I have taken on a project that was already in place, essentially it is a range of 4 price lists which equate to a PDF Printed Guide Product handbook.
Each page has a table of product codes and tech detail along with a LIST PRICE column. There is no automation on this and from my understanding the person involved with this in the past would go into each individual cell and update the price manually, which has lead to some human error in the past.
What I was wondering, is there any way to take the date from the current price list and create some automation into excel to allow for future updates and the current one I am working on to be completed quickly without errors.
Thanks in advance
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It takes a little lovin', but you can set up links to Excel spreadsheets that will make your periodic updating much easier.
InDesign's help files will walk you through the process, but this link from Redokun — provided as a public service, no purchase necessary — explains it as clearly and as simply as anything I've found up to this point.
Like any automation process, it takes significant extra work to do it right the first time. You want to experiment and test this independently of any document production process you currently have. But once you've got things the way you want them, like will be much easier — and production will be much faster — for each subsequent production cycle.
A couple of things to remember:
Thing One: Your live link updates in real time. If you need to keep an archive of your periodic reports/documents, you want to work from a template to populate/create each iteration, then unlink the table for your InDesign document as you finish each issue of your report/document. Save separate issues for your archives and always create a fresh report/document from the template. Never reuse a previous issue. I've taught two clients how to do this who forgot to take this critical step and obliterated their previous records each time they re-opened their archived documents. With adequate backups, remedial fixes could be made in both instances. Expensively. Without those backups, they'd have been flat out of luck.
Thing Two: Formatting of your InDesign tables is critical. Not just for streamlining/automating initial production, but for accounting for additions/deletions as well as changes you import from your Excel spreadsheet(s). This is not a set and forget process, but doing it correctly will make dealing with rolling changes easy with a minimum of muss and fuss.
Hope this helps,
Randy thanks so much, this was just what I needed, I have now got the tables saved on a excel document with individual tabs and it works perfectly.
With regards to the formatting of the tables, how do I go about this, we have specific colours we use on the price lists (Pantone - Coroporate colours) I have set this up in Excel but when linking to the indesign file it strips this out and formats it using a different font and no colours. I am probably just missing a step.
If you'll allow me to say this, please don't take it on yourself. It's not so much that you're missing a step as it is that you haven't signed on to a general philosophy: Massage your content in the native format you want to place, but do your formatting and styling within InDesign.
MS Excel has all kinds of formatting tools to make spreadsheets appear clearly onscreen and print out attractively for presentation. As you've discovered, that formatting doesn't come across cleanly into InDesign, for a number of reasons. Fortunately, InDesign also has strong, comprehensive tools for formatting tables, and powerful capabilities to save and apply table styles to you can quickly and efficiently re-apply your preferred styling attributes anywhere within InDesign where you need them.
You can learn a lot more about formatting tables within InDesign through this link, and how to create and apply cell and table styles through this one. It'll take a little fiddling and experimenting, but with some practice you'll easily be able to arrange it to be the way you want it, then be able to apply it anywhere you want it.
Pantone color, though, is a bit of a sticky wicket. Or more precisely, is about to be. Adobe at the moment has several Pantone color libraries incorporated in its Creative Cloud applications, ready at your command. That's about to change, as Pantone is updating its own free and paid plug-in offerings for Creative Cloud and Adobe will soon get rid of its built-in Pantone tables.
So I'd suggest if you want to specify your corporate Pantone colors in your documents, you want to do it now. Since the easiest way to define your table and cell styles is to design and refine them within a separate custom document, you want to do that and place your custom Pantone swatches into that custom document. You do that like so:
We can use these new colors anywhere in our custom table design document by selecting the element we want to apply color to and then selecting the appropriate color in the Swatches panel. Easy Peasy.
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