Video Training

Complete list of DesignMerge training videos

DesignMerge Pro Basic Training

This section covers the basic operation of DesignMerge Pro variable data software, and provides everything you need to know to produce your first variable data job. The training begins with an understanding of the data types supported by DesignMerge (text, pictures, etc.), along with a quick walk-through of how to reference these variable data elements in your InDesign document. Subsequent videos in this section cover the complete setup of a variable data Bank Letter that includes variable text, pictures, parent pages and basic rules.

Once you have completed all of the videos in the Basic Training section, you will have a very good understanding of how to prepare a variable data job using DesignMerge software, and will be ready to pursue related topics such as Advanced Rules, Imposition and Styling features. For the best possible training experience, please view the Basic Training videos in the order presented below.

  • Basic Training Videos
  • Video Tutorial Introduction

    This video introduces the tutorial files that you will be working on for the Basic Training, and lets you know where to download them so you can work at your own pace.

     Basic Training Intro
  • Creating a Data File

    This video demonstrates how to use Microsoft Excel to create a sample data file that is compatible with DesignMerge software. The video also discusses the various types of delimited text data files supported by DesignMerge software.

     Creating a Data File
  • Initial Setup Process

    Once you have a data file ready, the next step is to tell DesignMerge about it. In this initial setup you will create what we term a Data Source Definition  (referred to as a DDF  for short). A DDF describes to DesignMerge all of the fields in your data file so you can reference those fields as variable data in your InDesign document. This video takes you through the initial setup process using the sample data file for the Basic Training tutorial.

     Initial Setup Process
  • The Basics of Tagging

    After you have run through the initial setup process, you are now ready to start assigning variable data links to your document, a process we refer to as tagging the document  for Variable Data. This video takes you through the basic steps of tagging Text, Picture, Article, Barcode, and GroupPicture items in your InDesign document using the sample files provided in the Basic Training tutorial download.

     Basics of Tagging
  • Preparing a Variable Data Letter

    You have learned the basics of setup and tagging, so now you will prepare an actual variable data job. This video takes you through a variable Bank Letter job, and includes all of the tagging features described in the previous video.

     Variable Data Letter
  • Working with Rules

    To add even further variability, this video shows you how to use the Rules module, which is a standard component of the software. In this video we demonstrate the use of Link Rules  to change text and select variable graphics, as well as Page Rules  to swap in completely different layouts using both Parent Pages and InDesign Layers. Note: If you feel that you have learned enough so far (or have no interest in learning Rules), please feel free to skip this video and proceed to the next video in the series, which will show you how to generate optimized PDF/VT output from your variable data job.

     Working with Rules
  • Create Optimized PDF/VT Output

    At this point in the training, the Bank Letter job has been fully prepared and is ready for VDP output. This video shows you how to produce optimized PDF/VT output by merging the document with the data file. The result will be a multi-page PDF file where each page contains a unique copy of the Bank Letter. The PDF file will be fully optimized by caching all static and variable content, which ensures the most efficient processing on your digital press.

     Create PDF/VT Output

DesignMerge Pro Multi-up Imposition

This section covers the automated, multi-up imposition feature of DesignMerge Pro, which allows you to create simplex or duplex multi-up jobs directly in Adobe InDesign. The training starts out by demonstrating how to create a basic multi-up imposition of a duplex ID Badge job that utilizes variable text, photos, bar codes and rules. Sequential as well as Cut & Stack output are both discussed. In the second video the use of Imposition Templates is presented, along with an introduction to manual Sequencing of multi-up items, which can be used to create totally customized imposition layouts, including individually rotated items.

  • Multi-up Imposition Videos
  • Multi-up Imposition Overview

    This video introduces the DesignMerge Pro multi-up imposition feature, which is a standard component of DesignMerge software. Using this feature you can create an imposed version of your document directly inside of Adobe InDesign. The imposed version of the document can be merged and previewed just like the one-up version, and the VDP output will be optimized as well. Sequential and Cut & Stack output are covered in this video as well.

     Imposition Overview
  • Working with Imposition Templates and Sequencing

    This video discusses how to create and utilize DesignMerge Impositon Templates, which can be used to streamline the imposition process. An introduction to manual DesignMerge Sequencing is also provided. DesignMerge Sequencing is a proprietary feature of DesignMerge software that can be utilized to create customized imposition templates that require features not provided in the standard user interface (for example, how to rotate one of the ups on a page to achieve a dutch cut imposition).

     Templates & Sequencing
  • Multi-up Imposition with Bleed

    This video discusses the proper way to handle bleed in your multi-up layouts. The video walks you through a multi-up business card job where the background for the cards require a gradient color. Setup for a job like this is fairly easy, as long as you account for bleed properly in your InDesign document layout.

     Imposition with Bleed

DesignMerge Bar Coding

This section covers the use of DesignMerge Pro and DesignMerge Catalog software for the creation of variable Linear and 2D bar codes. Please note that in order to create variable bar codes, you must have licensed one or both of the optional Bar Code modules for your DesignMerge software. The Bar Code modules provide support for many of the most common Linear and 2D bar codes, such as Code 128, UPC, QR Code, and Data Matrix. Please visit the Bar Code Modules page on the Meadows web site for more information.

