Can AutoPrice Upate Multiple Documents At Once?

August 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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AutoPrice Technical Support FAQ

Can AutoPrice Update Multiple Documents At Once?

AutoPrice can automatically run updates and reports on multiple documents at once, saving those updates to either the original files or to new copies. To use this functionality, quit all open documents in QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign.  With no documents open, the menu command AutoPrice>Batch Processing will be available. This functionality is included in all versions of AutoPrice and is not restricted.

Can Price Style in AutoPrice Update Automatically?

July 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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AutoPrice Technical Support FAQ

I have a Price Style applied to a placeholder in AutoPrice, but it is not styling the price when it updates the document. Am I doing something wrong?

AutoPrice is strict on interpreting prices in the fields of the database. The format it looks for is digits/radix/digits (example:000.00).  In order for it to see and style a price, the data field must match that format. The first thing to do is check that the field contains only the expected data; if there are any other characters before or following the price in  that field, then AutoPrice may just think that it is regular text-data.

DesignMerge FAQ: Variable Link is Empty

May 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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A DesignMerge Variable Link is Empty when a record does not contain any data for that Link.  DesignMerge provides several options for Empty Links.  Here is a description of each of these “If Link is Empty” options:

* Flag as Error

A merge session will fill the Link with the global No Data Error, which is specified on the DesignMerge “Preferences” window (you may access the “Preferences” window by selecting “Preferences” from the “DesignMerge” menu).  By default, the No Data Error is “Empty Field!” Please note that if you select this option for a Variable Link and a record does not have data for the Link, then the No Data Error (by default, “Empty Field!”) is what will be printed for that merged Link.

* Ignore

Will not merge the Link; the Link will continue to display what it contained before that record was merged into the document.  For example, if the Link was displaying “Address_2″ before merging this record, the Link will display “Address _2″ after the record is merged into the document.

* Delete

Will completely remove the Link from the merged page.  In the case of a Picture Link, the entire box will be deleted.

Please note that during a File or Print merge session, which merges each step of records into their own copy of the original page(s), DesignMerge will delete the Link without displaying any warnings.  Deleting the Link on one of these copies will not delete it on the original page so the Link will still be present for later records.

However, during a Test merge session, which operates on the original document instead of a copy, DesignMerge will by default prompt you to choose whether you wish to “Skip”, “Delete”, or “Flag & Continue” the Empty Link.  Normally, you will prefer to “Flag & Continue” so the Empty Link will remain on the page for later records to use.  If you choose to Delete the Empty Link during a Test merge session, the Link will no longer be present for other records, even if those records have data for that Link.

* Substitute

Will use the data entered here. For Text Links, the text that is entered here will be merged into the Link.  For Picture, Article, or GroupPicture Links, DesignMerge, will assume the text entered here is the file name or full path name of an external file that DesignMerge will attempt to locate and import.

* Remove Empty Links

If you have chosen “Delete” for the “If Link is Empty” setting, then you may also wish to enable “Remove Empty Lines”.  When this option is on, DesignMerge will remove the line that the Empty Link was on if there are no printable characters on the line (the line is blank). The other lines in the box will move either up or down, according to the formatting that you have applied to that text.

See DesignMerge at OnDemand 2011

March 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events, FAQ's 

Meadows Publishing will be demonstrating the very latest version of DesignMerge in booth 2937 at the On Demand Expo, March 22-24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC.  The demonstration will include a preview of the new DesignMerge Image module, which is an integration feature that allows DesignMerge to work seemlessly with a number of Variable Image packages.  Please stop by for a personalized demonstration.

DesignMerge PPML Output, Looking For A Preview Tool?

March 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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For those searching for a PPML production preflight or preview tool, you may wish to consider PODi’s CheckPPML software.

CheckPPML converts PPML output to a PDF file that contains the same output pages as those that would be produced by a PPML certified printing device. This allows you to preview and validate PPML output before printing.

CheckPPML is an excellent choice to preview DesignMerge PPML output since both CheckPPML and DesignMerge variable data printing software support the GA (Graphic Arts) subset of PPML (Personalized Print Markup Language), an XML-based industry standard printer language for variable data printing, defined by PODi.

CheckPPML can be installed on a Macintosh as well as on a Windows system, and is available in two versions, a free standard version and a professional version.

- CheckPPML (standard) is free but limited to 100 pages.
- CheckPPML Pro is not free but runs faster and does not have a page number limit.

If you are interested in learning more about CheckPPML, here is a link to the CheckPPML page on the PODi web site where you will find additional details and links to download/purchase this PODi software.
http://ppml.podi.org/miscellaneous/check-tools-pro-detail–ppml.php

Why Is An AutoPrice Link Displaying “No Match!” After Being Updated? Part 3

March 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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A “No Match!” condition means the AutoPrice Link (placeholder) has been assigned to a Search Key that does not exist in the database file.  To resolve this, try the following suggestion, Part 3.

Part 3:  If the previous two procedures cannot determine why the placeholder encountered a “No Match” condition … You may email Meadows Publishing Solutions Support a copy of the document that has a “No Match!” placeholder and a copy of the database file (you do not need to send us the document’s fonts or graphic files).  However, if you are using AutoPrice for QuarkXPress, also export your DDF Set to send to us (to do this, open the “Database Definitions” window and click the “Export DDF Set” button).

