When I merge my document using DesignMerge, my line breaks disappear between variable text links. Why?

December 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

If a line-ending character is included inside a text link, the line-ending character will be removed when you merge the document because incoming variable data will replace all of the characters that are inside the text link, including the line-ending character.

There are several ways to move a line-ending character to the outside of a text link. For example, use your Type/Text tool to click inside the text link and click the “Remove” button on the DesignMerge palette. Then, carefully select only the characters that you wish to have replaced by variable data, confirm you have not selected the line-ending character, and re-assign the variable link to the selected text.

TIP: DesignMerge will automatically exclude non-printing characters, such as a line-ending character, that are at the end of your selected text from being placed inside a text link if you turn on the “Smart Tags” preference (open the DesignMerge menu and select Preferences to access this preference).

What is the DesignMerge “Quick Setup” button in the Database Definitions Window?

December 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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A “Database Definition” (or DDF) describes the layout of a database file, letting DesignMerge know such things as how many fields are in the database file and whether the database file is tab-delimited or comma-separated. To determine the appropriate settings for a new DDF, DesignMerge provides a “Quick Setup” feature, which is available on the “Database Definitions” dialog, as described in the first tutorial in the DesignMerge Tutorial Manual.

Generally, Quick Setup will only be used once on a DDF, unless you wish to reset all of the DDF settings, including its list of Variable Links. Otherwise, to make changes in the DDF, you can simply click the “Edit” button on the “Database Definitions” dialog, and then change the one or two settings that you wish to change.

Use Quick Setup on an existing DDF only when you wish to reset the DDF settings to default selections. This includes resetting the DDF’s list of Variable Links. Quick Setup always builds a new list of Variable Links, removing all of the DDF’s previous Variable Links, including any you added by using the “New” or “Save As” button on the “Variable Links” dialog.

If the new list of Variable Links does not include a Variable Link that you have assigned to content in a document, that document will encounter a “Bad Tag!” error when you start a merge session. The names of the Variable Links that are assigned to content in a document must match the names of the Variable Links that are available in a DDF. If you should encounter a “Bad Tag” error when merging a document, you may resolve this error either by replacing the erroneous DesignMerge Link in the document or by adding the missing Variable Link to the DDF.

DesignMerge Technical Support … Why are there quotes bracketing data in merged text links?

December 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

If you are seeing quotes bracketing data that is merged into a DesignMerge Text Link, then your database file is using the quote character as a Text Qualifier. If you would like to confirm your database file is using a quote mark as a Text Qualifier, you can open the database text file in a plain text editing application, such as TextEdit or Notepad, and search for a double quote to see if a double quote character is bracketing any field data. If not, then search for a single quote to see if a single quote character is bracketing any field data. When done, remember to close the database file without saving any changes to it.

To set up your DesignMerge job to hide the Text Qualifier (double quote or single quote) so it will not be displayed by any merged Text Links, simply change your DDF’s “Text Qualifier” setting from “None” to the appropriate quote character (single quote or double quote). Then, the next time you merge the document, DesignMerge will hide any quotes that are bracketing the data in your database text file.

Top 5 Performance Tips for Variable Data Printing Jobs!

December 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

DesignMerge performance is primarily determined by the capabilities of your system (faster computer, faster hard disk drive, etc.). However, here are a few things you can do when designing a document for variable data printing that can also improve its performance. These are not requirements in order to use DesignMerge on a document, but can definitely enhance performance:

1. Move the job’s files to your local system (not your file server system) before merging.

2. For variable picture links, use EPS graphic files that contain previews.

3. Remove all non-printing content from the document.

4. Unlock all objects in the document.

5. Move variable content to the front of the page.

DesignMerge VDP Training Tip: “Mark Items as Variable”

November 30, 2010 by · 1 Comment
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Use the “Mark As Variable” DesignMerge feature if your Adobe InDesign document contains any fixed (static or non-variable) content that is interacting in a text wrap with variable data content AND you would also like to take advantage of the exclusive DesignMerge variable data printing capabilities that optimize the performance of the DesignMerge variable data print drivers.

When a fixed page item is ‘marked as variable’, the VDP Optimization feature of the DesignMerge print drivers (for example: PPML or Creo VPS) will optimize that fixed object in a specialized manner to allow it to continue interacting with variable content in the optimized variable data print output. Examples include:

* Fixed content that wraps around variable content
* Fixed content that has variable content wrapping around it

To use this feature, simply select the frame of the fixed content that you wish to mark as variable, and then select “Mark Item as Variable” from the “DesignMerge> Utilities> Print Driver” menu. The frame edge will then display a visual indicator.

For an example, please see DesignMerge Tutorial #2 (the Postcard tutorial) where a fixed image has been marked as variable.

Why does DesignMerge prompt for my database file each time I do a merge?

November 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

By default, DesignMerge will prompt for the location of the database every time that you do a merge operation. However, the setting can be changed under the menu commands DesignMerge => Preferences, by unchecking “Prompt for Database Each Time”. Once this setting has been changed, you will have to use the “Select Database” command to choose a new database file manually should you get a new version of it. If you replace the old database file with a new file of the same name, then DesignMerge will automatically detect that change and use the new file.

How To Turn Off “Prompt for Database Each Time”

November 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

Why does DesignMerge prompt for my database file each time I do a merge?

By default, DesignMerge will prompt for the location of the database every time that you do a merge operation. However, the setting can be changed under the menu commands DesignMerge => Preferences, by unchecking “Prompt for Database Each Time”. Once this setting has been changed, you will have to use the “Select Database” command to choose a new database file manually should you get a new version of it. If you replace the old database file with a new file of the same name, then DesignMerge will automatically detect that change and use the new file.

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