Data Merge Image Paths

Advisor ,
Mar 23, 2011 Mar 23, 2011

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I'm using CS5 on Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6 at work (I'm at home now, so I can't be more specific at the moment), and experimenting with Data Merge. I place an image, and use the "copy full path" feature in the links manager and paste it into my spreadsheet. When I do the actual merge, it works (the image is imported with the merge) if the path leads to a folder on my hard drive, but not if the path leads to an external drive.

Does anyone know if the path that the links manager creates is the wrong syntax for using data merge? If so, is there some place where I can read the "rules" of how the text string should look?

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 29, 2011 Apr 29, 2011

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Aside from the path issue, if you're accessing images, text files and data from spreadsheets (11 folders, IIRC), you may want to look into dedicated data merge plug-ins from woodwing or em software.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 29, 2011 Apr 29, 2011

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This is totally off the wall, but what happens if you put a folder with aliases to the real images in the same folder with the .csv?

I don't know why you think it's totally off the wall! It seems totally reasonable.

I'd love to hear if anyone tried my suggestions earlier in the thread and whether they worked...or more details from the recent posters on exactly what paths they are trying that fail...

Symbolic links should certainly work. Whether aliases will work will depend on how InDesign reads the files...under Mac OS X, aliases are special files whose contents tells the reader what file to read instead. Whereas symbolic links are inplemented in the file system. So symlinks should always work without application support. Aliases not so much...

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2011 Apr 30, 2011

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For reasons unrelated to how effective DataMerge is or is not, I decided that it wouldn't really work for the project I was doing, so I haven't been experimenting with it for a while, but I got some free time tonight and thought I'd update you all.

I changed from using Links Manager>Copy Info>Copy Full Path to Links Manager>Copy Info>Copy Platform Style Path, and was able to gather images from my local drive, a network drive, and an external USB drive without any trouble. I'm not sure why I either didn't try it before, or maybe I did, but made a mistake. Either way, the trouble I was having that inspired me to start this thread is solved for me. Maybe anyone else trying should give Copy Platform Style Path a try and see if it works for you.

I still don't know how to delete the placeholders that are generated by DataMerge when encountering an empty field. They don't effect the layout or printing, but sometimes if you click in the text and select via shift and the arrow key (counting the characters as you go), you might select one of these placeholders instead of the character you really wanted, and that will throw you off. Also, I like to keep a clean layout, and something that doesn't do anything—regardless of how innocuous it is otherwise—is something I'd rather do without.

Anyway, cheers.

P.S., I couldn't remember my current log-in, but did remember a really old one, so I just wanted to clear up that I'm really Michael Gianino and not some other poster. You can call me Mig if you like (most do).

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Community Beginner ,
May 02, 2011 May 02, 2011

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Thanks for this. You know, I tried the "platform style" before and it did not work. Upon reading your posting this morning, I decided to try it again. Guess what? It worked. I must have been doing something else wrong before when I tried it. It is all good now. Thanks so much Michael. Call this one "solved" for me! -Rudy

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New Here ,
Jan 22, 2013 Jan 22, 2013

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Glad I found this post - it's been rather informative. Here's hoping you and others take a look at this post again.

I'm doing a very similar project and have the same trouble with file paths using various files on a network drive. I did try the Copy Platform Style Path, and pasted that into my csv file, but it didn't seem to work with DataMerge ("...one or more missing images..."). You and Rudy both say you tried it once with no luck and then it randomly worked the next time. Were there any changes to your files or their locations to make it work?

My template indd file and csv file are on the same network drive as all the images I'll be linking, so it seems odd to still have issues with file paths.

I'm on OS 10.5.8, using CS4.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 14, 2013 Aug 14, 2013

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Amy,

   For Network Data Merges, use Links Manager>Copy Info>Copy Full Path and replace the forward slashes "/" with colons ":". Remove the first forward slash before "Volumes".

For example, I was testing images located on a network drive "/Volumes/Data/Temp JUNK FILES/Pics/black.jpg". This was the path that was given to me via "Copy Full Path". Changing the file path to "Volumes:Data:Temp JUNK FILES:Pics:black.jpg" worked perfectly and all of the images came through via the Data Merge.

This should also work for external drives (USB/Firewire/etc) because Mac OS X mounts drives through "/Volumes" as a system path (Unix).

-matt

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2014 Dec 03, 2014

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Is not a URL problem, this not work because all images and datasource files needs to stay in the same folder.

Put aliases not works for me.

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New Here ,
Dec 30, 2014 Dec 30, 2014

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Has anyone experienced trouble with relative file paths since updating from CC to CC 2014?

We do class certificates with data merge, and pull in client logos and backgrounds. The template that I set up a few years ago has always worked, and still works in CC. But when using CC 2014, it fails to find both images. It works if I move the images to the same folder as the csv, but it can no longer find them when they are in their respective folders. We work on macs, and I have experimented with going back to the old form of using colons, dropping the "/" in front of the folder name, etc. Nothing seems to work.

Sample filepath: (under heading @Company Logo)

/Logos/acmeAnvils.png

-this exact path will work in CC, but not CC 2014.

