4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 25, 2011 1:27 PM by Daniel Flavin

    Data Merge, Plugin or XML for InDesign Contacts Directory...?

    hal0jen

      Hi, I wonder if someone can help, I imagine this issue must have come up before?

       

      I'm trying to work out how best to create a company 400ish page contacts directory.

       

      Data merge seemed like the way to go but is limiting in some quite annoying ways, perhaps there's a plugin or some script that can work with it or xml/js.

       

      Basically there are multiple records, each with a different amount of contact details below so the length of content varies. This is the first place data merge trips up as the text boxes don't vary in height and I need to have multiple records in one column.

       

      Secondly, as there are various possible details which may or may not be displayed, if there is not content, the line needs to be hidden. This is simple in data merge until there's accompanying text i.e. 'Address................................'xxxxxxxxx

       

      So I need something that will turn off those 'Adress.......' etc, details if there's no corresponding entry.

       

      I'm new to this level of indesign and any help is gratefully received!

        • 1. Re: Data Merge, Plugin or XML for InDesign Contacts Directory...?
          John Hawkinson Level 5
          Basically there are multiple records, each with a different amount of contact details below so the length of content varies. This is the first place data merge trips up as the text boxes don't vary in height and I need to have multiple records in one column.

          Your description is rather unclear. A screenshot would help. Why not have the fields in the same text box?

           

          Secondly, as there are various possible details which may or may not be displayed, if there is not content, the line needs to be hidden. This is simple in data merge until there's accompanying text i.e. 'Address................................'xxxxxxxxx

           

          So I need something that will turn off those 'Adress.......' etc, details if there's no corresponding entry.

          You need to preprocess your merge file in a spreadsheet like Excel. Suppress the fields in question using a formula.

          • 2. Re: Data Merge, Plugin or XML for InDesign Contacts Directory...?
            Daniel Flavin Level 4

            Contact Directories with Data Merge - the "trip ups"

             

            ID will generate seperate text boxes for each set of records - Solve this by threading all the frames after the merge with the plugin available from Recosoft.

             

            You mention fields without data - What I assume is the problem is that you might want to set up your layout as

            Name <<Name>>

            Title <<Title>>

            but some entries will not have a title. Omit Title from the layout and incorporate it into the data source. Add a column before the title and copy Tital into every cell. The problem is to omit the word Title where there is none. But, there are inviduals in the MS Excel support forums who can write a value for Excel based upon, if there is no title, omit the word Title from the previous cell.

             

            Not easy, but not beyond the limits of the two software sets.

            • 3. Re: Data Merge, Plugin or XML for InDesign Contacts Directory...?
              John Hawkinson Level 5
              Add a column before the title and copy Tital into every cell. The problem is to omit the word Title where there is none. But, there are inviduals in the MS Excel support forums who can write a value for Excel based upon, if there is no title, omit the word Title from the previous cell.

               

              Not easy, but not beyond the limits of the two software sets.

              Well, it's not too tough. If your actual titles are in Column B, just make Column A =IF(LEN(B2)>0,"Title","").

              That is, if the length of B is greater than 0, make A "Title", otherwise make it "".

              • 4. Re: Data Merge, Plugin or XML for InDesign Contacts Directory...?
                Daniel Flavin Level 4

                John, you have a pocket protector, don't you

                ?