I have used Data Merge in the past, but not for a while. I am trying to do a simple merge project, and could not get Merge to accept my data file. So I have worked backwards, with simpler and simpler files hand-edited in Notepad++, verifying that they only contain data, commas or tabs, and paragraph returns around one-word data... and ID is consistently telling me "this file has no records or is not a compatible type."
I've tried direct CSV and TXT exports from Excel, and hand-edited versions of both. I even found a file from a prior project a few years ago. Can't even get ID to open the Import Options menu on any of them.
Is 17.3/Win broken on merges? Could someone upload a simple test file they've validated?
I haven't gotten far enough to have any placeholders in the merge doc. It's a brand new, simple test doc waiting for the markers to be available for placement.
I have considerable experience with merges in multiple tools and fully understand the merge file requirements. I have worked through all the iterations of TXT, CSV, tabs, spaces, and pararaph returns. I get the same error on every attempt.
I don't have any older versions available and don't recall how many versions back I last tried a merge. Almost certainly 17-something.
ID will not open the file or the options menu, at all, on any work file or any of the data files I have created. Clicking on a file name brings up the above error.
I just did a data merge last night with Indesign 2021. I used a plain .txt file, tab-delimited.
It also needs a header row. @SIGN prefix for an image or ai file.
Attached is my validated txt file, it's just a dry run for a project.
And this opens, despite not having any image files at hand.
Okay, the problem is somehow with my merge files. At this point, having worked through all iterations, I can't imagine what...
In excel, save as a txt (tab-delimited file), then you can open it in TextEdit and add the @ for image, if required.
Yep, yep. It wasn't the actual merge and data but just getting ID to read the file, either for the import options pane or actual preview. Everything else is downstream. And it's now reading almost all of the test merge files I created to various models.
I closed and restarted ID a couple of times, just on general principles, and tried a few new and existing base files as well. Absolutely nothing would let me open a merge file.
But now it's fine; chalk it up to the angle of the gamma rays reflected from Venus, or something. 😛
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Just to tack one more useful point onto this topic, although the problem seems to have been a glitch with my system: If the data file is open in Excel or a text editor, InDesign will throw a file-access error. Obvious, but this occurs even if you "save" an Excel spreadsheet in CSV or TXT form—the app holds onto the saved-not-exported file and will block other app access.
Close the file or Excel before attempting to load it in ID.