InDesign CC Data Merge and Variable Data Printing

InDesign's data merge lets you easily incorporate Variable Data Printing (VDP), automated document generation from InDesign templates, and personalization into your designs. This course will help you master the power of data merge in InDesign CC.
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Aug 28, 2017
Duration
2h 1m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Aug 28, 2017
Duration
2h 1m
Description

InDesign's data merge features open three avenues that are closed off to you without data merge. In this course, InDesign CC Data Merge and Variable Data Printing, you'll learn how to master the power of data merge in InDesign, so you can help your clients get those higher response rates, increased repeat orders, and amazing 31% higher revenue. First, you'll explore personalized, variable data publishing of single-page, multi-page, and long document projects. Next, you'll discover automatic and semi-automatic generation of repetitively-formatted content in one document or book. Finally, you'll dive into database-driven and database-updatable publications. By the end of this course, you'll have the necessary knowledge to create your own exciting, personalized content. Software required: Adobe InDesign CC.

About the author
About the author

As a freelance graphic designer with over 20 years' experience, Pariah sits on the Adobe Advisory Group, is an Adobe Freelancer, and is an Adobe Community Professional and a former trainer and technical lead for Adobe's technical support teams for InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi, I'm Pariah Burke, one of the world's most prolific InDesign experts with dozens of video courses and books, hundreds of articles and tutorials, and nearly as many successful consultations and training classes with creative, technical, and publishing clients all over the world. InDesign's Data Merge features open three avenues that are closed off to you without Data Merge, one, personalized variable data publishing of single-page, multipage, and long-document projects, two, automatic and semiautomatic generation of repetitively-formatted content in one document or book, and three, data-driven design and database-updateable publications. From simple form letters and mailing labels, to personalized children's books and eBooks, from catalogs to yearbooks, from batch-created business cards to direct mailers that make recipient's names and past purchases part of the artwork, InDesign's Data Merge let's you and your clients easily incorporate variable data printing, VDP, automated document generation from InDesign templates and personalization into your designs. Personalized marketing materials generate a 36% higher response rate, and whopping 48% increase in repeat orders over non-personalized materials. This course will help you master the power of Data Merge in InDesign, so you can help your clients get those higher response rates, increased repeat orders, and amazing 31% higher revenue. You'll learn to do that in my InDesign CC Data Merge and Variable Data Printing course first by understanding the terminology and concepts at play with variable data and variable image publications produced in InDesign. Then you'll learn how to produce 9/10 of all VDP projects by completing progressively more creative data-driven projects such as mail-merge like form letters, name tags, name tags that incorporate customers past purchases, personalized books that even incorporate children's names into the artwork, and fully-styled variable text for attention-grabbing mailers. From there, you'll move into working with variable images, imagery and graphics supplied by spreadsheet or database datasets. Then you'll master Data Merge and variable data projects by learning advanced topics and techniques. I hope you'll join me on this journey to take your customer-facing content from generic, mass-produced blandness to exciting, personalized content that makes your customers and prospects feel special and valued by your brand. When you're ready, let's start InDesign CC Data Merge and Variable Data Printing at Pluralsight.

Planning for Data Merge and Variable Data Printing
Any data-driven project begins by understanding the needs and steps of the project, and then properly planning them. In this module, that's exactly what we'll do. We'll begin by learning the terminology inherent in Data Merge and variable data publishing. We'll look at where data can come from, and the basic workflow of how it connects with InDesign content to produce variable data publications and designs. Next we'll delve more into the Data Merge process within InDesign, looking at what kinds of documents can be produced, and the three different types of resulting Data Merge, one record-one page, one record on many pages, and many records per page. We'll end this short module by preparing data sources, looking at what a data source means, what type of file format, the structure that's required by InDesign's Data Merge, and how to include special symbols that on one hand have a special function as far as Data Merge, but also might need to be printed as part of the merge data itself. Let's get started with learning Data Merge terminology.

Adding Variable Images in Data Merge
Now that you've got the hang of using Data Merge for variable text, adding variable images to your repertoire will open up a wide new world of variable data publishing. We'll start with the unique factors involved in incorporating images into your data sources. We'll do that by starting a graduation announcement project with two pages, four images, and more data fields than we've used in any project thus far. The first step will be to create the fields or columns in the data source, so that InDesign recognizes them as containing references to images rather than text. Next, we'll add to the source the path InDesign will need to pull each image. The format and process of obtaining the image path differs by operating system, Mac OS or Windows, and whether the variable images are all together in the same folder as the data source or located in one or more other places. With the data prepared, it's time to add the merged placeholders to your design template to bring variable images into your layout. Stepping back to working with text for just a moment, this clip will show you how to insert and work with merged placeholders when they're part of overset text, as we finalize the graduation announcement project. When variable images land in InDesign, by default, they could fit into their containing graphic frames in all sorts of ways, too small, too big, centered, off to the side, and any which way. If not for Data Merge's automatic image fitting features, the average variable image project would require your manual adjustment of every image. Fortunately you can eliminate some, often most, and occasionally even all the manual adjustment by auto-fitting every image during merging automatically. Let's start by preparing the data source for images.