11 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2017 11:14 PM by xavixanxe

    What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?

    puffmoike

      I have created an InDesign template from which I produce an ~400 page document from the records of ~100 people. (I use this once per quarter, for a job that requires a turnaround of only a couple of hours, so I can ill afford the mucking about I currently have to do to produce the finished doc).

       

      Each person's data contains hundreds of values, most of which are simply numerical values or text fields with just a few words, and my ID doc handles the data merge for this data into multi-column tables just fine.

       

      But each person's records also include up to 39 'Actions' which have greater variability in the length of the values, as shown in the Master page below. As you can see this data is displayed in a table of two columns, which respectively contain placeholders for a graphic and for text, which is flowed across threaded text frames.

      0. Master page.png

       

      Frustratingly in the the merged document any page on which this table has sufficient data such that it should extend into the text frame on the right instead gets an overset text error, without any data displayed in the right hand column. But when I look at the specific pages identified in the overset text report in most cases it is not at all clear why the text supposedly does not fit. Indeed, as shown below, I have found through trial and error that simply enlarging and then contracting the second frame is enough to unearth the data and clear the error. (Typically there will also be a couple of instances of 'legitimate' overset text—where the data doesn't visibly fit in the two text frames—and for these I manually apply a different paragraph style with a compressed typeface).

       

      Here is an example of a merged record which triggers an overset text error and doesn't display properly:

       

      1. As initially displayed (right hand frame not displaying any data)

      1. Initial appearance.png

       

      2. After extending the right hand text frame a tiny bit (now displaying all the data, but somewhat intriguingly still showing the red plus icon in the bottom right of the frame)

      2. After extending text frame.png

       

      3. For the point of completeness (and possible help isolating the cause) if I extend the frame further InDesign appears to think it is displaying everything (no red plus icon)

      3. Extending text frame further.png

       

      4. Contracting text frame back to less than original size (but with all the data now visible)

      4. Contracting text frame.png

       

      The overset test error is not produced if all the data fits into the first column (i.e. the person has completed ≤25 Actions)

       

      So why is InDesign tripping up?

       

      Is there something about the way I have built the template?

       

      (Alternatively is there something I can look for in the CSV file which might be causing this? FWIW to me it seems unlikely that the source data file is the problem given that the issue seems to be consistently triggered by whether the data would extend into the second column or not.)

       

      Any suggestions gratefully accepted

        • 1. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
          Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

          Are there any GREP styles used in the paragraph style? One possible GREP scenario I see: a no break character style applied to text with .com, so URLs do not break. The line you show where this occurs contains "belindabrosan.com" and prevents text flowing into column until frame is stretched.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
            puffmoike Level 1

            Jeffrey_Smith  wrote

             

            Are there any GREP styles used in the paragraph style? One possible GREP scenario I see: a no break character style applied to text with .com, so URLs do not break. The line you show where this occurs contains "belindabrosan.com" and prevents text flowing into column until frame is stretched.

            Intriguing question.

             

            My initial reaction was to flatly rule it out, because

            • I rarely use GREP (would love to speak GREP but suck at it).
            • When I've extended the text frame I only did so vertically (so "belindabrosan.com" isn't getting any additional horizontal space)

            But I checked the paragraph style just in case. It doesn't have any GREP. However it did include 'Balanced Ragged Lines', which seemed to be in the same ballpark as your suggestion, so I switched that off and tried running the data merge again.

             

            The overset text report was identical. But all the data was displayed! Even if this is as far as I get, at least I'll only manually have to check each instance to see whether there really is overset text, and not have to resize the text frames. Thank you Jeffrey!

             

            Still leaves me scratching my head as to why ID thinks there's overset text. Here's the same example, untouched after the latest data merge. As you can see the data is now displayed in both columns, but the overset text icon is still visible the bottom right corner of the text frame (even though the data clearly fits and the empty placeholders indicate that even if there were 39 pieces of text data it would still likely fit).

            Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 10.53.41 am.png

             

            Studying the overset text report also revealed that my claim in my first post that "The overset test error is not produced if all the data fits into the first column (i.e. the person has completed ≤25 Actions)" was incorrect.

             

            Here are two really similar examples from the same data merge that easily fit within the left hand text frame, but InDesign reports that the second example has overset text. Both have:

            • less than a dozen Actions (so easily fit in the left text frame)
            • at least one Action which goes over two lines

             

            Trying to work out why InDesign thinks one is overset and the other isn't is driving me nuts!

            not overset.pngoverset.png

            • 3. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
              puffmoike Level 1

              Please note that this statement in my original post is wrong (as evidenced in post directly preceding this one). Unfortunately the forum does not allow me to edit the original post.

              puffmoike  wrote

               

              The overset test error is not produced if all the data fits into the first column (i.e. the person has completed ≤25 Actions)

               

              • 4. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
                Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Hi,

                I have no answer.
                Just some question:

                 

                1. Do you need the XML tags surrounding nearly all of your records in table column 2 ?
                Maybe there is an issue with the special characters?

