10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 5, 2011 8:18 AM by Benjamin J Farnell

    How to auto add multiple images CS4


      Hello all,


      I got the following document:


      I got a text box with an article number. Next to the text box i got a image box. Now i want Indesign to automatically but the right image in the box use the Photoshop clipping path and space to image to it fits properly. The article number is the same as the file name of the images which are stored in multiple folders.


      I am using Creative Suite Premium CS4


      Can someone help with this or give any good tips?




        • 1. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          The only way you might be able to automate this is using Data Merge or a script, but I doubt your images are listed with paths in a text file for the Data Merge, and I have no idea how much trouble a script would be (I suspect it depends very much on the order of the articles and images, and the images would almost certainly need to be in a single folder). It would probably be as much, or more, work to set all of that up as to do things manually for a few files, but if you need to do this frequently, it might be worth exploring a more efficient workflow.

          • 2. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
            phillipwork Level 1

            Hello Peter,


            Thanks for the answer. Data merge is a option in Indesign right? For the script can i download a similar script?


            Making a cataolgue up to a 1000 pages and adding all the images manully is alott of work. Also i would like to a solution for the product discription. Is there any solution which can save me alott of time?




            • 3. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Data Merge is a built-in function, but it's really best for things like address labels, not large blocks of text (it sounds to me now as if maybe you want to place the text automatically as well). There are som commercial catalog plugins that might be helpful for that sort of workflow, but I've never used any of them so I can't really tell you more than they exist. Sor scripting questions, the best place to ask is InDesign Scripting


              There actually is one more approach that I'd forgotten about yesterday, but I also don't know anything about it, and that's XML. I believe that might actaully be the best bet for a document this size with a defined structure.

              • 4. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
                Benjamin J Farnell Level 1

                There is an option using xml - I can email you over an example if your interested? It is a bit complicated though.


                For an easier solution I would recommend something like EasyCatalog by 65 Bit Software. I  used this a few times a couple of years back and recently  trained up a London advertising agency design team to use it. It isn't free, but it is cheaper than lots of other solutions out there!

                • 5. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
                  phillipwork Level 1

                  Hello Peter and Benjamin,


                  Thanks for the answer. I also seen something about XML coding but i dont know how it works. Is there a turorial or a sample file? I also looked at EasyCatalog which seems as a powerfull solution. Which option is best? Start with XML or with EasyCatalog?



                  Can also connect the website database to an Indesign document using XML or EasyCatalog?



                  • 6. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    As I said, XML is outside my comfort zone, but from all accounts it is not easy to master if you are not already used to doing coding. EasyCatalog gets a lot of good reviews here, and I think they have some trials and tutorials at their website. As far as I know, it is intended to connect with your database, and XML should be able to do that too. I suspect the big difference -- from your perspective -- would be that purchasing the plugin means someone else has already spent the time to do the front-end coding and you get a support network. With XML you'd be flying essentially solo, with some help from the ground if you know what questions to ask and can find someone in the forum who actually knows the answer (there are a few, but not me). There is a pretty good book, though, according to comments I've seen here. Let me see if I can find it...


                    http://www.amazon.com/Designers-Guide-Adobe-InDesign-XML/dp/0321503554/ref=sr_1_1?s=books& ie=UTF8&qid=1322829200&sr=1-1


                    they have a couple of other XML titles, too, but that's the one I've seen mentioned the most.

                    • 7. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
                      Colin Flashman Adobe Community Professional

                      Peter has posted an excellent reference for one of the two only (to my knowledge) XML for indesign books - it's a foot away from me as i type this! it has tutorials available from the publisher's website which are used in the book.


                      put it this way. XML is free and once the concepts are grasped, do tons of things. EasyCatalog is a paid third party plug-in but i can't speak of it at all as i've never used it.


                      depending on how the catalogue has to look, the data merge feature might also work. generally, i'd use XML for catalogue work where the size of each entry will vary (product description, picture etc) and data merge where each entry is the same size (school yearbook individual photos). Big difference is that XML will thread can thread all the text into one frame, whereas Data Merge won't, so if an entry needs to be deleted and other items take its place, XML would be the better option.

                      • 8. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
                        John Hawkinson Level 5

                        Honesltly, unless you are both extremely familiar with XML and like it, you really should not consider using it with InDesign if there are any other viable options. It is just a huge pain and not a mature workflow. (I have spent too much time with it.)

                        • 9. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
                          phillipwork Level 1

                          Right, thanks for all the solutions. I think ill give the Easy Catalog software a try as what Peter mentioned the front end coding is already been done. I also talked to a application desinger and he also said Easy Catalog will be a better option. Thanks all!

                          • 10. Re: How to auto add multiple images CS4
                            Benjamin J Farnell Level 1

                            Wise choice. It is a shame Adobe never followed through with the data-publishing side of InDesign - they seem to have given up after CS2...