2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2014 7:12 PM by Colin Flashman

    Dependant(?) Data Merging

    snunicycler Level 3

      Windows 7, InDesign CS4, Excel 2010


      I hope this makes sense:

           I have a project that involves making labels for about 800 SKUs. I've merged data before when making labels like this and it worked great (it's been a while though). Anyway, this project is different in that i have different labels depending on the product's category (i've got 10 categories) and I'm color coding them. I currently have an Excel Spreadsheet that is automatically updated from our inventory system/database that i am going to be pulling the data from that has ALL 800 skus on it.

           Basically, is there a way for InDesign to determine which label the entry should go into? Like, if i want to make all the labels for Category A (blue), will i be able to point InDesign at the spreadsheet and have it pull in those 80 Skus? Or if i tell it to merge, will it just merge everything in that spreadsheet?

           I'm trying to avoid having to get 10 different spreadsheets created (1 for each category) if at all possible.


      EDIT: I guess i should specify, the spreadsheet does have info about what category it is in.


      Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Dependant(?) Data Merging
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          You can specify a range of records...

          • 2. Re: Dependant(?) Data Merging
            Colin Flashman Adobe Community Professional

            without plugins, data merge in indesign doesn't have purpose-built "triggers" as such (i.e. if a field = x, then y happens elsewhere). Ultimately, the text file in the data merge has to contain the necessary information that will appear in the output. However, the file that makes the txt file (e.g. excel) can have triggers such as if/else statements, and it is there where any information should be added as an additional field.


            For example, if a background in label A is to be blue and label B is to be green, files would need to be created for these different colored backgrounds (e.g. A.ai and B.ai) and then the trigger in excel would be if <<field>> = <<condition>> then <<a>> else <<b>> and would be its own column.


            There are dozens of plug-ins that may be able to do this, but seeing a return on investment from the purchase of the software (some can be quite expensive) is another matter.


            Apart from placing images, there are only two instances of data merge that can, in a way, be  triggered.


            1: GREP styles. If the incoming type fulfils the requirement of the GREP style, its appearance can be dramatically altered.

            2: Use of ligatures by the special font FF Chartwell, specifically the bar font. More information: http://colecandoo.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/another-use-for-ff-chartwell-plotting-x-and-y-c oordinates/