9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 20, 2012 9:27 AM by Peter Spier RSS

    Data Merge with books

    PyroBio

      I am working on making a book with InDesign and have prepared with data merge a sequence of images to appear on each right page. If I create a merged document, it works fine as long as the target is a single document. I have many documents I wish to apply the sequence to, in a book. If I try to make a merged document with the book, it only merges a single document. How can I apply data merge to the entire book? This is urgent.

        • 1. Re: Data Merge with books
          Manish-Sharma Adobe Employee

          Book is the collection of teh document ...You can apply data merge on the book all together.

           

          This is the document based functionality.

          • 2. Re: Data Merge with books
            Manish-Sharma Adobe Employee

            sorry ...I want to write,  You cannot apply the data merge on the book all together?

            • 3. Re: Data Merge with books
              PyroBio Community Member

              In order for data merge to be applied, does the book have to be merged into one document?

              • 4. Re: Data Merge with books
                Joel Cherney MVP

                I think you should back up and describe what you're trying to do with more detail. What Data Merge does is it creates a new InDesign document. If your document is already done and you want some way to add an image in the whitespace of your right margin on each page, then Data Merge (at least by itself) is not the tool you want to use. Have you tried it yet? Try a really simple data merge. Make a CSV with a few values, then

                 

                1) Start a blank InDesign doc

                2) Select your data source from the Data Merge panel

                3) Insert your placeholders

                4) Create Merged Document

                5) ... and watch as Data Merge makes a brand new document with your merged data. You can't use Data Merge if the chapter INDDs in your Book file are already complete.

                 

                So, if you already have a Book file and a bunch of completed chapters, then Data Merge won't work for you, without some additional steps. Maybe we can suggest a workaround? That will be hard right now, but if you tell us more about how you are using your Book file, and how many chapters you have, and et cetera, then perhaps we can come up with something better than:

                 

                1) Start a blank InDesign doc

                2) Select your data source from the Data Merge panel

                3) Insert your placeholders

                4) Export to PDF

                5) Open your first chapter file

                6) Make a new layer for your image (optional)

                7) Use the MultiPageImporter script to import just the pages you need for your first chapter from the PDF you made in no. 4 above

                8) Save your chapter

                9) Open your next chapter file

                10) Go to no. 6 above, and repeat the cycle until all of your chapters have your right-hand-images

                 

                So, yeah, that would be a lot of work for a large book. But it would be less work than placing your images manually, right? We might be able to suggest something that takes even less work if we knew what you were doing.

                • 5. Re: Data Merge with books
                  PyroBio Community Member

                  Data marge works well with single docs, even ones that are already completed. I just insert the placeholder in the master page, and create merged document, voila. "You can't use Data Merge if the chapter INDDs in your Book file are already complete" = false. I've done it. Only, the book I am working on has somewhere around 116 pages, and the chapter documents that compose it are never longer than two pages. A friend has told me that it is possible to merge a book's chapers into one, but that it would be hard to do, and I'd have to un-merge the chapters after applying the sequence in order to get it ready for print. Not an ideal solution, but if it is the only one, I should at least know the details about how to do it. And thanks for helping me out, by the way. Also, PDF's should be completely uninvolved.

                  • 6. Re: Data Merge with books
                    Joel Cherney MVP

                    "You can't use Data Merge if the chapter INDDs in your Book file are already complete" = false. I've done it.

                     

                    Well, that's me told. I think you are correct. How well does that work with the Book file? If you run a data merge on firstchapter.indd, when Data Merge creates firstchapter-1, do you save over the original firstchapter.indd?

                     

                    If I only had 116 pages, I'd place 'em manually. I know nothing whatsoever about merging and un-merging files in a book file, and given my experience with book files (in which I use things like style synchronization and cross-references fairly extensively) I'd view that process as generating unnecessary risk. Particularly when I could place all ~58 images in, what, under five minutes? But, then again, there must be something about your project that makes this process of placing images with Data Merge better than manual image placing that I don't know about.

                     

                    Also, PDF's should be completely uninvolved.

                     

                    I'm not sure why, but it sounds like you have a fairly good grip on your workflow, so there must be a good reason. You could place InDesign files just as well - is that also somehow counterindicated?

                    • 7. Re: Data Merge with books
                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                      PyroBio wrote:

                       

                      A friend has told me that it is possible to merge a book's chapers into one, but that it would be hard to do, and I'd have to un-merge the chapters after applying the sequence in order to get it ready for print.

                      Why would you need to split it up again to print?

                      • 8. Re: Data Merge with books
                        PyroBio Community Member

                        I do not know. That's just what my editor told me. And Joel, I guess I should just place the images manually. But thanks for the help.

                        • 9. Re: Data Merge with books
                          Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                          Wuold you ask an editor how to fix your car? Their job is editing, not printing or preparing print-ready files. There is no valid reason I can think of that would REQUIRE the book to be individual chapter documents. Using a Book (with a capital B as in .indb file) or a single along document that contains many chapters as single stories or even one large story is a matter of choice, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.