GroupPicture™ Module

Instantly Import InDesign Groups

A totally unique way to create, import, and merge Adobe InDesign content

The GroupPicture software module is an exclusive offering by Meadows Publishing Solutions that gives you the power to save complete groups of InDesign elements (text frames, picture frames, lines, tables, etc.) in special files which behave just like pictures – they can be archived, databased, and imported just like any other graphic format supported by Adobe InDesign. The difference is that when you import a GroupPicture file, you get the original, native InDesign elements perfectly positioned on your page and ready to be edited and styled. And if those imported elements also include DesignMerge placeholders, they get updated with variable data at the same time!

Example of a variable coupon job, created using GroupPicture!


Why the Name?

So why it is called GroupPicture? Well, to create a GroupPicture file you first start by grouping together a collection of InDesign objects, such as text frames, picture frames, lines, tables etc. There are no limits on the type of InDesign content that can be included, and all of your DesignMerge variable data items are supported as well. Once grouped, you save the grouped content as a GroupPicture file, which can then be imported just like you would any other picture file. So basically, it’s an InDesign group object, and the content can be placed like a picture file – clever, right?


GroupPicture for Variable Data

For DesignMerge Pro variable data jobs, GroupPicture files can be prepared with DesignMerge Pro placeholders already in place, as in the coupon example pictured above. In your variable data, you simply reference the GroupPicture file just like you would any other variable picture, by file name or full path. During the merge, the content of the GroupPicture file is placed onto the page, but at the same time all of the DesignMerge Pro placeholders within the group are merged with variable data taken from the same data record. This approach works out great for things like coupons, business cards, store signage, tags, and labels, but can also be used to swap out full-page variable information as an alternative to using InDesign master pages.


GroupPicture for Catalog

For DesignMerge Catalog users, GroupPicture lets you create and archive catalog “product blocks”, which are groupings of items (picture frames, descriptive copy, price charts, etc.) that are related to one or more part numbers or product SKU’s. When the product blocks are placed back onto the page, the DesignMerge Catalog placeholders can be instantly updated to pull in the most current pricing or other product information. In addition, you can use GroupPicture to create product block templates for automated page building using our Page Builder module.


GroupPicture for Image Database Applications

GroupPicture is the perfect complement to practically any image database or DAM application, including Adobe Bridge. Each GroupPicture can hold a color thumbnail and full-size preview image making them ideal for cataloging purposes. You may also attach keyword and description metadata to each GroupPicture at the time of the save. This information will be picked up automatically when the image is cataloged, allowing you to perform keyword or even full text searches for GroupPictures in your favorite image database. To access a GroupPicture item, just click and drag it to the page. Instantly the original InDesign content is placed and ready for additional editing.