Have you looked at the data file in a text editor?
i have not. not sure i understand. do you just mean copying to a .txt and checking for extra commas or breaks?
I mean that your data file is either tab-delimted text or comma-separated text, both of which can be opened in an ordinary text editor (NOT a spreadsheet) and examined for odd characters and or missing or extra fields that would casue a problem.
While you are uploading the data source file, select "Show Import Options". , this will tell you what sort of data file you are uploading
It might be happening that while creating the document you may have added a "comma" as a delimiter while you might be entering the fields' with a tab seperator.
"Show Import Options". , this will tell you what sort of data file you are uploading
@Shiv – only to an extend. InDesign cannot see a difference between Unicode UFT-8 or Unicode UTF-16 at this point, it just detects Unicode.
CSV is an old, can we really say, "file format"?
It's basically a text file with a csv suffix and some rules, that are or are not implemented. InDesign tries to detect the rules: what character for separating the fields? What character for a line of fields ending?
InDesign does not verify very much, if there is a orderly grid-like structure in the fields (a row and column structure) with an equal number of "cells" on every row. And a header row that holds the discription. In fact it cannot "see" a header, because the csv-"format" cannot provide a hint…
CSV is not a file format, see it more as a lose convention and not standardized very much…
I think Adobe should provide its own format for merging data and a converter tool together with InDesign where you could output to and input from a InDesign table with a header row using whatever formatting is available in InDesign.
AHA!!!! Turns out there was nothing wrong with my data source. I opened a blank document (without any of my master pages), ran the data merge....it worked perfectly. I then applied my master pages and TADAAA!!
I hope this helps other folks that have had the same issue.