You need to set up only one merge area the size desired, one set of merge fields only. Then use multiple merge, setting the various parameters as needed to position the repeating merge area.
Yes, but you must use exactly one set of placeholders on the template, in the upper left position, and the area occupied must fit three times within the margins. You should read the help section on Data Merge...
Yes - set up just one instance of the card, and use the Multiple Records setup the put three per page. Don't preview it, though—there's a bug that can cause this to corrupt the file. (Or preview and cancel, and then go back and do the merge)
@ the OP. Sorry for the distraction of my blathering below. Hopefully you have it sorted out. But if not, please feel free to prepare a sample document/data, ZIP it up and upload to a place like dropbox.com and share the link. At least share the document setup. If you are using a version beyond CS6, someone else will need to aid you as that is where I have remained for now.
I see the place is still here during my absence(s) . Though I have popped in now and again, I have been (obviously) not posting much here or in the AI forum. Aside from the occasional, and often meager, work life, I have been enjoying being in the grandfather role again (7 month old grandson I watch a couple times a week). And we've been away for a week or so celebrating our 40th anniversary...and boy, after not taking a "real" vacation for several years, I could get use to that. Now if I could just fund a 30 year-long vacation...
Well, back to beta testing something that is/was seriously broken.
This is absolutely possible, I do this often for variable data nametags on Avery labels. However, our printer should be able to automatically get this done for you if you are printing this digitally. Our Cannon printers have the capability position files (front and back) 2-up, 3-up, etc. I am sure this is the case for most digital printers on the market. Ask your printer and they should do this automatically, in which case you would build the file at full-size and Data Merge as normal.
Never-the-less, here is how to do it manually:
1. Create your 12" x 18" document in InDesign CC(2014).
2. Drag your postcard art into the 12" x 18" document and create Crop Marks manually for this postcard template art.
3. Position this postcard template art to the upper left corner of the document.
4. Map all of your variables as normal to this one postcard template art on both pages to your .CSV file.
5. In your Data Merge Palette, and in the Drop Down Menu in the Upper Right Corner, select Create Merged Document.
6. Under the Records for Document Page section, select Multiple Records and then at the bottom of the dialog box select Preview Multiple Record Layout.
7. Click on the Multiple Record Layout tab.
8. Adjust the margins and column spacing in the dialog boxes according to your intent of positioning and the specs of the design.
9. Hit OK to have InDesign begin creating a merged document out of all of your list variables.**
**If you want to simply generate a PDF then in Step 5, instead of selecting Create Merged Document, hit Export to PDF.
NOTE: This can only be done with a one-sided design. If you need to print graphics on the other side of the postcard (for mailing purposes of course) you will have to do this process again exactly the same way, in a separate InDesign document and then manually create new pages between the existing front side pages and paste in place, from one InDesign document to the other.
I went ahead and tried this out and it worked! Thanks again for all the responses
four things to make that work:
1. Do not use a Facing Pages document.
2. Start with a document with one single non-facing page.
3. Untick "Primary Text Frame" in document setup.
4. Reduce your layout to just one row with the 4 placeholder items.
Nothing more on the page.
First test your layout with about 20 data sets to see if perhaps 8 rows could fit on every page.