2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 7, 2018 1:28 PM by S Hopkins

    Import selected parts of an excel file to InDesign




      I wonder if it is possible to import selected parts from an excel file into InDesign.


      I have an excel-file with all of our products data and now I am going to make a pricelist out of it but not with all products. I would like to be able to choose which product that will be imported. Preferable by our article numbers. Is this possible with javascript or some other method?


      I see before me an InDesign document with tables where I fill in the article number and the rest of the table row information is imported from the excel-file. Is it possible or whats best practice?


      The file is being updated continuously which means that products will change rows from time to time, if this has an impact of how to do it most efficiently.

        • 1. Re: Import selected parts of an excel file to InDesign
          S Hopkins Adobe Community Professional

          Yes, it's possible. The sample script below is one simple example of how it could be done. However, when data changes, you would need to rerun the script to create an updated table. There may be more elegant solutions, possibly one using a scriptable spreadsheet (it's been awhile since I supported the PC side with VisualBasic so can't remember if Excel is scriptable).



          (*Requires text frame holding table to be selected

          Works quite well for a medium sized table with only 2 columns*)

          property newList : {}


          tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2018"

            set selList to selection

            if selList is not {} and class of item 1 of selList is text frame then

            my readCSVFile()

            set selRef to item 1 of selList

            tell document 1

            set x to table 1 of selRef

            tell x

            repeat with i from 1 to count of rows

            set theData to contents of cell 1 of row i

            set matchData to my getMatch(theData)

            set contents of cell 2 of row i to matchData

            end repeat

            end tell

            end tell



            display alert ("Requres text frame with table selection")

            end if

          end tell




          (*Matches item from table with first element of list items read from the file chosen*)

          on getMatch(theData)

            repeat with i from 2 to length of newList

            set theListItem to item i of newList

            set theItem to item 1 of theListItem

            ignoring white space

            if theItem = theData then

            set theReturn to item 2 of theListItem

            return theReturn

            exit repeat

            end if

            end ignoring

            end repeat

            return ""

          end getMatch



          (*Reads comma return text file exported from spreadsheet*)

          on readCSVFile()

            set rowDelimiter to return

            set colDelimiter to ","

            set fileAlias to choose file

            set fileRef to open for access fileAlias


            set theData to read fileRef as list using delimiter rowDelimiter

            close access fileRef

            on error errStr

            close access fileRe


            display alert ("unable to read file")


            end try

            set AppleScript's text item delimiters to colDelimiter

            repeat with i from 1 to length of theData

            set thisList to {text items of item i of theData}

            set newList to newList & thisList

            end repeat

            set AppleScript's text item delimiters to ""

          end readCSVFile

          • 2. Re: Import selected parts of an excel file to InDesign
            S Hopkins Adobe Community Professional

            Of course, you do know that you can link an Excel file as part of its being imported. That way, the table will update when the data changes. The problem would then be to have some way for the table to be modified (to only include the items you want) before importing. Then each time data changes in Excel a modified file is created to replace the original modified file (and update in InDesign).