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nhamze
Nov 18, 2006, 06:52 PM
Does anyone know a low cost solution for this I have a excel database of about 1000 names that I send mailings out to and I would like to do it via variable data printing. My cousin owns a printshop and does it with quark and an xtension but that xtension only works with his indigo. I wanted something that works on a regular laser printer.


Thanks
Nick



CanadaRAM
Nov 18, 2006, 07:09 PM
Mail Merge in Word.

Check the Help file for instructions.

decksnap
Nov 18, 2006, 07:09 PM
Printing on the Indigo is probably the way to go for variable data, and some of the best digital printing you can get anyway.

zelmo
Nov 18, 2006, 07:11 PM
Printing on the Indigo is probably the way to go for variable data, and some of the best digital printing you can get anyway.

I've got two Kodak NexPress 2500's that would give that Indigo a run for it.:D

Seriously, though, you can't go wrong with an Indigo, iGen3, or NexPress.
But if you want something low-end, do what the 'RAM says.;)

Snark
Nov 19, 2006, 11:15 AM
Mail Merge in Word.

Check the Help file for instructions.
From there, I'd print the resulting file to a PDF and then take it to a print/copy shop with a high speed black and white digital copier like a Canon ir7095 (there are color models as well, if that's what you need). Should be fast, relatively cheap, good quality and save a lot of wear and tear on your desktop laser printer.

Snark

mymacluvsme
Jul 22, 2008, 01:41 PM
I work at a printing company in the mail dept (we're the only ones in the company that use windoze). We are currently in the planning stage of upgrading to digital printing for the purpose of short-run jobs and personalized bulk mail using variable data. We will probably get either an Indigo or a Nexpress.

What software could I use?

jdl8422
Jul 22, 2008, 02:28 PM
The company I work for does variable printing all the time. We usually print mailers from 11x17 to 18x22 on the web press then feed them into the iGen. I'm assuming most variable printing is the same, but on ours you have to use black text on 12% or less background. Also the print head is only 9in wide so that may limit you. I know our minimum run is around 50,000. If you need any further help just email me or pm me.

Jim Campbell
Jul 22, 2008, 03:34 PM
Does anyone know a low cost solution for this I have a excel database of about 1000 names that I send mailings out to and I would like to do it via variable data printing. My cousin owns a printshop and does it with quark and an xtension but that xtension only works with his indigo. I wanted something that works on a regular laser printer.


Am I the only person who thought of Filemaker when reading this? FMP should import the Excel data and you can create any number of layouts to accommodate different letter templates ...

Cheers

Jim

Sdashiki
Oct 15, 2008, 10:10 AM
This has come up on a project of late...

And I use InDesign.

I figure that there must be a built in way to connect an Excel database file to an InDesign document in a way to do this variable data printing.

From what I can see, its not built in and requires $$$ plugins.

Anyone else use ID and VDP?

Toppa G's
Oct 15, 2008, 10:48 AM
This has come up on a project of late...

And I use InDesign.

I figure that there must be a built in way to connect an Excel database file to an InDesign document in a way to do this variable data printing.

From what I can see, its not built in and requires $$$ plugins.

Anyone else use ID and VDP?

I use FusionPro (http://www.printable.com/FusionProDesktop/) for VDP work. It's a solid VDP option and isn't too expensive at $599. Most of it's functionality is through Acrobat, though you can specify variable fields in InDesign. It's pretty straightforward to set up a simple VDP piece, yet it allows for complexity via JavaScript rules.

Another product I've used is Print Shop Mail - it's a standalone software that uses PDF files for static backgrounds. It seems more restrictive than FusionPro, and is more expensive ($1000+)

Sdashiki
Oct 15, 2008, 11:05 AM
Ouch, and all I want is a simple mail merge built into ID.

Seems my printer (shop not device) does this themselves at their end, just mark up the text boxes and excel file correctly. :cool:

Toppa G's
Oct 15, 2008, 11:33 AM
Seems my printer (shop not device) does this themselves at their end, just mark up the text boxes and excel file correctly. :cool:

Most print shops using digital print equipment should have the capability to handle the VDP - it has become one of the value-added services printers are getting into as selling only ink on paper is increasingly difficult and low-margin.

flrazor
Oct 17, 2008, 12:09 PM
This has come up on a project of late...

And I use InDesign.

I figure that there must be a built in way to connect an Excel database file to an InDesign document in a way to do this variable data printing.

From what I can see, its not built in and requires $$$ plugins.

Anyone else use ID and VDP?

InDesign does have built-in VDP/Data Merge support, at least I know CS3 does and I've used it (recently) to merge a mailing list for personalized mailing labels for a corporate job.

You'll need to save your Excel file (with column headers) in CSV format in Excel's Save As dialog for InDesign to read it. Open your ID document, then go to Window > Automation > Data Merge. It outlines the three steps you need to do in order to make the merge work:

1. On the palette options menu (upper right) select Choose Data Source and navigate to your CSV file and open it.

2. Drag the field name into your document's text where you want it to be placed and format accordingly. Use the palette's preview to see the merge data for each record and correct formatting as needed.

3. Click the Create Merged Document button in the lower right of the palette, answer some questions about your target document, then click Ok and ID will create a new document with your data merged into the document as you requested. Since it creates a new file, don't save over your original layout so you can reflow the info or adjust the layout if needed without having to do it over and over in your new document.

