4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2011 3:23 PM by Peter Spier

    InDesign rookie. Your help with catalog dynamically linked to excel

    anatoly Kvochur

       

      I am building a big catalog for hundreds of products, and it would be a life savior if i could connect dynamically the (customized) text (fields) in the indesign file to an external excel file data. For example smth like the text field "Title" to be taking its values from the column "Description" of the excel file, incrementally as each line of the excel file could represent a record.  This way also when the excel file changes, (because it will be probably like 10 more versions before it gets final), the content in the indesign file will change automatically as well.

       

       

      http://www.magnet.gr/monographix/delete/accessories.xls

       

      http://www.magnet.gr/monographix/delete/1.01. Anoigomena_Genika_Kleidaries.pdf

       

       

       

      Is that possible ? and how ?

       

      Thank you

       

      Nick

        • 1. Re: InDesign rookie. Your help with catalog dynamically linked to excel
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          InDesign's built-in Data Merge utility has some limited abilty to update data (theough I've seen reports it breaks down on images), but cannot work direct from an excel file. You're probably going to want to look into one of the third-party caltog plugins. Two vendors for them are Woodwing.com and 65bit.com

          • 2. Re: InDesign rookie. Your help with catalog dynamically linked to excel
            sgelbart Level 1

            Hey Nick,

            Did you use any automation to set it up in the beginning? Basically, if you use data merge I think you have to rebuild the document again and again, which is fine as long as you're not making a lot of changes to it after it's built. The company I work at has a plugin that we're just now going public with that you could also use, it'll take you a little while to set up the template but after that update takes no time to update it. The address for the plugins is http://www.fuga-tech.com. The plugin is pay as you print, but you get $50 for free when you sign up which might be enough to cover a lot of if not all your project. Write here or e-mail me if you have any questions about it, I'm more than happy to help, my e-mail is sabrina.gelbart@fuga-tech.com.

            -Sabrina

            • 3. Re: InDesign rookie. Your help with catalog dynamically linked to excel
              afsdfasg Level 2

              Yes, easy enough with data merge. Set up your excel column titles without spaces, then export to csv.

               

              Occasionally you may need to edit the csv in a text editor to remove any extra blank fields, which show up as multiple commas a the end of a line. It can also help to select unused rows and columns in your excel file and selecting delete from menu or context menu (not keyboard - that just clears contents) - this should remove any hidden formatting or spaces which may make your csv unusable by InD. See also InD Secrets - zap gremlins

              • 4. Re: InDesign rookie. Your help with catalog dynamically linked to excel
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                Data Merge WILL NOT WORK if the number of fields per record is not the same throughout the data file. Multiple commas indicate "null" field entries and should be left in place for any column that has a heading tag. Columns without headings should never be included in the data file.

                 

                The main point I was trying to make about data merge, though, was that it won't run directly off the Excel file, which means any time you make an edit you must also rebuild the data file. If you do catalog work on a regular basis, a commercial plugin designed for the task ought to pay for itself in very short order in increased capabilities and productivity.