Data Merge with Multiple Records Per Page - Repetition of Mostly One Record

New Here ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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I have spent about half a day trying to Data Merge about 300 custom donation slips, 3 to a page. Everything looks great in the preview, but when I create the merged document, it repeats just one person's information (usually from line 5), with a couple of other people sprinkled in on the second page. While the person who gets repeated has changed once during my various attempts, I can't tell what is going on or how to fix it. Things I've tried:

 

  • Copying everything into a new document and merging without previewing (attempted multiple times), which has worked for others on here who've had similar questions
  • Making multiple versions of the data source file (tab-delimited .txt, Unicode .txt, CSV that's never accepted by InDesign, deleting most lines, deleting most unnecessary columns, including a version with fake addresses
  • Restarted InDesign (multiple times) and my computer
  • Exported my original .INDD file to .IDML (multiple times overall, only once for this problem)
  • I updated to the latest version of InDesign while trying to resolve other issues earlier the Data Merge process

 

About

Merging content: numbers in one text box and name/address in another text box

Data source: tab-delimited .txt file, exported from Excel and edited in Notepad/Notepad++, with no errors that I can find. I've shrunk this file to about 20 lines and deleted columns that the merge doesn't require, but that doesn't make a difference. A CSV version won't work at all.

Current InDesign version: 17.2.1

Computer: Dell XPS 15 running Windows 10, SSD that's about 85% full

 

Attached are a badly-merged PDF (notice that the 4th slip's address combines the repeating record and the real one), a dummy address file, and a screenshot of the pre-merging file. (Note: I removed a couple of text boxes from the master page to reduce clutter.)

 

Thank you for your help!

 

P.S. I was about to post this and then found something that works with my dummy file: export to IDML, then copy everything from the IDML into a new document, then create a merged document without previewing. But is there anything easier/simpler out there? Thank you.

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Bug , Performance

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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Data Merge is notoriously buggie when using preview. The best advice is to not use preview at all -- just run the merge, but if you feel you must preview, thebest bet is to Undo immediately before running the merge.

Further bad news is that in my experience a template file damaged by running preview cannot be used again, so y9ou will need to copy all of your fields into a new template file.

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New Here ,
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

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Thank you. Currently, those steps are not working. I exported to IDML, pasted everything from the IDML file into a new document, attached the data source/created the document without previewing, and still got a bad result. I did this yesterday and today with 3 sets of data (field names remaining the same; I didn't touch those). Can anyone help? Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

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Can you share the Indesign file you are using for merge? It is easier to diagnose by examining the file that is having the issue.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

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I probably should not have said copy the fields. I meant re-create them in a new file.

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