Hello, I'm try to use the conditional text functionality (Window > Type & Tables > Conditional Text) in conjuction with data merge fields, however when creating a merged document InDesign crashes.
The data merge functionality works great on its own, as does the conditional text as long as it isn't used on any data merge fields. However, once they're used together the "create merged document" process crashes - even if the offending hidden data merge field is located on a master page not in use in the document pages, or is located in a hidden layer. I've tried using the current versions of both InDesign 2020 and 2021 with the same results.
I was curious if anyone else has ran into this issue and found any possible workarounds? Thanks for any help or insight you can provide!
I never used conditional text with a data merge process.
Could you show a minimum sample document ( the template ) for the merge where the crash happens?
Best put it on Dropbox or a similar service and share the link. Also a minimum sample of your data source file.
( ACP )
I've just tested this using a text box containing static text with no conditional text applied and a merge field with contional text applied and the Create Merge Document process worked fine for me. Does it crash for you if Export to PDF as well?
Here is a link to a sample document (stripped out all unrelated components) and the CSV (has placeholder text):
Regarding exporting to PDF, I am able to export it directly without crashing. This could definitely be a workaround if needed, however I'm hoping to be able to export it as an Interactive PDF which requires (as far as I'm aware) the "Created Merged Document" step so that the data merge fields are converted into static text (data fields otherwise have local file links).
Thank you both for your help - I really appreciate you taking the time to assist me! Please let me know if you need any additional info.
I've now tested your files and the Create Merge Document process crashed for me too. I then recreated the document (File New Document, copy paste the content over, link data) and the Create Merge Document process worked fine. I'm sure someone will be able to give a technical reason, but until then I would call it a bug in your file and just say cut your losses for the sake of spending a few minutes creating a new one.
I hope this workaround works for you,
Thanks again for your help. Unfortunately, recreating the document won't work. I only provided a snippet of the actual document, which is really large/complex and would take a massive amount of time to recreate or transfer over to a new document.
I'll probably need to keep digging around and try to figure out the bad wiring on my end, or strip out the conditional formatting and maybe redo that aspect.
I really appreciate your assistance on this - it's good to know that it should being working, and hopefully I'll figure out what's triggering it to crash.
Quick update in case this is of interest to anyone else. It looks like the conditional formatting does work when tha data merge fields are placed in the document pages, however it crashes when they're placed in the master pages (InDesign requires the data fields to be placed exclusively in one or the other).
Unfortunately, my document requires the data fields to be placed in the master pages. But it looks like this is what's specifically causing the issue, so a step in the right direction. I'll update if I find a solution.
"Unfortunately, my document requires the data fields to be placed in the master pages."
why is that?
Note: If you place all the data fields on masters the result document(s) will contain XML tagged elements.
Is that what you want?
( ACP )
I need the data fields in the master pages because the document serves as a template system for creating variable marketing packages. The master pages serve as a template library of dynamic page options, which can be applied, added, or removed as needed in the document portion.
This method preserves and retains the data fields since they're all stored in the master pages. The data fields aren't altered in the document pages, however there are instance where we need to hide certain values that are brought in. I'm using layers to organize and hide different layouts and data fields, however there are instances where it's not possible to separate the content into separate layers, which is why I was using conditional text for some global changes in the document affecting fields located in multiple layers and inline text. Hopefully that makes sense, but obviously a little difficult to explain without the full context.
Regarding the XML tagged elements, I wasn't aware of the tags being added, but I looked at the PDF exports and it doesn't seem to cause issues or show up in any way. Creating a merged document is a necessary step when exporting to an interactive PDF though, in order to convert the data fields to static text.
Let me know if that makes sense and if you have any other questions.
thank you very much for the details.
My assumption is that the present or the creation of XML tagged text during the merge is the cause of the crashes if conditional text comes into play. But to proof that I'd need to inspect your document and do a lot of testing. Don't know if I'll find the time for this before Christmas.
( ACP )
No worries - I have a current workaround of exporting it as an Adobe PDF (Print) instead of going through the "Create Merged Document" step and exporting it as an Adobe PDF (Interactive). The only thing lost is the linking functionality inside/outside the document from the TOC, etc., but that's much preferred over losing the ability to use conditional text in the document.
Thanks again for your time and support - it's very appreciated!