1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 15, 2012 9:42 PM by EX_Achilles

    Dynamic Table of Contents from Data Merge?


      Hello again,


      The catalog saga continues.  Does anyone have an idea how to create a TOC using those convenient placeholders from Data Merge?  To use the animal example again, I'd like the TOC to look like this:









      Where Birds and Cats are animal types with their own placeholder <<Class>>

      Eagles and Falcons are <<Order>>, and Bald, Golden, etc are <<Species>>.


      The page numbers would be nice to have for the beginnings of each section, because its going to be saved as an interactive PDF so customers can jump to sections as they please.


      Is this possible?  I've made a beautiful catalog with ID and I really hope there's a way to index it like this....



        • 1. Re: Dynamic Table of Contents from Data Merge?
          EX_Achilles Level 1

          I believe I've got it, by circumventing ID and building formulas into new fields in Excel.  If anyone is curious:


          in Excel:

          • Make a new field in your spreadsheet for each subset you want to categorize by in the TOC
          • Set the top cell as an if/then/else equation to determine if you have a new value in a cell as you move from record to record: =if(c2<>c1,c2,"").  It will populate your new field with a value or remain blank depending on whether the value changed from record to record.
          • Drag that equation down for all records in your database.
          • Save the file as a .csv, then save it as an .xlxs again to preserve your formulas for next time you update.


          In ID:

          • Update your source file.
          • Create a new layer on your template.
          • Create text box, and from the Data Merge Panel drag each of the new fields you just created in Excel into the text box to create placeholders.
          • Apply different paragraph styles to each placeholder.
          • Hide the layer.
          • Create the merged document
          • Add a new page before your records for your table of contents
          • Use the new paragraph styles you just created as the tiers of your TOC. Style to taste.


          Voila, a tiered TOC that builds itself from your data each time you update it and create a new merged document.  All you have to do is set up the contents page each time you update.


          A bit of work, but that's all I've been able to come up with so far.