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Sometimes the difficult part is finding the right words to ask the question as oopposed to asking the right question!
Assuming I'm catching your meaning - here is how I would do it (it seems long winded but bear with me):
Think just one card at a time to start with, so set up your business card just one up to begin with.
> Create a masterpage with your business card background (i.e. logo, images, address details that remain the same on each individual's card)
> On your pages, separately input each individuals details that may change i.e. page 1: Joe Bloggs mob. 07788 995566 e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
> Duplicate this page one and input the next name i.e. page 2: Mary Bloggs mob. 07788 995577 e-mail. email@example.com (duplicating the page ensures the text box remain in the same position).
Then think about the Imposition of the cards.
> In separate a InDesign document set up a document to the Avery spec.
What we want to do here is set up boxes for you to drop your individual business cards in
> I normally put a PDF of the word document template (with some templates you have to go into Word, select the template table and give it an outline, otherwise you get a blank PDF page!!) in the background to ensure I have correct size for each card and then draw a box over each one to act as a place holder box. (you can draw each one or draw one and "step repeat". if you haven't used step repeat ; here is a good article: http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/designing/quick-tip-how-to-impose-business-cards-for- digital-printing-with-indesign/ )
> One this is done, save your file as something you'll know i.e. BCARD 10UP Avery Temp (I use "UP" as this is the termanology for how many items you can get on a sheet or how many items "UP")
* Save both InDesign and PDF files in the same folder *
Go back to your Individual Business card Indesign file and get ready to export as a PDF. Export Joe's card as "BCARD 1UP" and place each one in your 10UP placeholder boxes. Export that 10UP file as Joe BCARD 10UP (Hi-res Print-ready PDF file).
But whay not call Joe's 1UP PDF file something more meaningful like 1UP BCARD [Joe Bloggs]?
Here's clever bit: Export Mary's 1up card as exactly the same name as Joe's 1up card i.e. "BCARD 1UP". When you open the 10UP Indesign file again it will say the link has been modified, go to Links panel > update links and it will now be Mary's card here instead of Joes. Export that as "Mary 10up" and so on for the next name and the next.
The good thing with this is way is, you have a business card format that you can amend and proof easily and because you exporting PDF files into the 10UP template you only have to amend once and by always naming the file the same name as the linked file it is a simple update link every time 10 up template.
Hope this helps.
Interesting, it does seem quite involved, but I can give it a shot.
Is there any other Adobe program that would accomplish this in a more straight forward fashion? I have the idea(l) that i would create my business card, then just print, and it would print to a template (the template being a Avery 8877 format with all 10 containers being filled with the business card)...is that impossible?
is that impossible?
Absolutely not. But Adobe doesn't have a tool to do this task is not a professional-level tool, with the kind of functionality that a print professional would use. So of course the learning curve is really steep.
And frankly, the task you're proposing (automated update of biz card content so you change it once in one place and all of your changes propogate elsewhere) can be automated in Word. There's no reason, in either Word or InDesign (or TBQH in Illustrator or Photoshop) to make the same change across twenty business cards manually, or to paste the same image twenty times.
It might have gotten lost in Mike's reply (he referenced many different kinds of functionality) but the one InDesign idea I'd want to point out is the idea of linking a file. Let's say you make a file like JoeBizCard.PDF in the Design Application Of Your Choice. You place it into ID, creating a link, and then copy/paste that link nineteen times. Sounds like your original workflow, right? Then Joe changes his cellphone number. You change it in your source file, and then make a new PDF. The next time you open the InDesign file, InDesign notices that the link source - your JoeBizCard.PDF - has changed, and asks you if you want to update. You do, right? You want InDesign to update all 20 links to your new PDF automagically? Instead of pasting twenty different times?
Anyhow, mind that steep learning curve. Once you clamber up, you'll find that the view from up top is splendid, and you'll forget all of the bruises and scrapes and abrasions and muscle aches you acquired as you climbed up.
If you'd rather get a how-to-automate-this in Word, go hit up the Word MVPs. I'm sure that they can help you figure out how to use one of the many ways to perfom this automation in Word. I only know, um, four, but doing anything but "writing words" in Word feels like I'm trying to drive a nail with the butt-end of a screwdriver. It's a great tool for writing stuff, but I don't use it for anything else.
I've not been reading this thread closely, but it sounds somewhat familiar. Your need isn't unique. I think there were several long discussions about this kind of project, in the last few months. Search Google for terms like "InDesign multiple business card data merge," "InDesign multiple business cards step and repeat," "InDesign multiple business cards linked graphics linked stories," without quotes. You will have a lot to digest, but I think it's basically simpler than what seems to me to be kind of complicated in this discussion.
Briefly, InDesign's data merge (Word and other applications have this, too,) is a way to bring text and graphics into reserved layout placeholders. The text has to be in a data file format - this means there's a statement about what the data is, like "lastname, firstname, city, state, zipcode, path-to-picture," and then there's the data itself, like Jones, Mary, Chicago, IL, 60606, directory/subdirectory/filename. In the actual document to be printed, you specify the data file, and make placeholders for lastname, firstname, etc, on your page or card, and you also make a placeholder for the graphic. When you run the actual merge, the application, InDesign in this example, pulls in Mary Jones' data items and the picture that goes with it.
So, you'll need to read up on how to set up data merge. And you'll need to read up on multiple-up strategies. Sometimes folks recommend step-and-repeat to make and distribute the multiple cards on the page, other folks like the data-merge approch. Some recommend creating a file with a finished single card for each different kind of card, then merging or linking multiple instances of that source card. The finished single cards can be InDesign files or PDFs, because ID can place (aka import aka link) them into a document. This is the magic. One source, multiple links to it, so that when data or graphics change, you change the one, and rerun the merge, or relink the multiple-instance pages, and the changes propagate by themselves.
If you have trouble finding the previous discussions, let the folks on the forum know, and ask for help finding them. Then do some struggling to make things work, and post your questions when you get stuck. Especially, learn to make screenshots and how to incorporate them into these posts, so that we all can see what you're seeing.