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Data Merge file format?

Community Expert ,
Jun 25, 2024 Jun 25, 2024

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Okay, so I decided to do a little experimenting with data merge, since I don't remember the last time I used the ID version.

 

I have just spent an hour trying to craft a data file that Data Merge will recognize, and despite all efforts, using Excel to create a sample sequence file and typing in a few simple ones in Notepad++, and trying both .csv (with comma separators) and .txt (using tabs)... I get the "source file you have selected either has no records or is not a supported format" error.

 

I've done CSV etc. data work. I understand the format and delimiters and so forth. I am checking everying I can think of. Why would ID (19.4, Win11) refuse to see any of these files as valid data?


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Community Expert ,
Jun 25, 2024 Jun 25, 2024

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Did you put field names in the first row?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 25, 2024 Jun 25, 2024

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Yep. Here's one simple file, typed in Notepad++—

 

[names.csv]

 

 

Name,Number
Fred,1
Joe,2
Frank,3
Bob,4
Jim,0

 

 

—which refused to work, even after conversion to tabs and .txt filename.

 

My starting file was a 10,000-entry numbers file generated in Excel (messing with that QR code request in another post):

JamesGiffordNitroPress_0-1719342689780.png

—saved first as .csv—

 

 

Numbers
00001
00002
00003
00004
00005
00006
00007
00008
00009
00010
[...]

 

 

—and renamed as .txt, just to check.

 

Both of which work, now, for reasons that absolutely elude me. Other than that I may have had the .csv file open in Excel, which produces a different error, I am getting completely different results from exactly the same steps (repeated with care multiple times). This stuff drives me crazy and I understand bewildered newcomers' problems a lot better as a result.

 

I still don't understand what's wrong with the first file.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Expert ,
Jun 25, 2024 Jun 25, 2024

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Might be the encoding?

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 25, 2024 Jun 25, 2024

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It's just plain ASCII from an ASCII text editor. The two working files were edited after Excel export and still work fine. I don't work with multiple languages etc. and can't think of a time I've ever had an encoding issue with my standard set of tools.

 

But I'm where I need to be (==where I thought I'd be five minutes into this experiment), so... all good, I guess.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Expert ,
Jun 25, 2024 Jun 25, 2024

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LATEST
quote

Might be the encoding?

 

By @Peter Spier

 

Line separator. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 25, 2024 Jun 25, 2024

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As Peter notes, the field names have to be in the first row.  Can you post a sample file so we can take a look here?

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