Apologies in advance if this is slightly off topic, but I need some opinions and insight here.
I've been using InDesign since its creation and have recently been pushing the Data Merge feature of ID to its limits. My colecandoo blog highlights some of what I have achieved.
However, there are some things which the Data Merge cannot do, such as warping live text which can be done in Photoshop or Illustrator. But, I've recently learnt of the term "Data Driven Graphics" and that Photoshop and Illustrator handle both. Photoshop accepts txt/csv files and appears to be relatively workable, whereas Illustrator accepts XML which I can't get to work at all and it is frustrating me.
So here are my questions. I know the answer to some of these will most likely be "no" but if i don't ask, i'll never find out.
I know there are third party products which can do the above (e.g. XMPie or DirectSmile), but i'm trying to get as much value as i can from the Creative Suite purely off-the-shelf.
>Because I'm working on a Mac, making XML from excel is like putting marshmallows in a piggy bank (e.g. messy and ineffective).
It should be easy, shouldn't it? I found that running the Excel file through Filemaker made valid XML files easily. Import worksheet, export records as XML.
Can't help you with the rest of it.