15 Replies Latest reply on Oct 24, 2014 8:34 PM by Caleb.W

    DataMerge Alternative


      I'm trying to set up a multi-page InDesign file with a different person's name displayed on each page. The names are in a csv file, but DataMerge doesn't seem to work for multi-page tasks. Is there some other way to automate the putting of a different name on each page?


      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: DataMerge Alternative
          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          It most certainly does work.


          I suggest you research some tutorials and read the help files.

          • 2. Re: DataMerge Alternative
            Caleb.W Level 1

            I haven't found tutorials and help files that use a multi-page document.


            Any hints of your own would be appreciated.

            • 3. Re: DataMerge Alternative
              Danny Whitehead. Level 4

              Is everything apart from the name the same on each page? If so, you should be able to do the Data Merge on a single page document, then in the Data Merge palette's flyout menu, select Creat Merged Document.

              • 4. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                Caleb.W Level 1

                The layout is the same, but the content is different: a picture and some info. Each page will be assigned to a new person each month, so I'd like to automate the process as much as possible. Every month someone will be running it to get a different name on each page, in rotation from the csv.

                • 5. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                  MW Design Level 5

                  You need to do a single record per page merge from the sounds of it. You need to set up one page with your fields. Beyond that, it would be helpful to see a screen shot or two as to what you have and what you want to achieve.



                  • 6. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                    Caleb.W Level 1

                    Thank you, Danny and Mike, for your help.


                    Attached is a screenshot showing one page. The name to be assigned is circled in red, for demonstration.


                    The project:

                    Updating the look for the pages in this pre-established process. Each page contains two missionaries supported by the church (hbctoledo.com). Every member that has chosen to be a part is in the .csv file. By rotation, each of these people receives a sheet every month with his/her name on it. They are to pray for/contact the first missionary for the first half of the month, the second for the second half. The idea is that each of the over 160 missionaries is personally thought of and prayed for every day by at least one person.


                    I hope that's not too confusing; it's a little hard to explain. What I need to do is set up the automation for each month– using the .csv to assign a name to each page.


                    I've already set up the dates as text variables, so that only the dates on the first page have to be changed, and the change is reflected on all pages.


                    Thank you so much for your help!


                    Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 9.46.30 PM.png

                    • 7. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                      MW Design Level 5

                      So it appears that the only merge field is that single, rotated name field. Would this be correct?



                      • 8. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                        MW Design Level 5

                        Another presumption is that the two missionary info on that page is the same for each person in the merge file. Is that also correct?


                        Have you tried the merge--without using (merge) Preview?


                        I recreated your layout, using the following setting:



                        And the following was produced (gotta believe me when I say that there is a different name on each page)...



                        • 9. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                          Caleb.W Level 1

                          Thanks, Mike,


                          Yes, the only merge field is that single, rotated name.


                          The names being assigned are different, and the pages they're assigned to are all different. Maybe that makes this impossible. I need to be able to have the completed multi-page file, with all of the different missionaries included, two per page. (So no two pages would be the same.) Then run the merge to assign a different name to each of the pages.

                          • 10. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                            MW Design Level 5

                            Caleb--then the missionary data also needs to be in the database. Even so, how that database, whether it is all in Excel or an actual database application, is set up is important in order to work out for you.



                            • 11. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                              Caleb.W Level 1



                              This means that the process will not be able to be automated as much. This because each month the names have to be reassigned, in rotating order.

                              • 12. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                                Caleb.W Level 1

                                So I guess we'd just have to update the database monthly. Sounds easy, but there are probably around 200-300 names.

                                • 13. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                                  SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  That wouldn't be so bad - just copy the first name field in Excel, and paste in back into a new column (named the same as the old), but shifted down by one cell. Move the bottom name to the (now empty) top cell, and delete the old column.

                                  • 14. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                                    MW Design Level 5

                                    If it has to be strictly rotating, then the option that SRiegel mentions really isn't onerous.


                                    If, on the other hand, a truly random order can be used, once the Excel spreadsheet is set up properly, you can add a column and fill it with the randomize function ( rand() ), highlight all the column heads, click on filter, highlight the rand() column and name columns, then press the A-Z sort button. Each press truly randomizes the chosen columns (in your case, the names).

                                    • 15. Re: DataMerge Alternative
                                      Caleb.W Level 1

                                      Thanks, SReigel and Mike. You've been a huge help. I'll have to find out how the rotation works.


                                      Thank you again!