3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 6, 2016 12:26 PM by nerdythor

    Indesign playing card sheet


      Hey all--


      I'm working on a prototype of a card game with a business partner of mine and we're just ready to start doing Alpha testing for the game with strangers. THere isn't a huge print budget here so the easiet thing to do is to put 2.5x.3.5in cards in a 3x3 grid or 2x2in cards in a 4x5 grid on 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Unfortunately I don't know how to actually use Indesign to do this. I haven't had problems making the cards individually to test online using a csv datamerge, but I need a decent way to set up these sheets quickly and efficiently so I can just go to staples and get sheets of these cards printed off.


      I tried Reddit and haven't heard back from anyone, and I'm just looking for a good guide on how to accompish this.


      Thanks in advance and I really appreciate it.

        • 1. Re: Indesign playing card sheet
          nerdythor Level 1

          Alright. So like most questions I ask on the internet I was able to actually solve this myself by playing around once I already showed myself to be ignorant to the world. 
          Here's how you do it--


          1. When you set up your document set  your margins so that you can maximize how many cards you can print per page. In this case it meant using 0.25 inch left and right margins, and 0.5 inch for top and bottom. We're using margins as bleed space as well as a spacing technique, essentially. This allowed me to do a 4x5 grid per page.
          2. Since I wanted a 2x2in card I selected the Rectangle Frame tool and pulled it into the upper leftmost corner of the space within the margin. Change the background color as appropriate within the frame. DO NOT USE A RECTANGLE OR THE LINE TOOL. Doing this will replicate the line and rectangle as well as the linked data from the merge. This will make your sheets worse than worthless. If you need to have guidelines for cutting the cards add a stroke to the frame and make sure to Align the stroke to the inside of the card. DO NOT MAKE MORE THAN ONE FRAME RECTANGLE.
          3. Select the frame with the selection tool, and go to the datamerge window. Select your CSV using "Select data source" and format the single frame as appropriate.
          4. Click the "Create Merged Document" Button and choose the following selections:
          Records to Merge-> Merge all records
          Records per Document Page-> Multiple Records

          Check the "Preview Multiple Records Layout" to be sure you did everything right, and if the layout doesn't work for you go back through the steps until you find your error. Once it looks right go back to create merged document with all the previously mentioned settings, preview, and if it looks fine click "OK"


          Congratulations. You've just created a full set of playing cards on 8.5x11 sheets of paper without going insane doing it manually.

          • 2. Re: Indesign playing card sheet
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            Are your cards two-sided? If they are it's far more complicated because the arrangement of the cards must be mirrored on the back of each sheet in order to have the correct fronts and backs together.


            Also, there has been a bug in Data Merge for the last few versions that is not fixed, as far as I know, that is triggered by using the Preview with multiple records per page merges. Check your merged file closely for errors.


            If the merge is incorrect, your template is no longer usable and you must create a new template before doing the merge without pressing the preview. You can copy and Paste in Place the merge field placeholders from the old template.

            • 3. Re: Indesign playing card sheet
              nerdythor Level 1

              I'm using CS5, it's good enough and most print shops I have relationships with still aren't taking cs6 based files-- and these are prototypes so back images aren't necessary. When working with a professional print service it'll be a lot easier. I just keep template saved separately and did what I said up above