i agree. i'd use two templates - one for text formatted in style A; the other formatted in style B.
forgive this question, but how much experience do you have in Adobe InDesign? is this something you use often or are new to?
after you had selected the file to place as text, and the place icon appeared, did you hold the shift key down? this would instruct the "placegun" to flow the text until the last record into new pages.
in terms of two columns, and depending whether "master text frame" was on when you made your template, i'd go to the text box in the template, and press ctrl+b (which will bring up the text frame options) and up the top of that dialog box there are the options there for columns.
does this help?
I know how to flow a document I just don't know how to get the records to flow when merging. They don't go to the next column or page in data merge.
ah ok, you never said you were data merging them.
in short, data merge doesn't have a feature like microsoft word where there is a "next record" TEXT field which lets the records flow on.
instead, data merge works by merging the elements on the page, so if you were to merge the file and in the options turn on the multiple record feature, you'd see that many text boxes were generated but they're not threaded together... but the text boxes do have record one, then record two, then record three...
indesign's data merge is best suited to generating data where one record changes per page. yes, it can do many records per page, but this is ideally suited to people who are imposing their own business cards many up on a page; or people making picture heavy catalogues with set amounts of records per page. indesign's data merge is not built for catalogue-style in-line data merges similar to microsoft word's mail merge to catalogue.
for your purposes, i'd use XML but that is user unfriendly. there are CSV to XML converters online (assuming your database isn't too huge) and a great resource called "A Designer's Guide to Adobe InDesign and XML: Harness the Power of XML to Automate your Print and Web Workflows" written by James Maivald and it is about the only easy to pick up and run with book out there on the topic. There is another book by Grant Gamble on the topic and no offense to him, but my brain was full by chapter three.
otherwise, aftermarket plug-ins such as ones made by cacidi systems or emsoftware may help.
or, does this really need to be a data merge solution? could the text not simply be placed into indesign rather than using the data merge feature? i'd imagine the data is already in the correct order, just needs formatting. if that is the case and the excel file is available, i'd save it out as a tab delimited TXT format and place that into indesign and then format it with nested styles.
First of all THANK YOU!!!!! We had the document built already and the problem was that I have data in multiple places. So in order to to make any edits I would have to change them in various places (our people go to different departments all the time and then move back, etc.) Its rather time consuming and not as simple as to do a find/replace. I have this document plus updating a secondary data source online for the online directory so we wanted to combine them. The plan was to do one source and spill it to many places.