22 Replies Latest reply on Oct 27, 2016 2:05 PM by Warren Bingham

    QR Code Datamerge?


      I use datamerge for company business cards, and I hand place the use the Business card QRCode also.

      Currently I had to hand edit every Code after a merge.


      With CC 2014 now it says supported, but the help document is as clear as mud on this.


      Seem's press strange as to what is required.

      Has anyone tried this, when listed as a new feature Adobe really needs to make it clear.


      Frankly the latest CC 2014 the pure lack of videos to introduce like they did with CC is below par.

      I'm sure they could of made a screen cast or even some dumb demo file examples which has been done for many other products.


      Thanks in advance for anyone can shed a little light this little useful addition.

        • 1. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
          Monica Singh Adobe Employee


          i'm not sure wher you stuck. But might be following content can help you:

          For generating the BusinessCardQRCode using data merge you have to create a data source containing details of the BusinessCard you want to generate in the format:

          EGIN:VCARD\nVERSION:2.1\nN:lastname;firstname\nFN:firstname lastname\nORG:organization\nTITLE:jobtitle\nTEL;CELL:cellphonenumber\nTEL;WORK;VOICE:phon enumber\nADR;WORK:;;streetaddress;city;state;zip;country\nEMAIL;WORK;INTERNET:emailaddress \nURL:url\nEND:VCARD


          VCARDBEGIN:VCARD\nVERSION:2.1\nN:Smith;John\nFN:John Smith\nORG:Adobe Systems\nTITLE:Engineer\nTEL;CELL:+919876543210\nTEL;WORK;VOICE:123456789\nADR;WORK:;;Str eet ABC;Seattle;Washington;98101;US\nEMAIL;WORK;INTERNET:abc@adobe.com\nURL:www.adobe.com\nEND:VCARD

          Then you can export the file to get your QR code generated.

          This is the sample data source file you can use to export to pdf.

          Lorem ipsumTEXT
          SMSTO:+919876543210:HiPhone Number Message
          MATMSG:\nTO:me@adobe.com;\nSUB:Hello;\nBODY:Hi there;;EMAIL
          BEGIN:VCARD\nVERSION:2.1\nN:Smith;John\nFN:John Smith\nORG:Adobe Systems\nTITLE:Engineer\nTEL;CELL:+919876543210\nTEL;WORK;VOICE:123456789\nADR;WORK:;;Str eet ABC;Seattle;Washington;98101;US\nEMAIL;WORK;INTERNET:abc@adobe.com\nURL:www.adobe.com\nEND:VCARDVCARD

          Please revert back if you need any more assistance.

          ~Monica Singh

          • 2. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
            Warren Bingham



            Thanks for your message. Based on what I found in your email I was able in about an hour to create an Excel spreadsheet which included a column for a photo and a column for a QR VCard. After a couple back and forth, I was able to scan the QR code and add the information to my iPad contacts and my Android phone.


            Thanks for the help,


            Warren Bingham

            • 3. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
              mikeybabes68 Level 1

              Hi Warren,


              Would you like to share a snipped of your excel for import, I am sure something which Adobe should of done in first place would be helpful.


              Kind regards,


              • 4. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                Warren Bingham Level 1



                Here’s a “brief” summary of what I’ve done:

                The data for the merge comes from an Excel spreadsheet. In row 1 I have the following headings:

                A     Given name

                B     Surname

                C     E-mail address

                D     Home phone

                E     Mobile phone

                F     Company name

                G     Division

                H     Job title

                I     @Photo [@ indicates an image file. In my current test, the images are in the same folder as the data file. To use a different path, you can copy a path from the Links palette and use that in a formula.]

                J     #QR Code [# indicates a QR code]


                Beginning with row 2 is the data. The real magic is in column J.


                This came from Monica’s reply, looking at a static QR Code in InDesign created with the fields I needed, the Wikipedia page for vCard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VCard) and the vCard 2.1 specification (RTF file: http://bit.ly/1liiyaK).


                The formula for cell J2 is (there are no line breaks in the formula, line breaks added below after the \n for legibility):


                FN:"&A2&" "&B2&"\n


                TITLE:"&G2&", "&H2&"\n






                I save the xslx file and also save it as a tab-delimited text file in Excel. In InDesign I link the txt file in the Data Merge palette, insert the fields, the photo frame and the QR code. From there, I just run the merge and stand in awe.


                Hopefully this makes sense,



                • 5. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                  KBoulier74 Level 2

                  Thank you so much for posting the missing pieces.


                  I have been doing data merge QR codes in the past but with plugins and workarounds so I was very excited to see this as an new feature. But as with all data driven or "code" based features, the programmers assume you have a deep knowledge of code/syntax and forget that they are working with designers. They leave out several pieces of info that they think are common knowledge.


                  I use the same wikipedia page for QR syntax reference, very helpful!!