Check the Help for more information on getting set up and for figuring some of the finer points out. I was able to do this in about 30 minutes from not knowing ID had this capability built in. :)

helsinkilegend
Oct 22, 2008, 08:32 AM
InDesign does have built-in VDP/Data Merge support, at least I know CS3 does and I've used it (recently) to merge a mailing list for personalized mailing labels for a corporate job.

You'll need to save your Excel file (with column headers) in CSV format in Excel's Save As dialog for InDesign to read it. Open your ID document, then go to Window > Automation > Data Merge. It outlines the three steps you need to do in order to make the merge work:

1. On the palette options menu (upper right) select Choose Data Source and navigate to your CSV file and open it.

2. Drag the field name into your document's text where you want it to be placed and format accordingly. Use the palette's preview to see the merge data for each record and correct formatting as needed.

3. Click the Create Merged Document button in the lower right of the palette, answer some questions about your target document, then click Ok and ID will create a new document with your data merged into the document as you requested. Since it creates a new file, don't save over your original layout so you can reflow the info or adjust the layout if needed without having to do it over and over in your new document.

Check the Help for more information on getting set up and for figuring some of the finer points out. I was able to do this in about 30 minutes from not knowing ID had this capability built in. :)


Thanks for this advice about creating variable data printing. I am close to completing my goals but stumbling at the last hurdle!

Name;Company;Address;Address 2;City;
Postal Code;Country;;>>

this is how my data looks and no matter what i try to do to correct the format it still prints this way.....what am i doing wrong or what do i need to do? is this a problem with the excel document or with my settings in indesign?? please help!

flrazor
Oct 22, 2008, 09:59 PM
Thanks for this advice about creating variable data printing. I am close to completing my goals but stumbling at the last hurdle!

Name;Company;Address;Address 2;City;
Postal Code;Country;;>>

this is how my data looks and no matter what i try to do to correct the format it still prints this way.....what am i doing wrong or what do i need to do? is this a problem with the excel document or with my settings in indesign?? please help!

The first thing I'm seeing is semicolons used between data fields, is that your CSV file that is giving you those, or is that from your InDesign document? Sorry I didn't specify earlier, but the CSV file (if you have a choice of formats) should be CSV-Comma Delimited.

The CSV file (if you open it in TextEdit) should look like this:
Name,Company,Address,Address 2,City,Postal Code,Country

Followed by each entry formatted the same way. (Excel does this for you when you Save As)

Otherwise, if that's how your info is listed in InDesign, you need to have a << at the front and a >> at the end of each different variable name. Dragging the variable from the data merge window into your document should place the variable for you pre-formatted.

If your CSV file is correct and your variables are entered right, then please share your steps so I might be of more assistance to your specific issue.

helsinkilegend
Oct 23, 2008, 02:11 AM
The first thing I'm seeing is semicolons used between data fields, is that your CSV file that is giving you those, or is that from your InDesign document? Sorry I didn't specify earlier, but the CSV file (if you have a choice of formats) should be CSV-Comma Delimited.

The CSV file (if you open it in TextEdit) should look like this:
Name,Company,Address,Address 2,City,Postal Code,Country

Followed by each entry formatted the same way. (Excel does this for you when you Save As)

Otherwise, if that's how your info is listed in InDesign, you need to have a << at the front and a >> at the end of each different variable name. Dragging the variable from the data merge window into your document should place the variable for you pre-formatted.

If your CSV file is correct and your variables are entered right, then please share your steps so I might be of more assistance to your specific issue.


I was given a excel spreadsheet from a client that had the title, name, address fields correctly placed in line one. Then i saved it as a CSV (comma delimited) file. Went into in design and imported the text using the dat merge palette and 'select data source'. This was the text that was placed into my text box when i dragged the data file from that data merge palette. As far as i know i made all the right steps but have no idea how to format the text. I cannot edit the text while i'm in the data merge tab, but when i select the script tab (from the data merge palette) i can format the text as i like. However, when i select preview or merge data it changes back to the text in my last message with the semicolons!

any help would be welcome! thanks

flrazor
Oct 23, 2008, 11:27 AM
I was given a excel spreadsheet from a client that had the title, name, address fields correctly placed in line one. Then i saved it as a CSV (comma delimited) file. Went into in design and imported the text using the dat merge palette and 'select data source'. This was the text that was placed into my text box when i dragged the data file from that data merge palette. As far as i know i made all the right steps but have no idea how to format the text. I cannot edit the text while i'm in the data merge tab, but when i select the script tab (from the data merge palette) i can format the text as i like. However, when i select preview or merge data it changes back to the text in my last message with the semicolons!

any help would be welcome! thanks

The thing that I'm concerned about from your message is not being able to edit the text when the data merge tab is up. You still should be able to use your tools and edit when a palette is being used. I'm worried that might be something wrong with the software, but maybe Adobe might have some more insight if it's a software issue. I have not seen this in any data merge I have done and your steps are all correct aside from not being able to edit things.

Before you Preview, does your mailing block look something like this (or whatever line order you prefer)?

<<Name>>
<<Company>>
<<Address>>
<<Address 2>>
<<City>>, <<State>> <<Zip>>

There might be an option in one of the menus for the data merge that might be on or off that is causing a problem. On the option for the Data Merge palette, go through the Content Placement Options window. The setting will be different for every document, but one thing I saw in mine when I first started was by default it had a merge limit of 50 per document that I turned off.