  • Linear and 2D Bar Coding
  • Linear and 2D Bar Coding Overview

    This video covers the creation of variable bar codes (both Linear and 2D) using DesignMerge software. The video begins with a brief introduction to bar coding in general, followed by several in-depth examples that take you through the process of creating, sizing and styling both Linear and 2D bar codes. Feel free to use the Chapters feature of the video to jump to a specific section of interest. The instructions presented here are for Adobe InDesign 2022 and NEWER versions of the software. If you are running an older version of Adobe InDesign, please click here to visit the Legacy Bar Code Documentation on this web site.

     Bar Coding Overview
  • vCard QR Code Example and 2D Template Overview

    This video describes the use of the 2D Bar Code Module Template feature to create variable vCard QR Codes and other 2D bar code formats. Before proceeding with this training video, you must be familiar with how to create a DesignMerge placeholder  2D bar code in an InDesign document. For more details about the basics of 2D bar coding, including how to create DesignMerge placeholder  2D bar codes, please see the previous Linear and 2D Bar Coding Overview training video.

     vCard QR Code
  • Swiss QR-bill Example

    This video describes the use of the 2D Bar Code Module to create variable Swiss QR-bill 2D bar codes. The Swiss QR-bill is a QR Code-based payment system where the QR Code contains all of the required payment information. The data for the QR-code must be organized in a specific format according to the published specification. This video describes two different methods for creating variable QR-bill codes, one by reading the QR-bill formatted data directly from a single field in the data file, and a separate approach that utilizes the 2D Bar Code Module Template feature.

     Swiss QR-bill

DesignMerge Pro Pack Module Features

The Pro Pack is an optional module that, when installed, provides access to a collection of specialized features that are designed to address specific variable data challenges. By installing the Pro Pack, you now have access to our Data Converter and Variable Table features (used to group records together and automatically remove empty table rows across pages), as well as to the powerful Tray Break Utility, which can help to streamline bulk mail personalization that is sorted by mailing trays. In addition to these unique features, the Pro Pack also provides access to a limited version of our software API, allowing you to develop Custom Rule Actions that can be used for advanced data formatting and style changes. This collection of training videos cover all of the features included in the Pro Pack.

  • DesignMerge Pro Pack Videos
  • Tray Break Utility

    This video demonstrates how to install and use the Pro Pack Tray Break Utility, which is designed to automate the processing of direct mail pieces where the data file is sorted and separated by “Trays”. The utility automatically analyzes your data file to locate a change in the Tray field (known as a “Tray Break”), and subsequently produces individual, personalized PDF/VT output containing only the records associated with each tray.

     Tray Break Utility

DesignMerge Automation (with Enfocus Switch)

This section covers the use of DesignMerge Pro software in conjunction with the Enfocus Switch workflow automation system. The first video covers the installation of DesignMerge Pro software for use with Enfocus Switch, and describes where to find the very latest DesignMerge Pro Configurator, which provides the integration between the two products. Subsequent videos cover each of the DesignMerge Pro example Switch Flows, and take you through several different automation workflows that can completely streamline your variable data production.

  • DesignMerge Automation Videos
  • Enfocus Switch Installation

    This video demonstrates how to install Enfocus Switch for use with DesignMerge Pro software. If you have already installed a copy of Enfocus Switch (with the required Switch Configurator Module), please skip this video and proceed to the DesignMerge Automation installation video.

     Switch Install
  • DesignMerge Automation Installation and Setup

    This video demonstrates how to install the DesignMerge Pro Configurator, and how to verify that your system is set up properly for use with Enfocus Switch. The video also includes a link to the DesignMerge Automation Resources download, which contains sample flows and other assets required for testing and configuring your DesignMerge/Switch system.

     DesignMerge Install
  • Getting Started with Enfocus Switch

    This video takes you through all of the fundamentals of using DesignMerge Pro software with Enfocus Switch. The video covers creation of a sample flow, discusses flow inputs and outputs, and also demonstrates how to perform error checking and flow branching. The end result is a basic yet complete Switch flow capable of producing PDF/VT output with DesignMerge Pro. It is recommended that you complete this video before moving on to more advanced topics and additional sample flows.

     Getting Started

How To and Other Topics

This section provides additional detail, along with specific solutions for a variety of common variable data and data publishing challenges.

  • How To Videos
  • How to maximize performance for DesignMerge Pro PDF/VT output

    The video below covers the complete DesignMerge PDF/VT output process, and discusses the best combination of settings to use to achieve maximum performance. For VDP jobs that utilize variable graphics or other assets, the video starts by introducing you to the DesignMerge Preflight Report feature. Preflighting your job is very important if you wish to achieve the best possible performance.

     PDF/VT Performance
  • How to delete empty or flagged  InDesign table rows

    This video covers the Variable Table  features of DesignMerge, including the ability to remove empty or flagged InDesign table rows during a merge session. The Variable Table feature requires the optional DesignMerge Pro Pack module. The Pro Pack module provides a set of enhanced features for DesignMerge software, including support for custom Rule Actions. This video also covers the use of the Pro Pack module to omit pages from printing when the variable table content does not extend to subsequent pages.

     Delete Empty Rows