4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 3, 2012 7:23 PM by Gadget1969

    Variable data and InDesign interface


      I have a proposal that will have variable data in it and needs to stay editable. I created the document in InDesign and not sure what program I can use to create the interface in.


      What I want is to set up an interface that either I or someone in my office fill out or select certain items they want in the proposal and it creates a document (that is still editable, just in case there are a few tweeks they want)


      The variable data would include the basics such as:

      Client/Company name




      They also want to be able to select a menu of "benefits" to pick from.

      For example the interface would say:

      What benefits would you like to include in proposal?

      X  Benefit A

          Benefit B

      X  Benefit C

      X  Benefit D

           Benefit E


      Then the ones with the "X" would appear but not the rest.


      Certain verbiage they use such as "customer or member" depending on what type of business they are writing the proposal for. For example:

      What type of company?

      A ....(verbiage would be customer)

      B ....(verbiage would be member)

      C ....(verbiage is customized)


      Then there is some pages that will include math:

      Product name                      prod $ (won't change)          qty                total investment                 


      Is this even possible?



      Ok discovered Conditional Text....very cool. So that answers the verbiage question.


      Is it possible to create a dreamweaver page, import that into excel and then run a data merge or am I over thinking it....even bigger question is it too complicated for someone else to do?

        • 1. Re: Variable data and InDesign interface
          Colin Flashman Adobe Community Professional

          Using Data Merge... no. It wasn't designed to be a database query result parser, but rather was designed to plonk information where a formfield appears. It doesn't have "triggers" as such like if-else statements.


          What you're talking about could be scripted though, but is beyond my scope. It would be a javascript which would be available from the scripts panel, and once clicked, a pop-up window would appear prompting a user for specific fields to be entered. The checkbox stuff... you need advice there.


          Try this thread for a sample script: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4119515

          • 2. Re: Variable data and InDesign interface

            I have a very similar project in mind for a client and am trying to figure out how to best research this. I'm struggling to even use the right terms to find discussion threads. This is the first one I have come across that comes very close. My client wants to have a bunch of documents available for a proposal, then have a window where he checks the documents he wants to use and the order they should appear. I imagine some of those documents will need to be created prior to this process or a window would allow them to fill in the variable data...client info, etc. I was thinking a more rudimentary way would be to build all the chapters and optional files out organizing them well in folders, then just using Acrobat to choose and combine the files, ordering them as needed. I guess that's my back-up plan, but would love more input/suggestions on how to be more dynamic within InDesign itself.

            • 3. Re: Variable data and InDesign interface
              Colin Flashman Adobe Community Professional

              after some detective-work, i think i've found what both posters are after... it's a PDF from a presentation given to the Brisbane Adobe Users Group by one of their contributors. The presentation is at the bottom of this URL link: http://www.indesignusergroup.com/chapters/brisbane/events/1911/summary/


              the PDF contains screen-shots of what I think both posters are after, but does not contain the actual scripts. However, the author has given his contact details on the URL.

              • 4. Re: Variable data and InDesign interface
                Gadget1969 Level 1

                Thanks so much!


                Sent from my mobile