8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 5, 2014 2:17 PM by Frolnocx

    data merge?


      I've been trying to find information on what I need and I can't find the answer. So I'm here hoping someone has done this before. It seems easy enough but I cannot for the life of me figure it out.


      Okay so what's going on is my boss is creating an excel document with information that he wants in a good design. I went to InDesign to create a document that looks good but I'm having trouble with the data merge to input the information correctly. There are multiple columns and multiple rows that need to be put into one page. For instance (in the spread sheet) you have column A, B and C and column B has rows 1, 2 and 3. Rows 1, 2 and 3 are all different. I need all that information to be on one page. The data merge wants to do multiple pages per row.


      Essentially i'm asking can I take a spreadsheet and input all the data from the rows and columns into one page.


      Any advise or direction would be appreciated. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: data merge?
          SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I'm not really clear on what you want you final output to be, but it sounds like you might just be wanted File > Place. That will put the spreadsheet into InDesign as a table.

          • 2. Re: data merge?
            Frolnocx Level 1

            Ah, no. I don't want a simple table. I'm coming up with a nice clean design that displays this particular information in a good way. This is a mock up of how the spreadsheet is created. So take column B for example. I need each row to fill in a different text field but on the same page. Notice column A, C and D don't change.

            So those will be a single text field in the document and the ones that change have multiple fields on one page. Does that make sense? I guess I'm asking can I have all this information auto populate on one page?

            Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 3.06.28 PM.png

            • 3. Re: data merge?
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Can you show us what you want it to look like?

              • 4. Re: data merge?
                Frolnocx Level 1

                This isn't the design but my working document trying to get what I'm looking for and hope it can illustrate what I mean. So my boss will use the spreadsheet above (it has special formulas to calculate various things). You can see how column A of the spreadsheet has only one row and for the document will only have one field. But  column B has 5 rows of different information and you see the document itself requires all that information as well. (I was messing around with the import form data in a .pdf and that has not produced workable results, but that is why the fields are interactive objects currently)

                Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 10.50.47 AM.png

                Is this feasible? Is this something ID can do? My real problem is having to simplify this for my boss so all has to do is fill in a spreadsheet as that is his preferred workspace.

                • 5. Re: data merge?
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  Probably not with data merge unless you redesign the data file.


                  Data merge works with exactly one record/row at a time, either one per page, or many per page, but you cannot combine data from multiple records into a single entry.


                  There are some commercial catalog plugins that probably can do this.

                  • 6. Re: data merge?
                    Frolnocx Level 1

                    ah, that's what I feared.


                    Thank you for the input. If you know a good plugin to use i'd like to know.

                    • 7. Re: data merge?
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      I don't do this sort of work, but the folks who post here seem to like EasyCatalog for ease of use and good customer support.


                      XML is probably another valid approach, by the way, but again totally outside my expertise.

                      • 8. Re: data merge?
                        Frolnocx Level 1

                        Awesome, thanks for the info. I tried EasyCatalog out and it did just what I want. Now I just need to convince my boss it's worth the money. Ha.


                        Yeah this isn't my area either I just have a boss that thinks I can do everything. Or that the software I use has magic powers.


                        But again thanks, you got me where I need to be.