                  • 6. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                    mikeybabes68 Level 1



                    sorry for delay, yes indeed thanks very much, I guess I realized you not able to put a merge field into a QR code, and from you information it is clear.


                    Kind regards

                    Michael Archer

                    • 7. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                      mikeybabes68 Level 1

                      Hi All,


                      I just wondered if it's just me, if you do a merge with QR code, when I check the contents, it is just entered as plain text, and not like as a business card, however the data is all correct, the code is valid and scans no problem.


                      When I hover mouse over the QR code you see a snipped of contents, not all contents when I did via a merge, , hand created business card QR Code and hover then it will show all the contents from within indesign. As I say seems not a problem, just curious as to this.


                      And I have now got 225 business cards all nice with QR Code. Yes buy hand would kill anyone!!


                      Regards all


                      • 8. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                        Monica Singh Adobe Employee


                        Yeah its kind of known scenario.

                        Since, in case of QR Codes(using data merge), we are putting in documents is in Plain text mode thus after certain limit of characters they are snipped.

                        Which is not the case with QR Codes of format Business Card. Hence they show entire text in the tool tip.


                        ~Monica Singh

                        • 9. Re: QR Code Datamerge?

                          Hi Monica,


                          Did all the process above, but for me it does not generate a QR code but just the plain code text. Any idea from what it could come from?


                          Thank you




                          • 10. Re: QR Code Datamerge?

                            Is there a way to generate ASCII QR Codes vs UNICODE with a option switch?   When I generate QR codes with special accented characters, the characters are corrupted with the way Indesign generates QR Codes.  Currently I have french characters such as:  é   when run through the Indesign QR Code generator they get mutated to something like Å®.


                            I am gathering that it is an issue with Indesign translating text formats.

                            • 11. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                              tyns Level 1

                              answered my own question.  read the vcard spec, needed to add ;CHARSET=utf-8: to the value to make it Unicode not ASCII (other way around).

                              • 12. Re: QR Code Datamerge?

                                I spent hours trying to figure this out and realized it was simple. You have to have Indesign 2014 installed and running. I had it installed but was using an older version that was pinned to my start menu. With Indesign 2014, it doesn't create text...it creates a QR code easily.

                                • 13. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                  idjev Level 1

                                  Examples please an excel file


                                  • 14. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                    idjev Level 1

                                    help please

                                    • 15. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                      What is your question?

                                      • 16. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                        idjev Level 1

                                        QR Code Business Card excel (formula) format I could not 

                                        Examples excel file or screenshots ... please

                                        hundreds Business Card please

                                        • 17. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                          Have you read through this thread, and the help files on Data Merge?

                                          • 18. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                            idjev Level 1

                                            excel editing ?  excel (formula) format I could not



                                            • 19. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                              Perhaps someone else can answer your question at this point. I have no experience with QR codes directly generated in ID.

                                              • 20. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                                Warren Bingham Level 1



                                                Your screenshot points to potential trouble because the vcard format requires names to be both separate and combined. So, you need a column of cells with the first name in it, a column of cells with the last name only in it.


                                                The message I left in June 2014 should give you a very clear starting point. Put your spreadsheet in that order, put the formula in the cell indicated. You'll then need to edit the formula according to the vCard specification to add the fax number. Follow the link in my message to the vcard spec, find out how to include a fax number (which should be very similar to the 6th or 7th line in the formula. Copy the formula down to the other rows containing data, save the spreadsheet and then export the spreadsheet to a text file.


                                                There are multiple steps to the process. It is not for someone with only a cursory acquaintance with either InDesign or Excel, but it is doable and the way for you to do it is in this thread.


                                                Good luck,



                                                • 21. Re: QR Code Datamerge?

                                                  Hi Warren,


                                                  I'm tried to make it work, but I'm missing a crucial step, I think.


                                                  I created a working excell (see screenshot)

                                                  I tagged the template with the #QR code

                                                  but the preview I get of a QR code in indd seems empty when I scan it.


                                                  Here's a screenshot of the excell: it seems right, no?


                                                  What am I missing / not doing correct?


                                                  Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 10.16.58.png


                                                  Thanks for your help


                                                  • 22. Re: QR Code Datamerge?
                                                    Warren Bingham Level 1



                                                    I'm sorry it has taken so long to respond. I somehow missed that this thread had been updated.

                                                    In looking at your QR code formula, there is one difference that stands out to me:

                                                    I use "\n" to have Excel put a line break between pieces of information that the vCard spec requires.

                                                    In the QR Code cells in the screenshot you enclosed, I see the \n but also a space and then the code for the vCard information type. Every instance where there is a \n there appear to be spaces after it.

                                                    I'm wondering if those extra spaces are getting in the way of the vCard format being read.

                                                    Can you remove them from your formula and then try again.