Data Merge Problem InDesign CS5

New Here ,
Feb 25, 2011 Feb 25, 2011

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I'm working on a Data Merge file and it keeps saying when I choose the data source, "The selected data source has one or more empty field names. Please fix the file or select another file."

I can't seem to see any blank fields in the excel file. I did save it as a .csv. I've never had this problem in the past. Any advice would be appreciated!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Feb 28, 2011 Feb 28, 2011

I've run into this, and the culprit was some extra text down in one of the columns to the right of my data. Try selecting only your data columns, pasting them into an empy excel sheet, and exporting from the new sheet.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 25, 2011 Feb 25, 2011

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It sounds like perhaps you forgot to add the names for the fields in the very first row.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 28, 2011 Feb 28, 2011

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I've run into this, and the culprit was some extra text down in one of the columns to the right of my data. Try selecting only your data columns, pasting them into an empy excel sheet, and exporting from the new sheet.

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New Here ,
Mar 15, 2011 Mar 15, 2011

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I kept running into this problem while trying to merge business card data from an Excel spreadsheet i had saved as a .txt file. The client had sent the city, state ZIP info in one field that i named "City" but some of the entries, for some reason, had split cells that did not show up until i added borders to the spreadsheet. then i could see which cells were split into columns that did not contain headings. i merged those fields all into the column "city" and finally my InDesign merge worked. Hope that helps.

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New Here ,
Aug 06, 2014 Aug 06, 2014

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I've come across this problem frequently when opening up a .csv file in InDesign to use data merge. You must have a heading in each column that you have text in the excel file.

ex: Line 1 cell A would be "name", cell B would be "address", and so on.

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New Here ,
Oct 09, 2014 Oct 09, 2014

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Encountered this same problem with an Excel file when I was saving two separate CSV's from the same worksheet. One worked fine, the second didn't. Finally succeeded in fixing the second CSV by using SRiegel's suggestion from above, copying and pasting only the data columns into a new worksheet. Thanks for the tip!

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New Here ,
Dec 12, 2018 Dec 12, 2018

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SJRiegel's solution worked for me. Thanks.

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New Here ,
Feb 26, 2019 Feb 26, 2019

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Just had this problem, I was seriously stumped. I went back and edited almost everything I could think of  in the spreadsheet and was still getting a message that same message, even though nothing was missing. When I copy & pasted, I realized that somehow my column labeled E had been deleted, and my spreadsheet went from column D to column F. I can only guess that it was reading column E as empty. Hopefully this will help some one else! Also, the copy & paste did ultimately solve my problem so thank you SJRiegel

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New Here ,
Aug 15, 2022 Aug 15, 2022

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These answers were so perfect! Unfortunately, I still could not get my titles to work, although I dinked with them for quite some time.  I finally figured out that several of my columns started with a "#". I tried turning the titles all to 'text' but it did not help. I finally thought to remove the # symbol and it worked perfectly. (Facepalm) Thanks all for your other suggestions - they were great!

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