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How many names are you trying to put on each newsletter? I suspect only one, and that you've misiniterpreted the Help file. That warning applies to putting multiple records from the data file on the SAME page, like a sheet of labels.
Just so you know, using Data Merge to do a mailing where you are addressing multiple copies of a static document is potentially VERY inefficent. Data Merge needs to make a page for every page that will be printed, so if you have a 4-page newsletter with 1,000 subscribers you will wind up with a 4,000 page document just to get the name and address on one page, and your printer will be re-processing all those duplicate pages for each newsletter. If you have a commercial grade copier/printer there may be a variable data printing module availble for it that will merge your list at print time so you need only send a 4-page file and print 1000 copies (or you can send the job out to a printer who can handle this kind of work), or if you want to print in-house anddon't have VDP capabilities, I recommend doing two files.
The first file should be the side of the sheet that doesn't change. Print that first as a single page doing x plus a few extra copies (in case of jams in the printer when doing the second half) where x is the number of newsletters you need. The second file is the other side of the sheet with the addresses, which you do as the Data Merge, and will end up as x pages. After printing the first side, flip the stack and reload so you are printing on the blank side, then send the merge document, asking for one copy.
Thanks very much for your prompt reply!
Your solution sounds doable. Of course then we will need to manually fold each newsletter seperately, but may be less time consuming than printing labels and sticking them on which is what we do now.
Our printer is newish, so I will check with our IT department and see if there is any way to add a variable data printing module that we can leverage at the printer level.
I really appreciate your help!
Be warned... VDP is NOT inexpensive, so if this is a small group or non-profit it's probably not viable.
To print a 4 page book (duplexed, folder and stapled), it sounds like you need to send 4 single pages to your digital printer. And the imposition is done at the printer along with the stapling. When you merge your document, you are essentially creating a 1000 page document, and the printer does not know there are 250 individual books within the stream.
If you are willing to compromise some production, here are my suggested workarounds.
1. Create a document that is in spreads (11 x 17) (4-1 and 2-3). Then do your merge. You will end up with a 500 page document that you could at least duplex print. You would have to manually collate, fold and staple.
2. Merge your document as you have been, print each 4 page set individually.
Yes, that is correct. I hoped that there was some way to indicate seperate records in InDesign thereby creating seperate documents for each booklet.
What I will probaby wind up doing is printing the 2-3 spread seperately, then printing the merged 4-1 pages by feeding them into the bypass or printer tray then folding them individually.
It's too bad that there is no way to separate these records in InDesign. That's really what I was looking for. Either that, or a print GREP that would allow the printer to seperate each booklet, but alas, such is not forthcoming!
I'm still holding out for some plug in that might make this magical request real.
You should be able to accomplish that at the copier/printer itself.
We have a multipage newsletter that we do VDP (adressing/mailing info) and just export the newsletter in spreads and then a seperate merge file of just the pages with the VD and merge at the printer. Works fine but all thru the interface on the server that runs the printer.
We use to just export one giant file with VD and Static information and tell the konica minolta to just staple/fold at x page which also worked. There should def be a way to do it at your digital press, at least if it's the sort of machine that I'm imagining your working with.
If you can submit PDFs directly to your printer, then I would suggest a PDF page utility that separates the PDF via page ranges. There are freeware utilities along with online services that can do this.
You might want to pay a trip to the scripting forum: InDesign Scripting
IT's possible someone there can come up with a way to either automate doing a series of one record merges using the range property, or a way to split the merged file into a folder full of individual files (and even to automate a print command), or to send a series of print commands with ranges for individual newsletters.
Ultimately, though, I think printing one side, then the other, and folding (there are some fairly inexpensive desktop folders if the quantity is daunting to do by hand) is going to be faster.
Our printer doesn't havet that functionality unfortunately. I just checked.
You wouldn't happen to know what that utility is would you? Do we have to purchase seperately?
I will check the InDesign Scripting page.
Unless I have misunderstood your original question, you should be able to do that all in InDesign and send straight to the printer as a pdf, in one file.
If you set the file up so all the artwork in on master pages, including your merge fields, when you merge it creates a separate file per merge.
This way you can either:
Run the merge and get separate InD files for each set of merge fields, add all files to a book, export the book as a pdf, then print the pdf;
Merge to pdf and print the result. If you set up a pdf default profile you will get the pdf exactly the way you want it.
Hope this helps.
Sure it can be done in one file, but the point is that the printer needs to process all of the pages in the newsletter for each copy. If you send it as two files, you are only processing 50% (in tha case of a 4-page folded piece like this) + 1 page of the total number of pages that need to be printed, so instead of waiting many seconds, or perhaps minutes between prints you only need to wait between the processing of the address pages, the others will print as fast as the printer will run. This will cut the print time nearly in half, and that may be quite a bit of time, depending on the size of the run and speed of the printer.
I guess you would just need to weigh up the time difference between printing each side separately, making sure you put the paper back in the right way then folding/stapling yourself, as opposed to sending a bunch of prints to a printer and letting it do it's stuff. For a file as small as 4 pages, I would doubt there would be much time between prints if you sent them in one go. I would tend to agree with you if there were more than 4 pages, where 2 sheets of paper are required. I was focussing more on the OPs requirement for single files.
Run the merge and get separate InD files for each set of merge fields
How is that possible?
In the above case, you would set up the entire document in master pages (i.e. 4 master pages). The data merge fields would then be on one of those pages. The actual document pages don't get touched except to give them each a master - page 1=master A, page 2=master B etc. Once data merge runs, it generates a new InD file for each merge so that the data is kept with the masters and is "Live" I guess you could say. After that, I would typically add all the resulting documents into a book so you can change all the styling in one go if you need to and also for exporting/printing purposes. There is also a script, http://www.kahrel.plus.com/indesign/pdf_individuals.html, which allows you to export the book as individual pdfs.
Hope this helps.
Is this a new data merge feature for CS5/5.5 ?
I don't think so. I know it at least works with CS4. Looks like there may be another way of doing this without the masters though - published in 2008... http://indesignsecrets.com/break-up-a-data-merge-document-into-many-files.php, or combined with the master solution.
Thanks, I didn't know that option made individual documents!
Dear Rik Ramsay,
No more calls we have a winner! This is the solution I've been looking for the whole time!!!!!! Thank you sooooooooooo much!
One thing to note: I've tested this using the master pages for my data merge as you recommended before I saw the whole magical "Record Limit Per Document" option. I am using a smaller test file of eight records instead using the whole list of 250. Doing this merge even with the small # of records is slowing my computer to a crawl, and I've got 4GB of RAM. Every time I switch to an individual INDD file there is a lag of a few minutes per file. It seems like the ID is working (and really hard) possibly to access the data for each record over and over since it's in the master. I will test again using my document and connect the data merge in the document, rather than the master pages and also see if I can export individual files to PDF. This may be faster.
I'll keep you posted.