4 Replies Latest reply on May 15, 2017 11:09 AM by MW Design

    data merge preperations

    Tiemen Van Gucht Level 1

      I have to provide my client with name tags with all sorts of info on. I have only about one hour or so to actually merge the data. as I will get the database the evening before it has to get printed.


      I am currently wondering what the most efficient way is to prepare for such a rush moment. Normally I have a bit of time to do some try and error. Currently I'm left with the info 'need different layouts for the different companies that will attend'. I don't know how their database will look like and need to prepare for the worse.

      What if the data I need is split up in different tabs in excel, how do I get indesign to fetch data across tabs?

      What if the data is split up in different sections of the same sheet?


      I have not experimented with any of these scenarios yet, and I'm at a loss currently.


      Kind regards,


        • 1. Re: data merge preperations
          MW Design Level 5

          Without a sample of the data, we're both flying blind. If it were me, I would have them send a sample Excel file so I can see the structure and begin the design(s) required.


          As for the "tabs" (sheets) you can specify the sheet desired in the merge. If the data is in ranges in the same sheet, you can sort by the company name field, then by the last name of the participant. Then select one company's section and export that selection to a csv (and I always use tab delimited, UTF-8, .txt type of export). Or copy paste each company into a new sheet, naming the sheet for the company.


          In lieu of obtaining a sample ahead of time, make one. And use more than one sheet to understand how it works.


          Also, I hardly ever use ID's in-built merging. It an create a mess. I use Em Software/s Xdata (inside QXP) but InData works the same. Again, without seeing the data or understanding the design requirements, and not knowing what the client wants back, take the following with a grain of salt. I have done a similar job and I set up Master pages for the design variables. Then in XData, I apply the appropriate master page as the, in your case, company name changes. And one can do all sorts of other fun stuff during merging that goes far beyond this. I don't know if I would try learning InData at the last moment, though.



          • 2. Re: data merge preperations
            Tiemen Van Gucht Level 1

            I have no clue what is going on. I have gained access to their temp database. I selected the columns I need and exported as a CSV file.


            All Indesign manages to do is ignore the labels and just shove all the labels in one row. I don't see any way to split them up.

            Like so.

            Schermafbeelding 2017-05-15 om 17.13.18.png

            • 3. Re: data merge preperations
              Tiemen Van Gucht Level 1



              apparently, if you export as CSV in the app Numbers it goes to ****. You will need to boot your old pc to access excel and export there.

              • 4. Re: data merge preperations
                MW Design Level 5

                You can also likely copy the spreadsheet and paste into a text editor and obtain a tab-delimited file. That's how it works using Windows anyway.


                Then save as a .text file and you should be good to go. Do make sure of the encoding when saving, though.