6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2016 1:29 PM by phild24038413

    Looking for bad fields in Data Merge

    portlandmatt Level 1

      I'm setting up a catalog with about 2000 products. Everytime I try to hook up my database using Data Merge and I click on the Preview button, I get an error that says, "There is at least one data placeholder that cannot be found in the data source. Make sure all the placeholders correspond to the fields in the data source." With 2000 records, I cannot easily/quickly check listing by listing for the error(s) that's causing the issue. Does anyone know how to find bad records in the Indesign file so I can fix my spreadsheet? I'm pretty sure the data in my spreadsheet should be correct.

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Looking for bad fields in Data Merge
          Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I think that you have some terminology problems. "Field" is the first row of your spreadsheet - e.g. Column A is the Name column, so field A1 would say "Name" and fields A2 through A2000 would have people's names. Right?

           

          "Data placeholder" is where you want names to appear in your ID document; it displays in brackets, right? The data placeholder must match the top-row fields precisely. So, if your data placeholder in ID is "Names" and field A1 in your spreadsheet is "Name" then you'll get that error message, because "Names" and "Name" don't match.

           

          So you don't need to check all of your 2000 records; you just need to make sure that the field-names in row 1 match the placeholders in InDesign.

           

          Lastly: spreadsheet =\= database =\= CSV file. You're using Data Merge to flow the contents of a CSV file into InDesign, and you may have made that CSV file with a spreadsheet tool (like Excel) or a database tool (like Access) but you are 100% not "hooking up your database using Data Merge."

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Looking for bad fields in Data Merge
            John Hawkinson Level 5

            Joel is probably correct, however:

            Does anyone know how to find bad records in the Indesign file so I can fix my spreadsheet? I'm pretty sure the data in my spreadsheet should be correct.

            Just delete half the records and try again. If you get the error, you know which half it was in. It will take you log2(1000) => 10 divisions to find the problem line.

            • 3. Re: Looking for bad fields in Data Merge
              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              @John: only if we suppose there is one single problem line…


              Message was:

               

              "There is at least one data placeholder that cannot be found in the data source"

               

              Uwe

              • 4. Re: Looking for bad fields in Data Merge
                Colin Flashman Adobe Community Professional

                agree with Joel's answer.

                 

                The error message posted by the OP suggests to me that the data was placed once... and then updated at some stage a different header row to the file placed originally. The example Joel uses in his post is enough to display this message, and even if the header row has the same names, indesign sees this data as case sensitive, so if the first database had "NAME" and the second database had "name" this will be enough to cause the same fault.

                 

                Also agree with Joel in that the excel file is NOT what is being referenced by InDesign, but rather a text file exported from Excel. If anything, it is that text file which needs to be checked again. Common things which can cause DBs like this to fault are "soft returns" copied and pasted into the excel file, commas within a field which DB is for some reason treating as a split between fields...

                 

                IMHO i've had more luck using tab delimited text rather than comma separated variables when performing data merge projects.

                • 5. Re: Looking for bad fields in Data Merge
                  portlandmatt Level 1

                  Thanks, John. There was only ONE error and it was located in the InDesign file. The part number that we were referencing had an extra digit, so isolating the error helped us find it. Such an obvious way to find the problem that I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it first. Thanks for your help.

                  • 6. Re: Looking for bad fields in Data Merge
                    phild24038413 Level 1

                    I had the same issues, however I was able to fix this by finding a stray placeholder text box off the art board. It was invisible until I selected it. deleted it, then it worked perfectly.