8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 17, 2015 1:44 PM by Peter Spier Branched from an earlier discussion.

    InDesign data merge not working

    Richard Broom Level 1

      I'm not sure if I am alone but I am pulling my hair out (and I haven't got much) with Adobe at the moment.  InDesign data merge - hasn't worked well for a long, long time now. Adobe must know about this continuing problem.  I have wasted HOURS trying to get a data merge to work as it should or searching the Internet for workarounds.

       

      Adobe are very good at two things a) telling us how good an innovative their software is (when it isn't always) b) charging me every month for products which don't work.

       

      Do the folks at Adobe care about us or listen?  It seems now.

       

      Richard (Angry!)

        • 1. Re: InDesign data merge not working
          SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If you post the particulars of your current problem, there are a number of forum users who are very familiar with the ins and outs (and issues) of InDesign Data Merge, and we may be able to help you.

          • 2. Re: InDesign data merge not working
            printerlady Level 1

            I'm having troubles with Data merge as well. I posted my question but haven't heard anything useful yet.

            I created a .csv file & merged successfully yesterday. Tried to add content to it and do another merge today and it says 'the data source can not be opened. Confirm the file exists and that you have the rights to open it and select open data source again'.

            Nothing works!

            I've tried re-saving the excel spreadsheet in both .xlsx and .xls as well as html and tried re-saving again as a .csv but get the same error message each time!

            I don't know if it's Adobe or Microsoft at this stage but I'm pulling my hair out too

            • 3. Re: InDesign data merge not working
              SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Just a stab in the dark, but did you close the .csv file before connecting to it?

              • 4. Re: InDesign data merge not working
                Richard Broom Level 1

                I've found a kind of a workaround.

                 

                I don't have trouble opening .CSV files, it is what happens after loading that gives me this now longstanding problem.  Text boxes get misplaced when the merge takes place.  All sorts of formatting errors. Grrrrr!

                 

                What seems to mess things up is the 'preview' part of data merge.  So, what I do is do the data merge without previewing it (the little check box in the data merge dialogue box).  This means you have to have several attempts at merging to get it right.  Time consuming but you can get there.

                 

                I do a lot of merging of people's data (name, address, telephone number and so on) - address cards if you like.  One thing that really messes this up is if there is a line space/return in the Excel cell.  When you do your data merge you'll find that format characters in the Excel cells can really screw things up.  Also, I find that if you have a name like O'Reilly or O'Neill then the apostrophe can upset the InDesign data merge process.  I've been suffering these problems for years now.

                 

                The data merge problems are, I believe, well known but Adobe doesn't seem to want to fix these problems.  The image uploading problem persists (despite the recent Apple update).  This means I have only upgraded one of my computers to the new Apple operating system and the rest remain on the old operating system.  I am sure Apple really wants us to do this.  This means that I now have communication problems between my main (Apple OS upgraded) computer and the rest. This, to my way of thinking, is a sorry advert for both Apple and Adobe and leaves me wondering if these two companies every talk to each other?  I would be delighted if Adobe would comment - other than to say they are working on the problem.

                 

                Christmas is coming.  Maybe Apple and Adobe will do something to surprise us all. 

                 

                Richard

                • 5. Re: InDesign data merge not working
                  MW Design Level 4
                  Also, I find that if you have a name like O'Reilly or O'Neill then the apostrophe can upset the InDesign data merge process.  I've been suffering these problems for years now.

                  Try using a tab-delimited file instead of comma separated values (CSV).



                  • 6. Re: InDesign data merge not working
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    and if you used Preview on a multiple records per page merge your template file is probably irreversibly damaged. Copy the placeholders to a new file and try again without the preview.

                    • 7. Re: InDesign data merge not working
                      Richard Broom Level 1

                      Agree.  thank you.  Can't understand why this wasn't fixed long ago....

                      • 8. Re: InDesign data merge not working
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        Adobe is aware of problems in Data Merge, and they seem to be actively trying to fix them, but of course only for the latest release.