5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2013 11:01 AM by alm70

    Data Merge Question

    alm70

      Hello,

      I'm working on a job that will use the data merge feature. In InDesign I have a table with 4 rows that copy is merging into. There won't be anymore than four but there could be as few as one line. The tricky part is that

      the text styles (font and size) will be changing on the first two lines. I'm handling this by merging my data and then going back to apply text styles to the type that does change unless anyone can think of a different way?

       

      My next challenge arises when once the data merge is done and adds multiple pages to my ID file, I need those pages saved out separately and not only that..each needs a specific identifier (a supplied order number) included in the file name.

      The long way I would have to save-as...delete unwanted pages...and then re-name and save. Maybe I'm missing something that would make this project easier?

       

      I can give more information if I'm not clear enough...thanks

        • 1. Re: Data Merge Question
          Michael Witherell Adobe Community Professional

          Careful use of Table Styles, Cell Styles, and Paragraph Styles in the original tables should help relieve the text formatting. Perhaps even the use of a Nested Paragraph Style can relieve you of the manual font formatting.

           

          Perhaps you also saw this article on data merging into tables:

          http://indesignsecrets.com/using-data-merge-to-create-a-table-for-a-directory.php

          and  this related script resource:

          http://www.scriptopedia.org/en/js-indesign/126-csvtotable-en.html

           

          and as for extracting pages to documents in a sequential order, try this script from Loic Aigon:

          http://www.scriptopedia.org/en/lien-phoca/file/28-extractpages.html

           

          Maybe that will help some of the steps you are attempting.

           

          Mike Witherell in Maryland

          • 2. Re: Data Merge Question
            Rik Ramsay Level 4

            alm70 wrote:

            The tricky part is that the text styles (font and size) will be changing on the first two lines. I'm handling this by merging my data and then going back to apply text styles to the type that does change unless anyone can think of a different way?

             

            You can handle this fairly easily by creating a character style that includes your changes and a standard paragraph style. In the attached example, my paragraph is 14pt (black) Times text and the character style is 24pt (lovely pink) Segoe text.

             

            In the paragraph style, go to 'Drop Caps and Nested Styles' and create a new rule so that for the first 2 lines of the paragraph, it uses your character style. See attached.

            InD_NestedLineStyle.jpg

             

            My next challenge arises when once the data merge is done and adds multiple pages to my ID file, I need those pages saved out separately and not only that..each needs a specific identifier (a supplied order number) included in the file name.

            ...Maybe I'm missing something that would make this project easier?

             

            To create individual InDesign files from your merge, see this link: http://indesignsecrets.com/break-up-a-data-merge-document-into-many-files.php

            Or this thread: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4182524#4182524

            • 3. Re: Data Merge Question
              alm70 Level 1

              Thanks for the quick replies. I like to think I have a fair handle on cell styles and pharagraph styles, but I certainly need to brush up on Nested Styles. Maybe I can explain this part of the problem better.

              If I'm working with a table of 4 rows 4 in InDesign, sometimes I need the first row of my table to be 12pt Times Italic and sometimes I need the same 1st row in my table to be 14 pt Helvetica Medium...all this of

              course being merged from the same column in a spread sheet. I guess I'm try to apply two styles to one table cell at differnt times... which pretty much seems impossible so I resorted to manually appying the styles afterward.

               

              Aslo, thanks for the links to extracting. Several I had seen before in my research, but the script from Loic Aigon I had not seen. I will be checking that out...Thanks.

              • 4. Re: Data Merge Question
                Rik Ramsay Level 4

                Are we talking about a lot of data here? How many different styles of text do you want/need for each row?

                 

                You *could* layer your InD file by having 2 tables on top of each other but for this to work you would need to know in advance what styling you wanted to give each row of text. Using your example above, if those were the only changes for row 1, you could merge column A to table A (on layer A) and then merge column B to table B (on layer B). This would mean both tables would exist in the merged file but it would only show the content which you merged.

                • 5. Re: Data Merge Question
                  alm70 Level 1

                  Thanks Rik. The amount I'm working with is I'll be getting a spread sheet each day with about 30 rows of data which will continue each day for a few months. So there isn't a lot of data at once, but over time it adds up. It will be consistent for a few months.

                   

                  I really like where you are going with the 2 tables ontop of each other. I had to read your last few sentences several times..but I got it. As you say, I will have to narrow down the possibilities. Right now I'm thinking the 3rd and 4th line will remain consistent font and size, but the first two could be the times or helvetica. I really have to nail that down first. I'm going to play around with your suggestion this week-end. Thanks again!