6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 17, 2015 5:47 PM by locavore

    Dynamically populate InDesign file and publish




      I have a database full of text and I would like to publish the data into a nicely designed InDesign file. I can easily dump the data into XML, JSON, or raw Text but is it possible to dynamically populate an InDesign file with this data then publish straight to PDF? Are there any examples of dyanmic data being published from an external source (like XML, JSON, etc.)?

        • 1. Re: Dynamically populate InDesign file and publish
          Green4ever Level 3

          I say yes. But it involves lot of effort in creating templates, scripts, etc.


          I suggest you to go with xml approach. Indesign supports xslt 1.0 which will be helpful when transformation requires.


          You can tag the frames so that the xml content will be put in to that automatically once you import it.


          Also you can map tags to styles, which will do styling and formating for you.




          • 2. Re: Dynamically populate InDesign file and publish

            You can export as tab delimited csv and can use Data merge option.


            Indesign CS6: Window\Utilities\Data merge


            Below simple example converts csv/excel into printable labels:

            http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using/WSa285fff53dea4f8617383751001ea8cb3f-6c3ca.h tml


            Also look at ImageCatalog.jsx shiped with CS6 to get some idea on scripting side. Which will pick all images in a folder and create a catalog.


            To make the output look nicer, you need a template and possibly a script as @Green4ever suggesting.

            • 3. Re: Dynamically populate InDesign file and publish
              L. Guy O'Rojo Level 2

              I always use a Filemaker database to write InDesign Tagged Text files and then place them wherever using Applescript.

              • 4. Re: Dynamically populate InDesign file and publish
                Peter Kahrel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Typefi Publish (http://www.typefi.com/) creates InDesign documents from severeal sources (XML, RTF) and can publish straight to PDF and/or ePub.



                • 5. Re: Dynamically populate InDesign file and publish
                  Matt 65bit



                  EasyCatalog (65bit Software Ltd) http://www.65bit.com/products/easycatalog/overview/overview.shtm


                  Our plug-in allows you to Drag and Drop using templates, which will be populated with data, or you can automatically paginate data using these templates. We can access data from a wide range of data sources, these include (CSV, XML, SQLITE, ODBC). When you have placed text in the InDesign document from a field in the data EasyCatalog will create a link between them, this allows you to make price modifications in the data and then update the document with the correct prices or vice versa.


                  EasyCatalog can do almost anything when it comes to producing catalogs, you can create lots of rules and also use Custom Fields that allows you to create fields in the data that have functions associated with them i.e. String Manipulation, Math Functions, Logic Functions, Utility Functions and Group Functions.


                  We would be more than happy to set a demonstration up if needed.



                  • 6. Re: Dynamically populate InDesign file and publish
                    locavore Level 1

                    If you have the patience, you can create your own process with 1) IDD template 2) linked XML source 3) map elements to styles. Each time you reopen the file with new XML, the InDesign file will reflow if you have set it up to add pages when there is a content overflow. (If there is less content, you'll have to manually remove the extra pages.) Usually you have to tweak the layout, but clever use of "keep with next" or "page-break-before", etc on the styles can take care of a lot of the layout.  It is fairly easy if you have data-like content such as catalogs, business card, datasheet, etc. It is harder if you have content with more hierarchical structure or variations in structure. I suggest the books Real World Adobe InDesign CC or XML and InDesign (although they are a few years old, the methods described are still current, as far as I know).