Creating a User Manual in InDesign (using data merge)

New Here ,
Apr 21, 2021 Apr 21, 2021

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Hi there INDD Community,

I am creating a template in InDesign for a Product User Manual for a client and want to make it as painless as possible to gather content (content needed from different people in the organisation) and for updating in the future.

 

One idea I had was to create a Data Source (Excel file) containing all the necessary variable fields for the User Manual (Product name, Image, Description, Technical data, Order number, etc). Working from one Excel file per product to keep it neat and manageable for future edits.

There will also be different language User Manuals needed so the different languages could be saved within the excel file on separate sheets. 

 

I can't see why this option wouldn't work but perhaps someone here has encountered a similar project and ran into problems. 

 

Any advice or insight would be most appreciated.

Thanks

Ken K

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How to, Import and export, InCopy workflow

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Adobe Community Professional , Apr 21, 2021 Apr 21, 2021
You can use XML files to transfer data between Excel and InDesign. Therefor you'll need to create a XML scheme (XSD) which defined the data structure for Excel. You can bind the XSD to a sheet in your Excel. Details under: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/map-xml-elements-to-cells-in-an-xml-map-ddb23edf-f5c5-4fbf-b736-b3bf977a0c53#__map_xml_elements   Once you filled the data in your sheet, you can export it as XML file which you then import into your InDesign document. More details un...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 21, 2021 Apr 21, 2021

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You can use XML files to transfer data between Excel and InDesign. Therefor you'll need to create a XML scheme (XSD) which defined the data structure for Excel. You can bind the XSD to a sheet in your Excel. Details under: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/map-xml-elements-to-cells-in-an-xml-map-ddb23edf-f5c5-4fb...

 

Once you filled the data in your sheet, you can export it as XML file which you then import into your InDesign document. More details under: https://pagination.com/tutorials/indesign-xml/ or https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/xml.html

 

Hope this helps.

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New Here ,
Apr 22, 2021 Apr 22, 2021

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Thanks a lot - after an evening of watching tutorials and chatting to some other team members this should be a really efficient way to deliver the project.

Thanks for the advice.

K

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