Ok, feeling kind of silly for missing one of the biggest small improvements. Until 2014, we didn’t have a good way to update specs from catalogs, as the descriptions would get overwritten with the catalog descriptions.
In 2014 we have a new settings dialog that allows us to control which properties get updated when running the spec update.
Typically, you should uncheck the Long Description (Family) and Long Description (Size) properties.
If you use the property overrides to create spec items, you should also uncheck the Material, Material Code, and Schedule properties.
Now, we can all enjoy building smaller catalogs! Unless you’re into part numbers of course…