The Data Merge function takes information from a tabbed text or comma-delimited file and imports it into InDesign to create documents with specific, different information. Again, I'll use an example.

My bakery newsletter has become very popular, so not only do I hand out copies in my shop, I also mail it to customers who can't make it in regularly. I've tried creating mailing labels with label software, but it's hard to line those darned things up, and besides, I'd like the name and address information printed right there on the newsletter.

If you have character or paragraph styles already set up in your end document (that is, the document you are dropping the tags into), you can map the tags you import to those styles. In the fly-out menu on the Structure pane, select Map Tags to Styles. A dialog opens that enables you to select a style for each tag you are placing.

I have an Excel file with all of my subscribers' names and addresses typed in it. I set up my Excel file so that the subscriber's first name is in the first column, the last name is in the second column, the street address is in the third column, city is in the fourth, state is in the fifth, and ZIP code is in the sixth. In Excel, I select File, Save As and, in the Format pop-up menu, I choose Text (Tab delimited) or CSV (Comma delimited). I can now import the text into my InDesign document. To do this, I use the following steps:


In InDesign, choose Window, Automation, Data Merge to open the Data Merge palette.


Choose Select Data Source from the Data Merge palette menu and browse to the file you saved from Excel. Select the file and click Open. The field names appear in the Data Merge palette, along with an icon specifying whether this is a text or an image field.


Make sure your target document, that is, the newsletter file, is open. If you are placing text, you should have a text block in the proper location on your file, waiting for the data.


Drag each field from the Data Merge palette to its proper location in the document. If you have a text frame, for example, the field name appears in the text frame, offset by brackets (see Figure 32.3).

Figure 32.3. The Data Merge feature enables you to import information from a tab- or comma-delimited file and place fields in your document to print files with variable data.


Click the Preview button to scroll through the pages at the bottom of the palette and see the addresses displayed on the file.


When you are ready, click the Create Merged Document button.


Choose how many records to merge, among other options in the Create Merged Document dialog. Click OK.

The information in the Excel file is merged into the newsletter file, and you can now save and print the InDesign document with all data in place.

Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
ISBN: 0789733676
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 426
Authors: Michael Smick

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