My Scope: to create a well designed Price List for our business and want to get the data from Excel (In vertical Columns). And when updating prices on this, they will update in illustator so I can save out a new PDF.
Problem: I know about the variable library in illustrator, however the only way this would work would be many many vairables, which is cool, but they work in a horizontal column based format, and I would rather not scroll through each variable and click the next data set button. We would have a few hundred products with prices so I'm looking at some form of automated system here, we update the CSV, updates the illustrator file. And our CSV is column orientated with column 1 for example is Product Title, column 2 is short description and column 3 is price.
I can see a couple of ways to do this without variables - depending on how much scripting work you want to do!
1. The easy way - if you don't update prices a lot. By reading a CSV you can re-draw the price list each time from a script. Silly-V has almost written the code you need on this topic: https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator/coloring-map-from-data-sheet-like-excel/td-p/8628353?page... You could tweak that code to create TextFrame objects rather than fill colours. Instead of `applyColorSettingsRow()` you'd just have a function that wrote the price data to the page. (Note that that script uses semi-colons not commas in the CSV)
2. The more complex way - if you update prices all the time. You can use a CEP panel to fetch live data from any web-connected source. So you could move your price list from Excel to something like Airtable or Google Sheets (Airtable is easier to integrate to), then with a button click in your Illustrator panel, you could pull the data down and re-draw the document.
I'd start with (1) as it's probably enough and if you want to go down the CEP panel route you'll be re-using the script from (1) anyway as the panel would be 'handing' the new data over to a regular script to re-draw the document.