10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2011 1:37 PM by DishwallaLuc

    Need help with Data Merge

    DishwallaLuc

      Hello,

      I'm using Indesign CS5 on Leopard. Using .csv file. When I click on "Preview" before merging the file (or after merging it), the data field placeholder disappears and no data is shown, just a blank space. Does anyone have any insight?

      Thank you veru much!

        • 1. Re: Need help with Data Merge
          John Hawkinson Level 5

          There are some bugs when you click Preview. Does it work when you don't do that?

          • 2. Re: Need help with Data Merge
            DishwallaLuc Level 1

            It happens when I merge the file too. Some of the records show and some just don't. It doesn't work either way...

            • 3. Re: Need help with Data Merge
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Have you looked at the dat file in a plain text editor to see if everything looks kosher?

              • 4. Re: Need help with Data Merge
                DishwallaLuc Level 1

                I'm new with data merge, so I'm not sure what is supposed to look Kosher and what doesn't... I read the InDesign "Help" and followed all the intructions, but I can't find a troubleshooting guide for Data Merge, that tells me what goes and what doesn't go in the file. I've been working on it all day on a trial and error basis.

                • 5. Re: Need help with Data Merge
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  for a .csv file, every record should have the same number of commas (unless enclosed in double quotes) and there should be no odd-looking characters. Do all the records actually have data in them?

                  • 6. Re: Need help with Data Merge
                    DishwallaLuc Level 1

                    All the records do have data in them. What odd characters are we talking about? Some of the text has brackets, $, & characters. Is this a problem? Is there a list somewhere of the items NOT allowed that I could check?

                    Thank you all for the help!

                    • 7. Re: Need help with Data Merge
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      I think if you recognize the character as being alphanumenric or common punctuation, it probably is OK. If you see really odd stuff like daggers or the symbol Word puts next to tables (don't know its name) theymight be representing control characters, which WOULD be trouble. Try resaving from the text editor as palin text with the .csv extension.

                      • 8. Re: Need help with Data Merge
                        DishwallaLuc Level 1

                        I'm actually using an Excell file, saving that as a .csv file. Just tried saving the Excell as a .txt file, but it didn't work either...

                        There are no daggers, but there are a couple of ®...

                        • 9. Re: Need help with Data Merge
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          DishwallaLuc wrote:

                           

                          I'm actually using an Excell file, saving that as a .csv file.

                          I presumed as much, but the .csv file is just plain text and can be opened in Notepad or Text Edit. Every once in a while the excel file may have something like a newline control character inserted (Those usually show up in the text as \n after the merge, in my experience, though) so it never hurts to take a look at the file outside of Excel, and to resave in a text editor as plain old ASCII. Your Registered symbol is probably not a problem, either, all by itself, but if there are addtional controls to do positioning they could be.

                           

                          I'm not saying that for sure there is a porblem in the text file, either. Just a godd first step for trouble shooting.

                           

                          Does Data merge work with a simpler file? That's another important step. If the problem is not isolated to one data file, it most likely is corruption somewhere in ID itself.

                           

                          A third thing to try is to see if the same data file will merge on another system (another indicator of a problem either in the data file or on your system). If you don't have another system of your own or a friend nearby, one of us will be happy to try it for you.

                          • 10. Re: Need help with Data Merge
                            DishwallaLuc Level 1

                            Thank you, Peter! We checked the csv file and there was in fact a new line in a few of the records. We fixed that and it's working!

                            Thank you all for the prompt and helpful responses