DesignMerge FAQ: Variable Link is Empty

May 31, 2011 by
Filed under: FAQ's 

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.


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