12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 31, 2011 1:45 PM by JonMedford

    Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title

    JonMedford

      I am a total newb to using data merge in indesign. I watched the "Automating a Catalog with Data Merge" video and found it very helpful. I am creating a catalog for an auto parts company so I have a csv file with a field for Make, Model, Year Range, Part Number. I use Make as a header and put the other information below it. I do not want it to repeat Make (Honda) over and over.

       

      Rather than:

       

      Honda

      Accord         2005-2010     Part Number 4214-0100

       

      Honda

      Civic          2005-2010     Part Number 4214-0100

       

      Honda

      Odyssey     2005-2010     Part Number 4214-0100

       

       

      I would like it to display:

       

      Honda

      Accord         2005-2010     Part Number 4214-0100

       

      Civic          2005-2010     Part Number 4214-0100

       

      Odyssey     2005-2010     Part Number 4214-0100

       

       

       

      Can someone please give me some advice?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Leave the Make field blank for all records except the first in each group. You may want to actually add another field to use for this so you don't need to delete the make info from any existing records, then you'd have one record for each make where the make is listed twice while the others have a null value and on make listing. Use the new filed instead of the old Make field and set the merge to delete blank lines.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
            Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

            Although this can easily be accomplished within a Data Merge, this is probaly not the proper route (data merge) to take in producing a catalog.

             

            First suggestion: Catalog Plugin

             

            Second suggestion: if the cost of additional software is an issue, look into XML workflow

            • 3. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
              John Hawkinson Level 5

              To restate that Peter said (I think), you should perform this processing in Excel, via formulas, before you try to do to the merge in InDesign. Because InDesign's Data Merge doesn't let you do fancy conditional stuff, you need to format the data exactly as you want it, in a tool like Excel, before you run the merge in ID.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
                JonMedford Level 1

                P Spier wrote:

                 

                Leave the Make field blank for all records except the first in each group. You may want to actually add another field to use for this so you don't need to delete the make info from any existing records, then you'd have one record for each make where the make is listed twice while the others have a null value and on make listing. Use the new filed instead of the old Make field and set the merge to delete blank lines.

                I have tried this method but and I think this would suffice but it still doesnt format nicely. It puts too much space inbetween each row of data and not enough space between the sections I want to separate. I suppose I could do this by brute force once I get all of my data in, but this will be dreadful to do for a multiple hundred page catalog. Setting the merge to delete blank lines appears not to work. Not sure if this is a bug or not.

                • 5. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
                  JonMedford Level 1

                  Jeffrey_Smith wrote:

                   

                  Although this can easily be accomplished within a Data Merge, this is probaly not the proper route (data merge) to take in producing a catalog.

                   

                  First suggestion: Catalog Plugin

                   

                  Second suggestion: if the cost of additional software is an issue, look into XML workflow

                  I have actually been looking to purchase Smart Catalog. Do you know for sure if this would allow me to set section titles from specifc datafields?

                  • 6. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
                    Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

                    From your example, that seems to be a straight forward task. Woodwing offers a 30 day trial to tryout, so you could put your data and Indesign templates to the test.

                    • 7. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
                      JonMedford Level 1

                      Jeffrey_Smith wrote:

                       

                      From your example, that seems to be a straight forward task. Woodwing offers a 30 day trial to tryout, so you could put your data and Indesign templates to the test.

                      Already on it. I have installed the plugin and working with it. It is pretty complicated so I am going through the documentation and searching for online videos. Thanks!

                      • 8. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
                        peter minneapolis Level 4

                        JonMedford wrote:

                         

                        Jeffrey_Smith wrote:

                         

                        From your example, that seems to be a straight forward task. Woodwing offers a 30 day trial to tryout, so you could put your data and Indesign templates to the test.

                        Already on it. I have installed the plugin and working with it. It is pretty complicated so I am going through the documentation and searching for online videos. Thanks!

                        Some folks use catbase. Search Google for terms like "InDesign catbase" without quotes for links and comments by users. I think there's a free trial. And it's considered affordable.

                         

                        HTH

                         

                        Regards,

                         

                        Peter

                        _______________________

                        Peter Gold

                        KnowHow ProServices

                        • 9. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          JonMedford wrote:


                          I have tried this method but and I think this would suffice but it still doesnt format nicely. It puts too much space inbetween each row of data and not enough space between the sections I want to separate. I suppose I could do this by brute force once I get all of my data in, but this will be dreadful to do for a multiple hundred page catalog. Setting the merge to delete blank lines appears not to work. Not sure if this is a bug or not.

                          A real catalog plugin is probably the way to go, but if you stick with Data Merge you can control spacing with paragraph styles, most likely. Apply a style with Space Before added to the paragraph containing the section.

                           

                          As far a removing blank lines, if the line isn't being removed, it probably means it isn't really blank. Blank means there can be NOTHING on the line except a field, and the field value in that record is null. If you have punctuation or white space of any sort on the line in additon to the field tag, it's never going to be blank, so you should be doing whatever concatenation you need in the data file first, as John mentioned.

                          • 10. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
                            JonMedford Level 1

                            P Spier wrote:

                             

                            JonMedford wrote:


                            I have tried this method but and I think this would suffice but it still doesnt format nicely. It puts too much space inbetween each row of data and not enough space between the sections I want to separate. I suppose I could do this by brute force once I get all of my data in, but this will be dreadful to do for a multiple hundred page catalog. Setting the merge to delete blank lines appears not to work. Not sure if this is a bug or not.

                            A real catalog plugin is probably the way to go, but if you stick with Data Merge you can control spacing with paragraph styles, most likely. Apply a style with Space Before added to the paragraph containing the section.

                             

                            As far a removing blank lines, if the line isn't being removed, it probably means it isn't really blank. Blank means there can be NOTHING on the line except a field, and the field value in that record is null. If you have punctuation or white space of any sort on the line in additon to the field tag, it's never going to be blank, so you should be doing whatever concatenation you need in the data file first, as John mentioned.

                            I might just do that. I am staring at this 138 page manual for the Smart Catalog plugin and trying to use the darn thing with very little success. There is not GUI formatting available and it is really frustrating.

                            • 12. Re: Data Merge: Grouping data under a shared section title
                              JonMedford Level 1

                              P Spier wrote:

                               

                              Lots of users here also recommend Easy Catalog: http://www.65bit.com/products/easycatalog/overview/overview.shtm

                              Thank you very much. I am going to try this. They have some easy to follow videos. I am about to have a mental breakdown trying to get anything done with the Smart Catalog plugin. Very frustrating.