10 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2017 8:21 AM by Christoph Taschler

    Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging

    ghislains836684

      Hello, I am using Adobe InDesign CC on Mac.

       

      I am trying to use the data merge feature. I created a database on excel which I saved as text (UTF-8, tab delimited). After lot of research everything is working very well, the chines characters are displaying well and the "@" imports the images correctly. There is still one problem I can't find an answer for.

       

      I want to include a QR code on the document. So I created a column named "#qrcodes" and the data inside follows the instructions "URL:http://www.example.com". Still once I select the data source, the qrcodes tag is displayed as it is "#qrcodes" (see screenshot), it is considered as a text object, not a QR code.

       

      If anyone has been through this problem before I would really appreciate your help.

      Thank you.

      Capture d’écran 2016-05-19 à 18.33.59.png

        • 2. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
          ghislains836684 Level 1

          Thank you for your answer. I am not sure to understand though, is this feature still available or has it been removed in the newer version?

          My software is up to date and I have followed the instructions but it still doesn't work.

          Thanks.

          • 3. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
            Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

            It is probably worth checking and posting the exact version you have.

            • 4. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
              ghislains836684 Level 1

              Hi, sure here is what the about says:

              Is that correct?

              Capture d’écran 2016-05-21 à 10.14.43.png

              • 5. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
                MW Design Level 4

                See if the ZIP file at the dropbox link below works for you. I made it for some other people when I had a subscription. There's an ID file, Excel file, images, etc., in the ZIP.

                 

                If it does work, then it may mean that your field for the qr code is malformed in some way.

                 

                Dropbox - qr-vcard-disney-sample.zip

                 

                As I no longer have an active subscription, if the above doesn't work for you, it may be good for you to upload a sample of the qr code field for others to look at.

                 

                Mike

                • 6. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
                  Colin Flashman Adobe Community Professional

                  You're using the correct version of ID, but hard to tell where the fault may lie.

                   

                  What does the header row look like if the data file is opened in something besides excel, such as notepad (windows) or textedit or textwrangler on a mac?

                   

                  I do have a workaround that may assist you. It is a script that is designed to colorize QR codes during a data merge (something that no version of ID can do without a plug-in at the time of writing). However, it has the added benefit of creating an additional column in a duplicate database that treats the QR code as an image, rather than as a QR code object. This means people working with older versions of CC that supported QR codes but not variable QR codes can use this script to generate variable QR codes. I have a write-up and youtube video demonstrating the solution here: https://colecandoo.com/2016/03/06/creating-colored-qr-codes-during-a-data-merge/

                  • 7. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
                    ghislains836684 Level 1

                    Thank you to both of you.

                     

                    The Disney sample did work. After further testing it seems to be related to the encoding of the Excel file to ".txt". When using the standard ".txt" it works fine. But when using "(UTF-16) .txt" it doesn't work anymore.

                     

                    Using the "(UTF-16) .txt" saving is the only choice I have to keep the Chinese characters. When saving in any other ".txt" or ".csv" file types the Chinese characters are replaced with "_____" or nonsense.

                     

                    I have 2 constraints, I have to use Chinese characters since I am in China and I have to use Excel since the whole company uses it, sends me files, and I have to use formulas before saving it into ".txt".

                     

                    I tried re-writing the column header manually in TextWrangler, but nothing. So for those with similar problem who absolutely have to deal with Chinese characters, Excel and QR codes (probability might low, but anyway) here is the workaround I found:

                     

                    1. From your original database, copy the QR code column and an ID column, paste them in a new empty Excel file.

                    2. Save the new database as standard ".txt" or ".csv" (my QRcode data doesn't have Chinese characters, it's just links)

                    3. Create a square InDesign file to fit your QR code - consider resolution and size, merge with the new database, place the QR code use the identifier too, mark the identifier with a paragraph style.

                    4. In the merged InDesign file create a table of content in the pasteboard, enable bookmarks, export to pdf with bookmarks enabled too.

                    5. Split the pdf file with all the QR codes using Adobe Acrobat X  by bookmark, rename using the bookmark. (Then file name = bookmark name = identifier name). Once split you will have one pdf for every QR code, the file name should be "identifier.pdf".

                    6. Use a tool to convert all the pdf QR codes to png.

                    7. In your original database, create an @qrcode column, use CONCATENER formula to write "identifier.png" save the database as txt (UTF-16).

                    8. Merge your original database and original InDesign file. Now the QR code will simply be imported as an image.

                     

                    It might look like a lot of trouble but it only took 10 minutes. Since I have 500+ records and more to come it was still worth doing it.

                    This will not work though if your QR code includes Chinese characters.

                     

                    I also have requested a copy of the script suggested by Colin, I will let you know how it works once I have it.

                     

                    Thanks a lot.

                    Ghislain.

                    • 8. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
                      Colin Flashman Adobe Community Professional

                      I've sent you the script as requested.

                       

                      In the meantime, can I ask you to select the data source again, but with one major difference:

                      Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 12.18.30.png

                      1) make sure the show import dialog box is turned on (holding the shift key and pressing OK works when placing images to see the import options, but not when selecting a data source).

                       

                      Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 12.18.51.png

                      2) have a look at the options that are presented. What does it look like? is it showing as UTF-16 as you've specified, or does it say something else? If you open the text file in textwrangler and go to the bottom of the screen where it says what kind of text file is being used (UTF-8, UTF-16, etc) what happens when you change the BOM settings or the Unix/Windows/Classic Mac settings?

                       

                      When you say in your post "it doesn't work anymore", can you elaborate? By this do you mean that an error dialog appears, or nothing appears in the data merge panel, or data becomes corrupt?

                      • 9. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
                        MW Design Level 4

                        There are further encoding issues that still could be at play. With UTF-16, there is both Little Endian and Big Endian encodings. And for InDesign's merge to work, it strikes me that it requires Little Endian encoding. But that is working from memory and my samples files I have worked up for others using Chinese are on the work back-up server.

                         

                        It might aid Colin or another person here with an active subscription to provide a single dummy data set in order to help you, even though your current requirements are met.

                         

                        Mike

                        • 10. Re: Hashtag not recognized as QR code in data merging
                          Christoph Taschler

                          I had the same problem. In Indesign CC under OSX 10.6.8 it does not work, but with a newer iMac with the same document and database it works.