I've recently been getting to grips with the Data Merge function in Indesign. I understand the basics of it, however there are is one thing that is bothering me.
My job requires me to create catalogues, products are added and removed all the time, using Data merge is a great way to get these produced but I'm struggling to add and remove things without redoing the whole data merge process again.
Products are linked and right now I'm having to shift everything past the newly inserted product down to make room (A long and tedious affair)
I have tried placing them in a table, which does work but this still requires me to run the Data Merge, then place the products into a table. Is there a script or process I can use to cut down this task?
You would need one of the few catalog merge type of plug-ins to avoid redoing the full monty merge. Datamerge is not really made for on-going, lot's o' changes types of merges where the layout remains (mostly) intact.
That's not to say it doesn't work for such a thing, it can work reasonably well. In part it depends on the data, how well everything is/can be mapped to styles, the layout requirements/oddities, etc.
XML is another option, but not for the faint of heart and requires/represents a new learning curve.
I would first investigate the plug-ins. Google "Indesign catalog plug-ins". They all have a trial period.
David Blatner's new Lynda.com title on Data Merge may answer your questions. It covers how to make changes, and things you can do (or not do) to extend Data Merge capabilities:
Here's a link for a free week-long trial: