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In short, Data Merge (as it is shipped with InDesign) cannot do the task that you're asking.
Data Merge can run basic one-to-one database queries, but does not function in a similar fashion to crystal reports for example. I would recommend that you investigate any third party plugins for InDesign that add to the functionality of Data Merge, such as (in no particular order):
- Em Software
- 65 bit
- Teacup Software
I’ve noticed these plugins… am now faced with the task to choose the appropriate one.
They all look very powerful (maybe more than we need?). Any thought on which would be most straightforward for our relatively simple need? We don’t really need to control and interact with every frame on the pages - we just need to suppress redundant/duplicate pages.
We’re also looking at PTI/FusionPro and ObjectifLune/PrintShopPressConnect…
I appreciate your comments… thanks again!
I'm afraid that I can't really recommend one plug-in over another as I'm not an ongoing user of any of these plug-ins. I also have a potential conflict of interest given that I have met several of the developers during various conferences, so my best advice to you would be to download any trial versions that the vendors offer, and during the trial, determine:
- the learning curve of the software;
- whether it fulfils your requirements;
- whether ongoing service for the software is/will be available, or has a community of users that can assist.
- make sure that it will work on your operating system and is optimised for that system. In my own experience, ObjectifLune's printshop for example works better on a PC than a Mac, and other providers such as DirectSmile are available for one platform only.
If it appears that the software mentioned may not be appropriate, perhaps consider having a bespoke script created for the purpose. Customised scripts aren't as cheap as off the shelf software given that there is no economy of scale for mass sales, but if a one-off cost can save money over the longer term, it may be worth the return on investment. Many of the scripters in the InDesign scripting forum can be privately messaged about the task, but it is unlikely that - if a request was posted on the scripting forum for this script to be written - that the task would be done on a complimentary basis and posted on the forums to remain in the public domain.