-this exact file will work if I locate it next to the .csv, and change the file path accordingly (acmeAnvils.png)

-it's not practical not to use folders; we have soooo many client logos and backgrounds that keeping everything in the same directory would be a mess

-It's important to our workflow be able to use relative file paths.

Other versions of the filepath I have tried:

Logos/acmeAnvils.png

Logos:AcmeAnvils.png

:Logos:AcmeAnvils.png

Any ideas would be really appreciated!

Thank you!

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2015 Feb 02, 2015

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Yes!! It is so frustrating! I have to use my old version of InDesign (CS5) to do all my data merges that have images saved in multiple folders.

If anyone has any ideas see below for the image error message that I, and my whole art department staff, get in CC 2014.

I have read through this thread and tried all suggestions... Please help!!

########

Data Source File: Karns TV Template-Week 219.csv

Target Document: Top10TV - Small.indd

Report Generated: 2/2/15 9:22 AM

1) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Seafood:Salmon Fresh Chilean Fillets.jpg

2) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Meat-NEW:Pork Loin Whole Bone in Raw.jpg

3) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Meat-NEW:Chicken Leg Quarter-Raw on Cutting Board.jpg

4) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Meat-NEW:New-York-Strip-Steak-USDA.psd

5) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Meat-NEW:Pork Chops Center Cut Rib.jpg

6) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Deli-NEW:Roast Beef Sandwich.eps

7) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Produce-Veggies:Apples-Variety.jpg

8) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Beverages:Nestle Pure Life Water 24 count 16.9 oz 6827493471.eps

9) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Dairy:Sargento Shredded Cheese Mozzarella 8 oz.eps

10) Volumes:ArtClients:GROCERY STORE SIGNAGE::-Grocery Photos:Baking Goods:Essential Everyday Pure Granulated Sugar 4 Lbs 4130301545.eps

##########

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New Here ,
Apr 27, 2015 Apr 27, 2015

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Great news! It seems to be resolved. I don't know which update, but we just (accidentally) tried CC 2014 again, and it works now.

Thanks, whoever fixed this!

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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OK I have a real answer to this long asked question. It took me a couple of hours of playing around with different options but I got it to work on Mojave OS and using InDesign CC 2019. We keep all of our files on a NAS and nothing local. Indesign file can live anywhere on your server.

Example of the file path where we have our images saved is as follows:

/Volumes/Marketing/KLS/ARTWORK/Custom_Marketing_Tool/test/Image001.jpg

You can save your tab delimited text file (your data file) in this directory: this is just an example, you will need to replace the names of folders with your own but look at the path compared to the path above.

/Volumes/Marketing/KLS/ARTWORK/Custom_Marketing_Tool/

Then in your tab delimited text file in the @Photos column, the only part of the directory you need is:

test/Image001.jpg

Note that I am using forward slashes and not colons.

Then everything works beautifully. It only needs the path to the image relative to where your data file lives.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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Hi TeamDLS ,

yes. Good point!

The position of the CSV file ( or the tab delimited text file ) in the file system could be the starting point for the path.

InDesign's data merge will find the images in this case. No need to include the whole path information.

However, I see that on Windows the syntax of the data source is like the list below where a starting slash is necessary that is indicating the folder where the data source file is saved:

@images

/Folder-1/Folder-2/imagename-1.jpg

/Folder-3/Folder-4/Folder-5/imagename-2.jpg

/imagename-3.jpg

The data source file must be in the root folder that comes just before e.g. Folder-1 or Folder 3:

datasource.txt/Folder-1/Folder-2/imagename-1.jpg

Note: /imagename-3.jpg is in the same folder with the datasource.txt file.

It's not of interest where the template InDesign document for the merge is positioned.

It could be everywhere in the file system.

Regards,
Uwe

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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However, I see that on Windows the syntax of the data source is like the list below where a starting slash is necessary that is indicating the folder where the data source file is saved:

@images

/Folder-1/Folder-2/imagename-1.jpg

/Folder-3/Folder-4/Folder-5/imagename-2.jpg

/imagename-3.jpg

For us, if we are using a windows machine, we would need to use \ instead of /

So it would actually look like this:

@images

\Folder-1\Folder-2\imagename-1.jpg

\Folder-3\Folder-4\Folder-5\imagename-2.jpg

\imagename-3.jpg

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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Hi TeamDLS ,

just tested the forward slashes with a tab delimited text file on Windows 10.

No issues found. With all InDesign versions I installed: CS6 to CC 2019.1.

Regards,
Uwe

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New Here ,
May 07, 2022 May 07, 2022

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LATEST

on Mac OS 12.3.1 using InDesign 17.2.1 on creative cloud.  I finally got this to work after struggling for hours. 

I was able to get it to recognize the images that are in a folder in the same directory as the data file using a period and then a colon. So my path looks like this:

 

.:IMAGES:SET01:image-01.tif

 

this works on desktop, or documents, or shared google drive.  it looks like this:

 

SHARED GOOGLE DRIVE/PROJECT FOLDER/data-file.txt

SHARED GOOGLE DRIVE/PROJECT FOLDER/IMAGES/SET01/image-01.tif

 

hope this helps someone. I've been on a million help articles.

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