How can I access text in a Filemaker data base from InDesign

Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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I am a small publisher. I use InDesign for book production and I am looking for a way to use a Filemaker database as a source for text into the Indesign layout.

My application is very similar to wanting to create a product catalog and keep the product descriptions directly updated from the product description text in the database.

I am using Filemaker 15 Adv Pro and Indesign CC.

My first problem is how I set up the access from the Indesign application to link to the database.

Can you assist with how I can do this, or point me to a possible source for advice.

Thank you

Mike

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Valorous Hero ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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Consider using InDesign tagged text. Place a sample chapter in ID, create the styles you will need and apply them to the ID sample chapter. Then export the ID file as tagged text. It should then be simple to look at the exported tagged text to see what the calculations in FM you need to use to export your FM database as tagged text. Then just import it into ID.

Mike

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Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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MW,

Thanks for your reply. And I have used that approach for a "static" catalog situation in which the entire catalog gets updated periodically. The actual situation that I have requires a more dynamic solution.

Reading your reply, I realize that I need to reframe my original question a little.

The book that I am publishing has around 800 items of historic military memorabilia—mostly rings and some medals and awards. The main text of the book gives the historical context- WW II etc.

Each item of jewelry has a description plus a number of attributes (where purchased, historical period, etc.) plus a number of photos of different views.

The book layout in InDesign has the historical context as the main text, and then the text for each item description as a separate box alongside the image of the item.

What I am trying to do is to set it up so that the text in the ITEM DESCRIPTION text box links directly to the ITEM DESCRIPTION field in the database. If the description in the database is edited, I want the change to be automatically updated in the text block in InDesign just by clicking Refresh (or whatever).

Appreciate your original answer,

I hope that this additional information is a better presentation of the problem.

Mike

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Valorous Hero ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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Then I would think the easiest route would be to use a catalog plugin such as InCatalog or EasyCatalog. A custom solution can also be built, perhaps in conjunction with using ID Server if the cost/effort warrants it.

But then, I have no firm grasp on the layout or the layout constraints. If all it is that the contents of these description text frames will change, but not the body and/or the images themselves, XML may well do fine, connecting the description boxes to those individual frames.

Mike

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Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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MW,

Thanks. I am not familiar with these, and I will check them out.

From the research that I've done so far, it I am thinking that a solution using ODBC technology might be possible. Filemaker certainly supports it, but I can't see how to set it up from the Indd end.

Mike

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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It sounds like you need to explore 3rd party data base plug-ins for InDesign. It's not built-in in InDesign.

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Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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Thanks, Steve.

Do you have any knowledge of which products might do what I am looking for?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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This InDesignSecrets podcast is from 2011 but I doubt that the main players has changed much:

http://indesignsecrets.com/watch_listen/indesignsecrets-podcast-145

I don't do databases so couldn't weigh with recommendations.

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Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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Thanks.

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New Here ,
Dec 05, 2016 Dec 05, 2016

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I have a considerable amount of experience with database publishing workflows based on interoperability between FileMaker and InDesign.

I would recommend a third party software called EasyCatalog from 65bit Software https://www.65bit.com/software/easycatalog/?gclid=CP2UjP2T3tACFQ9Efgodb4EIyA.

Your welcome to contact me if you have any questions.

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