5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 22, 2014 9:42 AM by MW Design

    Errors when merging data in InDesign - Help!




      I'm fairly new to data merge in InDesign but have got my head around it in order to import a load of course listings into a prospectus design.


      All was going well and I had my template all formatted and ready to go - but then I clicked 'preview multiple record layout', scrolled through a few pages and noticed that on some records the data has been wrongly, and seemingly randomly, imported. So for example, under the heading 'Course Code' which should just be a numerical value, it has substituted random text from another field instead. About half of the records are fine, and half are wrong.


      My Excel sheet is very tidy and correct and there are no hidden fields which might foul the data merge. I just can't work out what's going wrong!


      Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!


      Many thanks,


      Lucy Wight

        • 1. Re: Errors when merging data in InDesign - Help!
          MW Design Level 4

          Don't preview. It's a bug that happens often enough as to not ever trust it.


          Main issue now is that the mere previewing of the merge can corrupt your merge document. Close down ID. Restart ID. Do the merge without previewing it and trust it will happen. Then carefully review the merged document for errors. If there are errors, you'll need to create a new document, copy over your elements from the corrupted document, do the merge without previewing and check it carefully.


          If it is still breaking the merge, let us know. At that time, screen shots of the CSV, the layout in ID, the merge panel, etc., might be needed.



          • 2. Re: Errors when merging data in InDesign - Help!
            lucywight Level 1

            Thanks very much for your swift response Mike.


            I've closed and restarted ID, reopened my template and merged without previewing in any way, but my merged document is still showing errors. Do I need to start from scratch rather than using my saved template? That'd be a pain since it took me a while to get my formatting right.


            I also tried opening a new document and pasting my template into that - ran the merge but errors still occurring.





            • 3. Re: Errors when merging data in InDesign - Help!
              MW Design Level 4

              Without reviewing the data, tis hard to say. If it is still broken in a new document, then I would begin by reviewing the data in a good text editor, mainly looking for line breaks (soft returns or hard returns).


              Take and begin a new document. Don't copy any thing over, just bring in the CSV (I use tab delimited to avoid some issues with comma delimiters). Put the fields into a new text box, don't worry about layout. Do the merge.


              If it is breaking in the same place, then the data is likely "broken" by either of the above possibilities.

              • 4. Re: Errors when merging data in InDesign - Help!
                lucywight Level 1

                I've just viewed the data in text form and it's a mess...I can see why it's going so wrong now! I did as you said and created the merge unformatted and it's still showing the same errors, so it must be the data itself.


                Thanks for all your help, at least I know what's going on now. Looks like I've got a lot of work ahead of me!



                • 5. Re: Errors when merging data in InDesign - Help!
                  MW Design Level 4

                  Hi Lucy,


                  If you want/need advice on fixing it, I would need to see the Excel file. So if you would like to go that route, just send me an email or PM by going to my account (click on my name).


                  Best regards, Mike