4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 20, 2015 8:29 AM by Peter Spier

    Variable Data Mailing - Two Sided Mailer with Step and Repeat

    Steff1anie

      I work for a small photography studio and they had been running InDesignCS5 with a XMPIE Plugin to mail and print their mailer/postcards. They print 3-4up on 11x17 or 12x18 paper. The computer its self needs to be updated badly and in order to do that I have to update software. Unfortunately, the plugin will not run on the the new OS and I started looking for new ways to accomplish this.

       

      I personally am up to date on software, but never had a need to look at what InDesign could now do with variable data. So I read up and saw that if we updated to CC at work we could just avoid the expensive plug in and do variable data. I printed out Adobe's instructions and for whatever reason I can not achieve what I need to. I could get the variable data to do what it needed and render out individual cards - front and back- but it was not able to step and repeat. If I print one 5.5x10.5 card on a sheet, we are going to have a lot of waste once we trim. Or I could do my step and repeating but the addresses were 3-4 of the same person per page and the back of the mailer wasnt allowing all the options on the variable data to show. So Id remove the second page and I was able to get the options to show in the data panel.

       

      I have watched videos, checked out other site, and read Adobe instructions. Im obviously missing or not doing something right. Im frustrated and reaching out to you all for help.

       

      Here is what I need:

      1.) To have step and repeated  2 sided mailings (on 11x17 - usually 3-4 mailers per page)

      2.) The variable data - address- to be different on all pieces

      3.) To have both sides of the mailer render in the same document - step and repeated, of course.

       

      What am I doing wrong!?

        • 1. Re: Variable Data Mailing - Two Sided Mailer with Step and Repeat
          Silly-V Adobe Community Professional

          Without much in-depth ID knowledge, a brute & tedious approach could be to export all individual items individually and save with generic incremental file-names, keeping front & back as separate files ( if indeed necessary ) and use an imposed template with yet another variable data text file which references the previously exported files. With some strategic pasting in Excel, I believe this could achieve your desired result, but I would like to see what true Indesign users have to say about your question.

          • 2. Re: Variable Data Mailing - Two Sided Mailer with Step and Repeat
            Steff1anie Level 1

            My XMPIE plugin that we had did everything Im asking. So I guess Im just confused why I would design a card in InDesign, export it as a jpg out of InDesign, and re-import it in to InDesign for every single card. It just seems odd to do. It will also increase rendering time I would think to do this. The mailer itself is the same for all people receiving the mailing. The only thing that changes is the mailing information.

            • 3. Re: Variable Data Mailing - Two Sided Mailer with Step and Repeat
              Silly-V Adobe Community Professional

              The way I described is a "dumb" way to put multiple records on a page, so it would definitely take more time all around, and it's only a step above exporting all of the items and then manually imposing each one. It just takes care of the imposition by leveraging the variable spreadsheet to place your files inside imposed graphic frames.

              • 4. Re: Variable Data Mailing - Two Sided Mailer with Step and Repeat
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                First off, XMPIE is far more  efficient at printing than Data Merge because it processes the document once at the printer and merges the variables on the fly. You can send a single page file and get thousands of prints.

                 

                Data Merge requires that every record appear on a page in the file you send to print, so you are processing the static data over and over for each page.

                 

                That said, how is your data file set up now? A single set of data in each record, or data for 4 people in each record for printing 4-up?

                 

                What problems, exactly, are you having getting the multiple up to print?