                 

                2. Did you try a 2-column text frame instead of 2 text frames threaded?

                 

                Regards,
                Uwe

                • 5. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
                  puffmoike Level 1

                  Laubender  wrote

                   

                  1. Do you need the XML tags surrounding nearly all of your records in table column 2 ?
                  Maybe there is an issue with the special characters?

                  I'm out of my comfort zone already, but I don't think there are any XML tags???

                   

                  I have a table with two columns, which is threaded across two text frames. In the first column is an image placeholder for an icon (which has one of two file paths in the CSV file), and in the second column has a text placeholder (and if I open the CSV file in Sublime Text then I just see the text as displayed, separated by commas, without any other characters:


                  Follow up sales calls re renewals for 2017,Macintosh HD:Users:Michael:Documents:Quarterly Report:assets:complete.ai,Set up of Data 3 main sign off meeting,Macintosh HD:Users:Michael:Documents:Quarterly Report:assets:complete.ai,Sales Brochure for mentoring program finalised,Macintosh HD:Users:Michael:Documents:Business:Quarterly Report:assets:complete.ai,

                   

                  What suggests that I have XML tags?

                   

                  2. Did you try a 2-column text frame instead of 2 text frames threaded?

                  No. To be honest I'd love to find a good resource which explores/explains columns in ID, and in particular when to use multiple threaded text frames, and when to use a single text frame with multiple columns.

                   

                  I (try to) shall give it a go…

                   

                  Thanks for your reply.

                  • 6. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
                    Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    puffmoike  wrote

                    … What suggests that I have XML tags?

                    Colored brackets like the one in my made-up example below.

                    Open your Story Editor window and see if you can find something like that:

                     

                    ColoredBracketsXMLTags.png

                     

                    If the XML is not necessary I would remove it from the InDesign template document.

                     

                    Regards,
                    Uwe

                    • 7. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
                      puffmoike Level 1

                      Laubender  wrote

                       

                      puffmoike   wrote

                      … What suggests that I have XML tags?

                      Colored brackets like the one in my made-up example below.

                      Open your Story Editor window and see if you can find something like that:

                       

                      ColoredBracketsXMLTags.png

                       

                      If the XML is not necessary I would remove it from the InDesign template document.

                       

                      Regards,
                      Uwe

                      So are you suggesting that those coloured brackets are introduced by the content of the CSV file or by something I do when creating the template?

                       

                      I just tried dragging one of the Data Merge elements (equivalent of 'Action X' in the mockup you very generously produced) onto my Master page and initially it didn't show coloured brackets. But once I ran the data merge it was surrounded by coloured brackets on both the master page and all the relevant pages produced by the merge. In short, I'm not sure how I am meant to create a data merge template without ending up with these coloured brackets.

                       

                      (why does your Action 1 and Action 5 not have brackets, but the other three do?)

                      • 8. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
                        Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Hi,

                        I simply do not know where your "colored brackets" are coming from.
                        It's hard to help without seeing the original files.


                        My <<Action 1>> does not have any brackets, because I saw in one of your screenshots, that your <<Action 1>> is missing the brackets as well. Just wanted to simulate the view you gave to me with my InDesign by applying XML tags. They have no meaning at all.

                         

                        My suggestion would be to start from scratch with a new InDesign document building a new template.
                        Do not copy/paste anything from your old template.

                         

                        After testing a merge do not save the template.

                        Close it without saving and reopen it if you want to do another merge.

                         

                        Regards,
                        Uwe

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
                          xavixanxe Level 1

                          Hi,
                          I've seen that you have 13 empty table rows on the master page, and I think that's just what cause the overset.
                          Try removing the unnecessary rows from the master page (you need max 39, right?), I think that way you will stop having problems.
                          Greetings,
                          Xavi

                          • 10. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
                            puffmoike Level 1

                            xavixanxe  wrote

                             

                            I've seen that you have 13 empty table rows on the master page, and I think that's just what cause the overset.
                            Try removing the unnecessary rows from the master page (you need max 39, right?)

                            Bingo!

                             

                            The longer story is that the number of actions a user could add was unlimited, and it must have maxxed out at 52 on one occasion. The 39 Action limit was introduced only in the last quarter or two. In retrospect I can't believe I didn't think to try deleting the superfluous table cells when I was trying to determine the cause of my issues.

                             

                            (Of course I'm still intrigued by why I apparently have a whole host of unnecessary XML tags, but unfortunately I'm unable to share the source file publicly. Many thanks to Laubender for so generously trying to sort out my issues)

                            • 11. Re: What is causing this overset text issue in my data merged document?
                              xavixanxe Level 1

                              Hi,

                              I think those brackets are there because of text variables.

                              They should not pose any problem.

                              If you want them to disappear (well, they're not going to disappear but you won't see them anymore ;P), you can do it this way (I don't know which name has this option on english version):

                              Captura de pantalla 2017-05-19 a las 7.59.38.png

                              Regards,

                               

                              Xavi