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Looking for course Indesign / Excel automation

Explorer ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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Hi!

 

I'm used to working with InDesign, but have never tried to import from Excel etc. Now, I'm looking to find a decent (preferably recent) course to learn how to automate InDesign/Excel, in order to make catalogues, price lists, etc... (With still a good looking design according to a specific brand style!)

 

Anyone any tips? Thanks a bunch!

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Explorer , Jan 30, 2023 Jan 30, 2023

Hey Steve,

 

Thanks for that, however I don't think using anything in pdf will help... It would be to make a catalogue of products, for example, with all the technical info coming from an excel file. So I'd want to make a good looking layout, where I don't have to type out all the technical specs of all the products in order to delete the 'human error' part... Also meaning, I guess, that if afterwards they make changes to that Excel file, it might be updated automatically in indesign too? Not sure

...

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Community Expert ,
Jan 28, 2023 Jan 28, 2023

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Hi,

You have 2 Approches here:

  1. Import Excel file : that means you end up with a table that runs on 1 or multiple pages, you can set the format using Table style that contains cell styles that contain Character and Pragraph style to 'automate' your formatting.
  2. For a more 'stylish' approach you can use a Data Merge (Window menu > Utilities > Data Merge) which operates like a Mail Merge in Word. You export the data as CSV, connect the CSV to the Data Merge window to display the column headers names <<Name>>. Then, design and format text frames to create the layout of each entry (row in Excel), drag-drop each <<Name>> in the correct place, then Preview/Create the Merge. More at Merge data to create form letters, envelopes, or mailing labels in Adobe InDesign

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Community Expert ,
Jan 28, 2023 Jan 28, 2023

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I agree with Eric. He explained and gave links on the Data Merge approach.

 

More commonly, you would use the File > Place command to import the Excel spreadsheet data. I know of no courses on the method, but if you do a Google search on "indesign import excel spreadsheet," you'll see several tutorials and links.

 

However, that will not import Excel charts. If you needed to do that, here's a suggestion from David Blatner, who has written many books about InDesign:

  • Try getting a PDF out of the program. Typically, you can do this via the Print dialog box. If you have Acrobat Pro, you can print to the “Acrobat PDF” printer.
  • If the PDF doesn’t work for some reason, then try opening that PDF file in Illustrator, tweaking it as necessary, and then saving as AI or PDF again.
  • If that isn’t working for some reason, then open the PDF in Photoshop. However, this will definitely rasterize the artwork (turn it into pixels), which may or may not be okay, depending on the image/text.

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Explorer ,
Jan 30, 2023 Jan 30, 2023

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Hey Steve,

 

Thanks for that, however I don't think using anything in pdf will help... It would be to make a catalogue of products, for example, with all the technical info coming from an excel file. So I'd want to make a good looking layout, where I don't have to type out all the technical specs of all the products in order to delete the 'human error' part... Also meaning, I guess, that if afterwards they make changes to that Excel file, it might be updated automatically in indesign too? Not sure if that's possible? But that's why I thought maybe a whole course would help: that way I'd know I haven't missed out on anything. YouTube is always a good way to go, but only when you know what to look for and/or what's possible.

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Explorer ,
Jan 30, 2023 Jan 30, 2023

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Hi Eric,

 

Thanks for the tip, yes Data Merge is of course the right name for it. I was just hoping there was an actual course on this, as YouTube always gives you small snippets of everything that's possible... As a course doesn't seem to exist (?), I guess you're right, I should just google en look at YouTube videos... Maybe a good idea for someone to make such a course though!

 

Thanks!

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