Hey all, I'm relatively new to using InDesign, I've used it previously for basic artwork layouts etc, and I'm familiar with Illustrator and Photoshop, but InDesign is something I'm still getting to grips with.
I run a mailing company and we have an ongoing requirement for variable data merging. Software designed for variable data work when dealing with PDFs and high res images is incredibly expensive, and so I figured I could try and make use of InDesign's own data merging feature.
Now I'm fully aware of some of the irritating little issues surrounding this tool, such as the way if you've got two blank fields it only removes one of them, and I also know it used to have an issue where it would pull data through from the next record to replace blanks, but I don't see that happening any more.
There are lots of webpages and forums discussing the blank fields problem, but my problem is currently something else.
I've noticed that some of the fields often don't like to display anything other than the header row, the field name. You drop the field onto the page and create your merge, but when you preview it or publish it whilst most of the fields do as expected and change to show the data, some of the fields do not, they just continue to show <contact> for instance, rather than a name.
I'm at a loss to explain this really, it's not even particularly consistent.
As an example of my problem, I laid out the following address block
What I get sometimes is this...
123 Sample Street
Mr AB Sample
123 Sample Street
If you add the same field again beneath the one that is playing up, the new field will work, but the one beneath it will then play up, so where in the example above it is <Add3> that isn't merging, if I added another <add3> beneath it, I could almost guarantee that <Add4> would then play up.
I just don't understand it, and it's frustrating me immensely.
Ironically I know a local professional printers who are using InDesign for all their digital variable print runs, without issue, so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. They are using Macs whereas I am using a PC with Windows 7 Ultimate x 64bit, but I've had the same problem on other Windows version, so is it a Windows related problem, or are Mac users just not spotting this??
Anyone who has ever experienced something similar and perhaps found a solution, please help!!!!!