Don't turn on facing pages, of course. Consider setting up two different merge documents and shuffling the PDF pages together in Acrobat? How many unique records are you producing?
Facing pages are turned off, thank you and there are apx 7500 records in the database.
Data Merge and Cut & Stack Imposition are 2 separate functions that require 2 separate applications to perform. Indesign can certainly perform a single record merge that can create 2 sides for all postcards. Cut & Stack imposition can be accomplished with a dedicated imposition application, PDF plugin, or integrated within the DFE of a digital printer. Are you preparing file to print yourself, and if so, what kind of equipment are you using?
Thanks for the response.
While I agree that these are separate steps in most print production facilities I have found that by doing the work up front enables me to have more flexibility sourcing the job for printing and get more favorable pricing. I've been doing it up to now with VDP software. Thought that if the capability could be replicated with Data Merge I could save some money on specialized software.
So my question stands: Is what I'm trying to accomplish possible?
Keep in mind, with Indesign Data Merge, you have one or the other: a multiple record merge that steps and repeats - but only one sided. Or a single record merge - 2 sided.
There is a workaround. But requires resorting your data file to accommodate the cut and stack imposition.
Here is an example for 16 postcards/records for a 4 up cut and stack imposition:
First Step: Reformat Data:
The data file is sliced into quarters and transposed with multiple records in one row representing 4 records.
Data file will look like the following:
Header1 Header2 Header3 Header4 Header5 Header6 Header7 Header8 Row 1 Name1 Address1 Name5 Address5 Name9 Address9 Name13 Address13 Row 2 Name2 Address2 Name6 Address6 Name10 Address10 Name14 Address14 Row 3 Name3 Address3 Name7 Address7 Name11 Address11 Name15 Address15 Row 4 Name4 Address4 Name8 Address8 Name12 Address12 Name16 Address16
2nd Step: build merge template with all the placeholders positioned like the following:
This method would use single record data merge, with 2 pages (front and back) for the master merge doc.
The first sentence of your response "Keep in mind, with Indesign Data Merge, you have one or the other: a multiple record merge that steps and repeats - but only one sided. Or a single record merge - 2 sided.", answers my question, and your detailed follow up explains the workaround needed to accomplish the task. I believe a script that can automate the data file work required can be found here: https://colecandoo.com/2016/01/24/next-beta-script-data-merge-cut-and-stack-assistant/ I plan to test it.
Before I do I have a related question that someone may have an answer to. I used Data Merge to produce the first job it was a single sided tabloid sheet with 1 data record per page and the data file only had about 500 records in it. After I merged the records to create the new document with all the pages I exported it to pdf which took an exceptionally long time and the size of the pdf file was quite large. In fact when I compared it to an identical job with 200 more records that I had produced with VDP software I noticed that press ready pdf was about 90% smaller.
Is inDesign rendering the static content for each page? Not sure why the file is so large or why it takes so long to generate. For the 7500 record job I have is there anyway to calculate the processing time and or estimated file size?
Is inDesign rendering the static content for each page?
What version of Indesign are you using? Older versions of Indesign required exporting PDF directly from the Data Merge panel to achieve optimal result of static data written once. But that is not true with newer versions.
I'm using inDesign CC2017, the most current version.
It would seem to me that exporting directly to pdf without creating all the pages in a new document would be better, wouldn't that make it possible to embed the static content once?
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I have not tested and compared CC2017 data merge - new document vs. direct export for this issue.
Unfortunately I am going on memory of older versions, but I believe it was CS4 that required direct export for PDF/VT, which allowed for static data to be written once and used repeatedly.
Make sure to use Press Quality or PDF/X-4 with compatibility of Acrobat 7 (PDF1.6) or higher when exporting to PDF.
If your final intent is mailing and you have a decent amount of records to produce, most modern print and mailing houses can handle this quite easily for you.
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just a suggestion, not tested:
How about creating static contents with a different document.
Export to PDF/X-4 and place the static contents PDF on the master.
With "master" I mean master pages.
Just finished direct to pdf production of my 7500 2 sided post cards using Data Merge. Found an option called "Export to PDF" in the drop down list that doesn't require inDesign to merge and create all the pages before exporting it to PDF! Saved a ton of time and the file size of the finished PDF is reasonable which leads me to believe it's optimized.
Still haven't figured out how to do the 8 up imposition but plan to experiment with the ideas listed in this thread.
Thanks to everyone who helped out.