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InDesign Data Merge duplicating data and in wrong order

New Here ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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Hi all

I am trying to use data merge to populate weekly planner pages (dates from an excel sheet saved as .txt).

I have all the dates on a new row of the spreadsheet starting from 27 December 2021 to 31 December 2022.

I want 7 days to a page in InDesign. Every time I merge the document with 'multiple records', it either keeps one record per page (repeats the same date 7 times per page), or it does 30 December, 30 December, 29 December, Decemner, 28 December, 28 December, 27 December, then repeats that on every page. 

This is driving me crazy!

Any ideas as to what I'm doing wrong?

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Adobe Community Professional , Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021
I'm not yet on version 17 (I'll wait for the first bug patch, at least), so I tried opeing your files using the online converter, which was only partly successful. The first file opened, but the text frames are all stacked, and the merged file wouldn't open at all. Also, your text file link goes to the same .xlsx file, so I made my own .txt copy. I'm not really able from what I have to see completey what the file looks like, but I have some thoughts. First, on the Parent (old term Master) page...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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Version of Indesign? OS?
Are you previewing the merge before you run it? If so your file is likely corrupt (long standing bug) and the only way I know to fix things is to create a new file and run your merge either without a preview or after you "undo" immediately after you preview.

 

If you are not previewing I think we'll probably need to see your data file...

 

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New Here ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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Hi Peter,

I'm running the latest version of InDesign V 17.0 and I'm on windows 11.

Yeah I did a preview of the merge. Okay I'll try starting again and not previewing it.

Thanks for your help.

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New Here ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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Hi Peter

Sorry, I had replied about 5 hours ago but for some reason the reply didn't publish.

I tried starting again on a new document and the same thing happened again.

Here are the links to my files - hopefully you can see something I can't.

 

Indd file: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AimGyprKrdLGgfRCRA6YWIaNtqxSyQ?e=Hq6j3R 

Indd merge file: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AimGyprKrdLGgfRDcB2twI626ZASPA?e=vYhwhr 

xlsx file: https://1drv.ms/x/s!AimGyprKrdLGgbptSflAyXCzfRTxvQ?e=bPECWF

txt file: https://1drv.ms/x/s!AimGyprKrdLGgbptSflAyXCzfRTxvQ?e=bPECWF 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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I'm not yet on version 17 (I'll wait for the first bug patch, at least), so I tried opeing your files using the online converter, which was only partly successful. The first file opened, but the text frames are all stacked, and the merged file wouldn't open at all. Also, your text file link goes to the same .xlsx file, so I made my own .txt copy.

 

I'm not really able from what I have to see completey what the file looks like, but I have some thoughts.

First, on the Parent (old term Master) pages, don't re-use the same letter in your prefixes. This might not be a technical problem, but it certainly causes confusion in the pages panel in figuring out which one is assigned to each document page.

Second, if the file I was able to open (2022 Template - weekly pages V2.indd) is in fact the template and not a merged file, I don't think you've really grasped how Data Merge works. Essentially, a template file consists of a single page or set of pages to hold your placeholder fields, and all of the pages in your merged document are going to be copies of this. Every page in the template is going to be reproduced the number of times it takes to use all of the records in the data file. It's not sophisticated, and probably not suitable for creating your planner from the Exel file you provided.

A multiple records per page merge will add the data from as many rows in your data source as will fit on the page according to the spacing you set up in the merge options (and you would use only one place holder frame in the upper left position). This is probably not suitable for populating a calendar.

A single record merge could possibly work IF you set up the data file with seven fields to hold the days of the week on each line so that each record is an entire week rather than a single day. I suspect you'd want to set up individual data files for each month, as well, or at least do 12 merges specifying the record range to cover each individual month in the data file, and then combine the individual month documents after the merge. You will not be creating all of the types of pages for the planner in one file.

Frankly, setting up the data file may be as much work as manually creating a calendar would be, and I think that ID's Data Merge just isn't the tool for what you want to do unless it's to prove you can do it. I think you may find someone has created a calendar script on Adobe Exchange that would probably be a better method.

 

I'm sorry this is so pessimistic. My day today is pretty fully booked, but I can probably help more later in the week if you want to pursue data merge, or maybe one of our other responders can step in. I think a scren capturre of what your layout looks like might help, too.

 

 

 

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New Here ,
Nov 12, 2021 Nov 12, 2021

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Hi Peter

Sorry it took me so long to reply - I've had a hectic week too.

I tried the above and it worked! I created 7 new columns in my spreadsheet - one for each day - and did the single record merge.

 

Thank you very much for your help!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Here's another approach that might work with your current data file and parent pages, with a bit of modification...

 

Since your data is already in columns you could save the individual columns as separate files, remove the header row, and save as .txt. Define a style with keep options set to start in next frame and those text files can be placed just like any other into a set of threaded text frames, one row per frame. You would need to replace the tables with grids of individual threaded text frames.

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