To send us this information, create a new folder where you can place a copy of the document file, database file, and if you are using QuarkXPress, the Exported DDF Set.  Compress (zip or stuff) the folder, and then email the resulting archive to Meadows Support (support@meadowsps.com).  Also, please include the following information in your email message:

- The version of AutoPrice software that you are using

- The version of the desktop layout application where you are using AutoPrice

- The version of the operating system where you are using AutoPrice

- A description of the problem you encountered, including the steps you took immediately before the problem as well as any steps you took to resolve the problem.

Does Your Printer Support DesignMerge Output Formats?

March 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

Are you wondering if your printing device supports one of the DesignMerge VDP (Variable Data Printing) output formats?

Meadows Publishing Solutions has posted “Golden Masters” of the various DesignMerge VDP formats that you may download to test on your printing devices to help you determine which DesignMerge VDP output formats your digital printers can process successfully.

Here is a link to the DesignMerge Golden Master VDP samples:
http://www.meadowsps.com/site/support/support_goldenmasters.htm

To use any of the Golden Mater VDP samples, simply download the associated file by clicking on the provided link. Then, send the downloaded file to your digital printer for processing/printing and compare the results to the PDF Preview of the job (which is also available on the DesignMerge Golden Masters page on the Meadows web site). If they compare, then your system most likely supports that VDP output format.

These samples will additionally assist you in determining which options to select on the DesignMerge Print Driver dialog windows. You can also find details regarding the DesignMerge Print Drivers, and the various options that are available for each one, in their manuals which are available in the DesignMerge product folder which the DesignMerge installer places in your Applications or Program Files folder.

Why Is An AutoPrice Link Displaying “No Match!” After Being Updated? Part 2

January 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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A “No Match!” condition means the AutoPrice Link (placeholder) has been assigned to a Search Key that does not exist in the database file.  To resolve this, try the following suggestion, Part 2.

Part 2:  Confirm the DDF has correct settings.

To do this, open the “Database Definitions” window by opening the “AutoPrice” menu and selecting “Setup > Database Definitions”.  For the “Current DDF” selection on the “Database Definitions” window, choose the DDF that you were using when you encountered the “No Match!” condition, and then click the “Edit” button.  This will open the “Edit DDF” window where you can confirm the “Search Key Field”, the “Case-Sensitive Search”, “File Origin”, and “Text Qualifier” settings are the correct settings for the database file that you are using to update the placeholders.  Change these settings if they are not set appropriately for the current database file, the click “OK” to close the “Edit DDF” window.  This will return you to the “Database Definitions” window where you are now ready to click the “Select” (or “OK”) button which will close the “Database Definitions” window.

If you changed any DDF settings, to confirm AutoPrice is now able to update the placeholder, update the “No Match!” placeholder (click inside the “No Match!” placeholder and then click the “Update” button on the AutoPrice palette).  If the placeholder is still encountering a “No Match!”, or if you did not change the original settings for the DDF because they appear to be correct, then go to the next troubleshooting step.

Why Is An AutoPrice Link Displaying “No Match!” After Being Updated? Part 1

January 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

A “No Match!” condition means the AutoPrice Link (placeholder) has been assigned to a Search Key that does not exist in the database file.  To resolve this, try the following suggestions:

Step 1:  Confirm that placeholder’s Assigned Search Key is not in the database file.  To do this, click inside the “No Match!” placeholder (the placeholder that encountered the “No Match” condition when it was updated).  Then, open the AutoPrice palette.  If the palette is in “TableTagger” mode, put the palette in “Single Tag” mode by clicking on the “TT” icon in the upper left corner of the palette.  The “Search Key” field on the palette will show you the Search Key that is assigned to that “No Match” placeholder.  Be sure to note the Search Key that is displayed on the palette (or copy the Search Key to your clipboard so you can paste it into a Find window next).  Next, open the database text file and look for that Search Key.  If there is a record that does contain that Search Key, confirm there are no invisible characters (for example, extra spaces) in that field.

If you cannot find an exact match in the database file, then you know that the placeholder has encountered a “No Match!” condition because the placeholder is assigned to a Search Key that does not exist in the database file.  If you can find an exact match in the database file, then go to the next troubleshooting step.

DesignMerge Bar Code Keyword Variable Link … ROCKS!

January 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

DesignMerge provides a built-in feature that allows you to create variable PostNet and USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Codes based on data taken from a database file. When used in conjunction with the Meadows Bar Code Module, DesignMerge can also create other popular bar codes, such as Code 128, Code 39, UPC, and Interleaved 2 of 5.

If your database file contains a field with data that is already formatted for a particular type of bar code, then we do not recommend using a Bar Code Keyword Variable Link. Instead, use a normal Text Variable Link to merge this data “as is”, and apply the bar code font that is recommended by the application that produced the bar code data. If the bar code data in your database file is missing any required Start and Stop characters, you may use the Variable Link “Add Prefix” and “Add Suffix” feature to add these characters automatically; be careful to use the appropriate character that your bar code font requires.

If your database file does not contain a field with data that is already formatted for a particular type of bar code, but does contain the data that the bar code is to represent, then you may use the DesignMerge Bar Code Keyword Variable Link feature to convert that data to the appropriate format. To use this feature successfully, all of the data that is to be encoded for the variable bar code must be in a single field in your database file. The length of the data that is provided by the database will determine the length of the variable bar code. Please note that each of the various Bar Code Keyword Variable Links require a specific type of data. If any data is not valid for conversion to a particular bar code format, DesignMerge will display a warning when the invalid data is merged into the Bar Code Keyword Variable Link. For an example of setting up and using a Bar Code Keyword Variable Link, please see Tutorial #2 (the Postcard Tutorial) in your DesignMerge Tutorial Manual, which is available in the DesignMerge product folder on your system.

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