4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 22, 2011 4:27 AM by Peter Spier

    A novice with a question.......

    redchopperboy

      Hi, please could someone offer a suggestion... I am a novice at InDesign, using only really the most basic tools to create page layouts, tables etc.... I will try to explain what I am tryng to do / see if it is possible...

       

      I have designed a Print Selection Guide (16 pages) for my client that is mainly table based, but not all tables are the same, different amounts of columns, rows etc.... they want to supply me one master file that they modify each time there is an update to the content that can be streamed into InDesign rather than giving me the changes individually - does anyone know what kind of file they could create to be able to do this? They mainly use an Access Database to create their master file, can this be imported easily to InDesign or automatically? Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated...

       

      thanks

       

      Chop

        • 1. Re: A novice with a question.......
          Grant H Level 4

          Yes it can be done with various workflows: from placing and styling to "dynamic" data merge, etc.  Depending on the project and chosen workflow will dictate what data file should be used...

           

          G

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: A novice with a question.......
            redchopperboy Level 1

            Thanks Grant, I will probably need to bring in an expert InDesigner to help me set up my initial document.!

            • 3. Re: A novice with a question.......
              Grant H Level 4

              I will probably need to bring in an expert InDesigner to help me set up my initial document

              Prob better: altho its not that hard, there are a lot of "things" you need to know how to do (errr obv...) from how you create the ID file to importing the data, no matter what workflow suits the project best.

               

              G

              • 4. Re: A novice with a question.......
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                There are two approaches that come to mind in terms of  automating updates, and both will require you to do some research, and probably testing on a small sample to see which looks like it would work better.

                 

                The first would be to export the Access data into an Excel spreadsheet and to place named ranges from the spreadsheet into ID as tables. To preserve formatting you can either do all the formatting in the spreadsheet, or you can use table styles. The tricky part about this texhnique is you must set ID, in the preferences, to link to text and spreadsheet documents when importing BEFORE you place the spreadsheet (you can turn that back off afterward), and you must update the same spreadsheet for ID to recognize the changes and ask to update the link.

                 

                The second  would be to export a text file from Excel and set up a Data Merge project. This would be attractive only if you have repetious data structures where a single line in the text file contains all the information for a single product, and you have many products, and you want eiter one per page, or lists of many per page. Depending on how the merge tempalte is set up it can update as the data source document is changes, or you can run the merege over again with a new source.

                 

                There are also a number of catalog plugins from third parties which have very sophisticated database connectivity, if you want to spend some money.