG editor, so you can format and edit your text as desired using the toolbar at the top of the editor. You can also press the code button in the toolbar to insert any HTML code into the page. Repeat this process for all languages in which you want to create the page, starting from the language dropdown menu.

At the bottom of the pop-up, flag the Publish option to immediately activate and publish the tab on the sign-in page of your platform. Once finished, press Confirm. Once you’ve created a page, it will appear in the main list of public catalog pages. In each page’s row, you can publish (green) and unpublish (grey) the page by pressing the checkmark item, edit the page by pressing the pen and paper icon or delete the page by pressing the red X icon. Additionally, you can sort of the order of the tabs on the sign-in page by dragging and dropping the order of the pages in the list using the cross icon, but remember that the public catalog itself will always be the first tab on the sign-in page.

Please note: It is not possible to display custom widget pages to non-authenticated users.

Viewing Your Public Catalog Custom Pages

After you have created and published your public catalog pages, a navigation bar below the header will appear containing the titles of each of your custom pages. Users will be able to click the titles to see the pages you have set up.

Public Catalog Pages will be displayed on all of the Extended Enterprise platforms where external catalogs are enabled. Please note that it is not possible to limit the visibility of public catalog custom pages to specific subdomains, so they will appear on each subdomain that you’ve created.