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Applications => Adobe InDesign => Topic started by: wonderings on May 03, 2021, 10:36:09 AM

Title: Data merge help
Post by: wonderings on May 03, 2021, 10:36:09 AM
I am working on a catalogue and have a data merge to do. I have never done multiple records on a single page. I got the basics of it but am stuck where cells are not enlarging to fit the content in it when needed. I have 4 column by 4 rows. I have attached a screen shot of my setup. This gets repeated on the page sequentially. Now the issue is the content that would be in the bottom right box "designed by.." us the names do not all fit in the preset size. I could enlarge it but then there is a huge space and the majority do not need extra room. Is there a way for it to auto size to fit when needed?
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: Joe on May 03, 2021, 10:53:03 AM
Take a look at this. I've never tried it but it says it is compatible with InDesign's data merge.

https://www.id-extras.com/products/fit-text-to-frame/
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: wonderings on May 03, 2021, 10:56:19 AM
Take a look at this. I've never tried it but it says it is compatible with InDesign's data merge.

https://www.id-extras.com/products/fit-text-to-frame/

Thanks, unfortunately no budget to buy a script. This also looks like it just enlarges or reduces the text size, not the cell size to fit. Having never used data merge this way it may be a limitation of the merge and I need to make the cell bigger to fit all the text without reducing text size.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: wonderings on May 03, 2021, 11:04:18 AM
Think I have a work around that only adds a little bit of manual adjusting. I had my cells set to be an exact size so they would not move. When I turned the cell to be at least a certain size they reflowed and enlarged as needed. Now the tables do not go right on top of each other for formatting that is something I can manually fix without a whole lot of time waisted.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: DigiCorn on May 04, 2021, 12:32:11 AM
We used to merge to file, and then fix the offending records manually. Most of our data merges in-house were a few thousand records, and we typically merged <500 records at a time (trays usually max at 380 or so for USPS), so you'd only have to fix a couple out of the whole batch.

If you ever spend the <$1000 to get Fusion Pro, it will make that adjustment upon checking a box, and could be modified with a simple script adjustment.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: wonderings on May 04, 2021, 07:59:42 AM
We used to merge to file, and then fix the offending records manually. Most of our data merges in-house were a few thousand records, and we typically merged <500 records at a time (trays usually max at 380 or so for USPS), so you'd only have to fix a couple out of the whole batch.

If you ever spend the <$1000 to get Fusion Pro, it will make that adjustment upon checking a box, and could be modified with a simple script adjustment.

Would fusion pro be used for a merge inside a catalogue? Not addressing or anything for mailing but a list of products sequentially over a span of pages? Pretty much all the variable I do is simple mailing which Indesign handles perfectly. I just get these unique cases every now and then and am left scrambling to figure it out on a deadline.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: scottrsimons on May 04, 2021, 09:20:51 AM
I wish I could find the job I did in Indesign that had the similar issue, which I solved using GREP to fix this while it did the data merge. But I don't remember the job at this point. And we use FusionPro for most of our variable data jobs.

But it was something like this: Episode 3: Using GREP styles to fit text into a text frame in InDesign - https://youtu.be/TFzWt_hrS-A (https://youtu.be/TFzWt_hrS-A).
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: wonderings on May 04, 2021, 11:09:51 AM
I wish I could find the job I did in Indesign that had the similar issue, which I solved using GREP to fix this while it did the data merge. But I don't remember the job at this point. And we use FusionPro for most of our variable data jobs.

But it was something like this: Episode 3: Using GREP styles to fit text into a text frame in InDesign - https://youtu.be/TFzWt_hrS-A (https://youtu.be/TFzWt_hrS-A).

Thanks for the video! Did not know that was even possible and would have made life much simpler for a few jobs where I had to manually adjust longer company names on certificates.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: jwheeler on May 04, 2021, 01:03:28 PM
Check out "DesignMerge" by Meadows Publishing. This is a VDP plugin for InDesign. Fusion Pro is great, but it's for PDF's and has some limitations since you're not working with the native document. The 'pro' version of DesignMerge has some very powerful rendering output options so the files don't bottleneck at your print controller. Here's a link to DesignMerge: https://meadowsps.com/designmerge-pro/

EDIT: One more thing I forgot to mention, is that since it is working with the native InDesign document, you can now make EVERYTHING variable. Including changing the typeface, the color of the font, the color of the background, and of course, scaling the text to auto fit.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: wonderings on May 04, 2021, 02:08:51 PM
Check out "DesignMerge" by Meadows Publishing. This is a VDP plugin for InDesign. Fusion Pro is great, but it's for PDF's and has some limitations since you're not working with the native document. The 'pro' version of DesignMerge has some very powerful rendering output options so the files don't bottleneck at your print controller. Here's a link to DesignMerge: https://meadowsps.com/designmerge-pro/

EDIT: One more thing I forgot to mention, is that since it is working with the native InDesign document, you can now make EVERYTHING variable. Including changing the typeface, the color of the font, the color of the background, and of course, scaling the text to auto fit.

