What is the Active Catalog
The active catalog is used to restrict which categories show up on your store. It can be extremely helpful when using multistores or microstores to help keep your products displaying in the correct store. The active catalog can also be used to restrict test products and categories from displaying on your store.
Active Catalog Overview
To get to the active catalog navigate to Settings > Catalog > Active Catalog and you will see a page that looks like the following screenshot.
By default on every store the Show All Catalog option is checked. This option means that every category that you add will be available on the store selected in the dropdown in the top right corner of the page.
Now to change the Active Catalog you must first deselect Show All Catalog and select the Save in the top right corner.
We can now set the categories that we want to be available on the store. Use the Search Catalog Categories option to look for the name of the category that you want to show on the store. Select the checkbox next to each category you want to add and then select Add Selected underneath the category matches.
Note: If you do not select the Add Selected option the categories will not be added even if you select Save in the top right corner.
Note: If you select a parent category all the child categories will be added to the active catalog as well. For example selecting Clothing & Apparel will also include Pants, Shirts, ect.
In the setup above the KB store will only display the Clothing & Apparel category and all of its subcategories. No other categories will be displayed on the store.
You can repeat the above process as many times as you need for each of your stores or microstores to add as many categories as you need.
The last setting on this page is the one shown as Is Root. This setting is important and there can only be one per store. If this box is selected next to a category that category becomes your root category for the store. This means that widgets and menus that use the root will display this category and its contents. In the example below the Furniture category is my root category meaning that any widgets are menus that use the root will show the Furniture category.
That is the end of setting up an active catalog. Now it should be noted that it is really important to have your menus match your active catalog. If your menu links to a page that is not in the active catalog there will be a 404 error. For help setting up the menu correctly please refer to the Create a Menu KB.