It says that "Path names to images can be absolute or relative to the folder where the images are located (i.e., images)."
I have tried using the format given in their example to create relative path names, but I cannot make it work. Photoshop complains with an error, "Could not apply data set because the replacement file was not found." Of course the path names from the example I linked to are for Windows, and I am using a Mac. I have tried:
None of these work, even though the "Links" folder is present in the same folder where the Photoshop document exists, and the filenames in the data source document are correctly spelled and the correct case. None of them work.
If I select the image manually by clicking the Select File button in the Data Sets dialog, it puts in the full path relative to root, and it works. But of course that is tedious to do and is not portable from one machine to another (i.e., the data merge set up on one Mac wouldn't be guaranteed to run on a coworkers's Mac since the full path may be different).
If anyone has done this successfully on a Mac, can you tell me how you set up your relative paths?
I can't comment on the relative path at the moment, I have always used full paths on the Mac. I'm guessing that the colon : only works in full paths?
Regarding absolute path, with a simple regular expression based find/replace, or with a spreadsheet concatenate command, or a website such as TextMechanic it should be easy enough to batch insert the root path to the relative path. Yes, this is not portable, however it is better than doing things manually.
I have also confirmed that it does NOT work even if I move the images from the subfolder into the parent folder. So, for example, the path in the data file is simply the file name "TEST1.jpg", and that image is in the same folder as the PSD – Photoshop still gives the error that it cannot find the file.