Thanks for the link, looks interesting but honestly and no offence to you, I hate when prices are not posted on their website and demos require you to request one. I should not have to go through a sales person just to see if it would even be in budget and worth while. And again no demo unless I request and then I am assuming a sales person gets a hold of me to try and get me to buy rather then letting me check it out and search on my own. If I have questions I would ask. My VDP needs are light, what I am dealing with now is the first time I have ever come across this so I am not going to go through all the hoops just to get a price and a demo. This is 2021, none of this should be necessary. I guess this is where this emoticon is used  :git off mah lawn:
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: david on May 04, 2021, 02:13:10 PM
looks like you can get a free version...
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on May 04, 2021, 04:52:48 PM
We use designmerge and it is expensive. Only need it about 4 times a year at this point but if you want to keep it going there is an annual fee of about 900 dollars US. Plus the initial output of a few grand for the pro version. Its good though. You can output to PDF/VT and ppml which rally speeds up rip times. I tried fusion pro and did not like it at all. Too many font issues for my liking. Its nice to work in indesign with designmerge and it can even do step and repeat, cut and stack etc., with variables. Boss doesn’t seem to mind paying for it so i don’t care.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on May 04, 2021, 04:54:28 PM
looks like you can get a free version...

You can get a demo but nothing is free with designmerge. Been there done that.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on May 04, 2021, 05:10:50 PM
One thing i really like about designmerge is the ability to use master page variables. For example if you have 5 different letters being used on a criteria based on something like a segment code in the data file, you can set them up on 5 master pages. And within that master you can embed other variables like names etc. When you pay for the yearly fee you get great online support from experts really quickly. And believe me, most new users will need it.

Our version is actually branded as EngageIt by Konica Minolta and if you are going to buy or lease a Konica Minolta, you might be able to negotiate them throwing in in the deal for you.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on May 04, 2021, 05:17:59 PM
I am working on a catalogue and have a data merge to do. I have never done multiple records on a single page. I got the basics of it but am stuck where cells are not enlarging to fit the content in it when needed. I have 4 column by 4 rows. I have attached a screen shot of my setup. This gets repeated on the page sequentially. Now the issue is the content that would be in the bottom right box "designed by.." us the names do not all fit in the preset size. I could enlarge it but then there is a huge space and the majority do not need extra room. Is there a way for it to auto size to fit when needed?

Back to the original question, there is a very sophisticated copyfit module in designmerge but i have not used it. I just check longest lines and stuff in the variables and stuff and wing it.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: jwheeler on May 04, 2021, 05:45:46 PM
Thanks for the link, looks interesting but honestly and no offence to you, I hate when prices are not posted on their website and demos require you to request one. I should not have to go through a sales person just to see if it would even be in budget and worth while. And again no demo unless I request and then I am assuming a sales person gets a hold of me to try and get me to buy rather then letting me check it out and search on my own. If I have questions I would ask. My VDP needs are light, what I am dealing with now is the first time I have ever come across this so I am not going to go through all the hoops just to get a price and a demo. This is 2021, none of this should be necessary. I guess this is where this emoticon is used  :git off mah lawn:

No offense taken. I'm not a sales person for them - I work in a print shop myself. I just know it's a good product. I used to sell the production printing line of printers and software for Konica Minolta, and we sold DesignMerge under a relabeled name....customers always really liked it.

I agree that it's annoying when they don't post prices and require demos, but it's because there are optional modules and they want to make sure they can explain them clearly and you get the right setup. I think with software especially, they should be able to make short YouTube videos showing what each module does, and let people choose to buy it on their own, and request a demo if they need further explanation - but alas, they do not. Someone else mentioned FusionPro and they do the same thing of not displaying pricing on their site. They show the pricing for their base product, but if you click on the more advanced versions, they require you to see a demo first.

I can tell you for DesignMerge, the basic one-license version used to be about $1,000, and the more advanced Pro version started around $3,000 depending on which modules you get. Not sure what it is now.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on May 04, 2021, 07:07:30 PM
I can only say, if you are doing enough work to justify the cost, designmerge is a great tool with many tricks to get the job done.
Title: Re: Data merge help
Post by: DigiCorn on May 05, 2021, 12:54:29 AM
We used to merge to file, and then fix the offending records manually. Most of our data merges in-house were a few thousand records, and we typically merged <500 records at a time (trays usually max at 380 or so for USPS), so you'd only have to fix a couple out of the whole batch.

If you ever spend the <$1000 to get Fusion Pro, it will make that adjustment upon checking a box, and could be modified with a simple script adjustment.

Would fusion pro be used for a merge inside a catalogue? Not addressing or anything for mailing but a list of products sequentially over a span of pages? Pretty much all the variable I do is simple mailing which Indesign handles perfectly. I just get these unique cases every now and then and am left scrambling to figure it out on a deadline.
You *could* but it would depend on the number of pages, and quantity of books as to how much of a hassle you want to deal with. I did data merge newsletters of roughly 16 pages with variable data on just the OFC and OBC, and how I ran it depended on which shop. One shop had CWS, so I ran all the covers separately, and then used the Insert function to marry them to the rest of the book to fold and saddle stitch. At the other shop we had the Xerox with Freeform and I ran the whole book as a single file and told it to fold and stitch after every 6 pages (3 sigs). There were only a couple hundred of these books, so it was okay, but if it were bigger and a larger quantity, I don't know how you'd run it... but FusionPro does have built into the impo software a split options, so you could run the software and have it split every 100 books or so....

If you're using CWS, this might be a perfect use of the master page/imprint feature of the impo software option. That would allow you to upload the booklet as a single file and then upload the imprint file separately and marry them in the CWS. Cuts the processing time down to almost nothing, especially if it's a K imprint.