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Data Merge Issues with Images

Explorer ,
Nov 12, 2023 Nov 12, 2023

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Hey everyone, 
I have been developing a merge process using Excel. With the text, it's gone smoothly, but I'm having trouble getting Excel to recognize the images. It won't find the correct image path.

 

"One or more images referenced by the data source file are missing. Click Continue to create the merged document without the missing images, or click Cancel to return to the target document without merging."

 

I'm using the latest versions of macOS, Indesign, and Excel.

 

The fields are mapped correctly, and I suspect it has something to with the file path of the images. The way that I found the file path was to option right click which allows the file to be copied as a pathway. I've experimented placing the files in a different location central to the InDesign file itself and changing the pathways based off of this option, but i get the same problem.

 

I'm using a .txt file for the data merge. It doesn't seem like InDesign will recognize a csv or direct Excel file. 

 

I'm thinking there must be something obvious I'm missing?

 

thanks for any help!

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How to , Import and export

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2023 Nov 12, 2023

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Well, there are a few ways this could go off the rails. First off, when you are selecting your Data Source, there is an Import Options checkbox. There you can select the type of data source file you'd need to use. This is important because some characters that appear in your file path may not be supported by your data source format. You should be able to test a variety of formats, including .csv, by use of that Import Options check box. 

 

When I am having file path problems like this, I try to make sure that my path is

 

A) very short, and 

B) is comprised only of letters. 

 

B is an odd one, as most operating systems these days can handle spaces and punctuation and non-Latin-script glyphs without issue... But not all data merge file types do. So, a single Cyrillic character, or a question mark, in your file path can derail your merge. 

 

If, after trying out the advice above, you still can't merge your images, I would suggest that you post a link to a zip with a  small example file, a few sample images, and a sample data merge source. Then we can try to recreate your issue on our own, and may be able to help you figure out where the hitch is in your workflow. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2023 Nov 12, 2023

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On the Mac, data merge paths need to use colons ":" instead of "/"

e.g.: Volume:Folder:Folder:graphic.jpg as opposed to Volume/Folder/Folder/graphic.jpg

Use "Copy Platform Style Path" instead.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 13, 2023 Nov 13, 2023

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If the links to the images are scattered throughout a hard drive or network drive, this will obviously complicate matters. I try to add my links to the same folder as the directory that the .txt file will be in, that way there isn't a need for full file paths.

There is also additional syntax if using this solution which are used for one folder out or one folder in - I've written this syntax over on my blog along with images to assist: https://colecandoo.com/2021/03/29/data-merge-did-you-know-part-two/

If the answer wasn't in my post, perhaps it might be on my blog at colecandoo!

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