Linking a database to InDesign file

Participant ,
Sep 22, 2017 Sep 22, 2017

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Hello everyone,

I am setting up a catalog with numerous price charts. The price grid figures change frequently. I would like to link a pricing excel database to the file and and have the client make changes there, instead of directly in the file. I have read about several ways to do this. Has anyone out there come across an easy and efficient way of achieving this?

Lisa

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Engaged , Sep 23, 2017 Sep 23, 2017
While Bob's idea of linking to the excel file can work, it's limited… that is, it can work, but only in carefully controlled situations.There are many more third-party options that are far more powerful, including DataLinker from Teacup Software.Colette Perry wrote a feature article in InDesign Magazine about ways to connect InDesign to databases and spreadsheets here: https://indesignsecrets.com/issues/issue-99-automated-publishing

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 22, 2017 Sep 22, 2017

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Linking Excel files works nicely if it’s simple. First change your preferences to create a link when placing text and spreadsheet file. Place an unformatted table, apply a table/cell style.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 22, 2017 Sep 22, 2017

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Hi,

I agree with Bob on this. Turn on this preference:

Place the excel as unformatted text... (press shift when you click on the file to place to open "Import options") and use table/cell styles in InDesign to apply to the excel sheet.

-Aman

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Participant ,
Sep 23, 2017 Sep 23, 2017

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for your reply. This method does work for updating the information, but in updating I lose the paragraph styling. I could re-apply the styling each time I update, but I'm hoping to streamline the process.

Lisa

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 23, 2017 Sep 23, 2017

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You missed the part about using table/cell styles.

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Participant ,
Sep 24, 2017 Sep 24, 2017

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Okay, I've found a couple of tutorials on table styling. Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2017 Sep 22, 2017

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Have a word with Kris Coppieters at https://www.rorohiko.com/wordpress/custom-development/

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Engaged ,
Sep 23, 2017 Sep 23, 2017

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note for clarification: You are not linking an "Excel database". You are linking an Excel spreadsheet. Excel is a spreadsheet (not a database} application. I have worked with database (FileMakerPro, SQL) to InDesign integration for many years in automating catalogue production and based on the title "Linking a database to InDesign file" of your question thought I might help. Then as I looked deeper I realized you are using Excel and, hence, a spreadsheet. Bob's reply seems spot on.

.
Not trying to criticize you. Database files and spreadsheets are not the same thing. Only trying to help you get better answers. 🙂

.

p.s. Trying to use Excel to make something that appears like a database has resulted in many problems for my clients over the years. You might want to consider exporting your Excel data and importing it into a database program. For example, FileMaker Pro will do an automatic conversion. All you need do is drag and drop the Excel spreadsheet on top of FileMakerPro and it will convert the spreadsheet into a relational database for you.

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Participant ,
Sep 24, 2017 Sep 24, 2017

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Hi MACnTUTOR,

Thanks for the clarification.

Lisa

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New Here ,
Jan 20, 2021 Jan 20, 2021

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Sir, I wanted to know more regarding taking data from Microsoft Access to create an InDesign catalog...

The data taken from access database is 1. sequence number, 2. Name, 3. DoB, 4. Sex, .. etc...

Let me know if I need to elaborate more.

 

Thank you!

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Engaged ,
Sep 23, 2017 Sep 23, 2017

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While Bob's idea of linking to the excel file can work, it's limited… that is, it can work, but only in carefully controlled situations.

There are many more third-party options that are far more powerful, including DataLinker from Teacup Software.

Colette Perry wrote a feature article in InDesign Magazine about ways to connect InDesign to databases and spreadsheets here: https://indesignsecrets.com/issues/issue-99-automated-publishing

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Participant ,
Sep 24, 2017 Sep 24, 2017

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Hi David,

Big fan since the days of QuarkXpress!

I just re-activated my Lynda.com account yesterday in order to listen to your tutorial called "InDesign: Data Merge and Database Publishing". The conclusion I have drawn from that is that what I am trying to do has too big a learning curve for me to try on this project because of the timeline. I plan to do some research and learning before trying it again in a few months. Thanks for your reply and the link to the article!

Lisa

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Engaged ,
Sep 24, 2017 Sep 24, 2017

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Hi Lisa, thanks very much for your kind words!

Looking forward to hearing back from you in a few months that you've successfully accomplished it! You can do it; it just takes planning, prep, and a bit of time.

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