Although you give a detailed description of your workflow, it’s really hard to give you a concrete advice without seeing your files: before/after the work is done, your Excel spreadsheet, screenshots, etc. The attachments in this forum are not working.
But I want to draw your attention to this book: Designer's Guide to Adobe InDesign and XML.
Most probably, looking through a this book you’ll find the solution you need.
Thanks for the advice Kasyan, I'll try another way to show you my files, this is an example of the finished page layout, you can see the boxes where the barcode labels would normally be stuck over the top.
And here's a screen shot of a sample Excel spreadsheet:
I've just realised that it's not that much of a big deal (it was blatantly obvious after all) to import all the data & images using the data merge feature, I end up with something that looks like this:
The top right image has 2 products in it, but I have all the information imported, I just need to manually adjust the @photos column to reflect images with more than one product.
So I guess my question is now, if I was to purchase the book you mentioned, would it be possible for me to go from the very first page layout of the jewellery boxes to the one above with all the information filled in? Can XML read the 5 digit code, find it in a spread sheet and then insert the additional pricing & quantity data? If it is then I could reproduce the layouts without too much hassle and have all the information I need, if it's not then I can only use the data merge approach with new layouts.
Thanks for you help so far...
I can’t answer your questions without investigating your workflow thoroughly. I’m studying this book – completed about 2/3 of it by now. If your document contains repeating structure, this book will help you a lot. I think XML uses the same principles as Data merge, but offers much more flexibility and possibilities.
Contact me in private via e-mail, may be I can help you.