I’m having a hard time figuring out what you want to do. You can merge into a single frame, multiple frames, or table cells.
I want ONE text frame; the blue boxes are copied direct from excel,
i want them all flowed into one text frame so i can apply my style sheets to them.
i currently add in unique identifiers between columns so i can import the data as a CSV or Tab-deliminated file i can run a series of find/replace to apply the style i want and the tabs, and specific fonts for some icons
the data merge function puts each excel data point into its own frame, which doesn't help me when i need to adjust spacing to fill space in a magazine
i'm just having trouble figuring out how to accomplish this goal
the data merge function puts each excel data point into its own frame
Not sure why you have this impression. Not true.
You can arrange and format as many merge fields in one frame as you like.
I don't understand why you can't just place the Excel sheet into InDesign. You could use an Excel formula to combine the first two fields (with the semicolon between them) before placing. Table formatting will do most of the rest.
As posted into the other thread:
Yes, each record will be in its own frame.
You can use one of a couple solutions to stitch (link) each frame to the other, delete all but the first page and the first merged record, then resize that first merge frame and reflow the entire document.
Please review this thread. There is a couple posts with a script and you would want the last version of that script. You would have to follow the directions, as well as add a column at the beginning of your data and fill it with consecutive numbers.
Alternatively, there is a free plug-in by Rohiko for stitching merge data frames together, then follow the process above to reflow the document.