Five InDesign Data Merge Tutorials

Data Merge is a very useful InDesign function. Here we list five tutorials, each one focused on the creation of a different kind of document.

Data merge is the InDesign function that allows you to connect a spreadsheet to an InDesign file and automatically populate tagged fields. It is a time-saving function if you need to create repetitive documents where the layout is static and the information changes.

To successfully create documents with Data Merge, there are many steps to follow.
The official Adobe InDesign guide is almost too thorough and can be a little intimidating, so here is a list of tutorials, each one focused on the creation of a different kind of document.
Each of these tutorials showcases interesting and sometimes unusual uses of Data Merge.

On this page, you’ll discover how to use Data Merge to create:

1. Business cards
2. Catalogs
3. Infographics
4. Planners
5. Communication tools


How to use Data Merge to create business cards

One of the most common uses for Data Merge is to create a business card. In a company with many employees, it is essential that every business card produced has the correct layout. This tutorial teaches you the basics of successfully creating a merged document. It is available both in video and text format, and it is part of a series where you can also learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator.

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How to use Data Merge to create a catalog


Catalogs and price lists are often very repetitive and data-driven documents. Thanks to Data Merge, it is possible to easily create catalogs with tables, images, and descriptions.

Here at Pagination, we specialize in creating beautiful catalogs and data-driven documents. Our tutorial on Data Merge goes in depth on how to correctly set up data files and how to automatically import images to create a car catalog.

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How to use Data Merge for infographics


Creating infographics can be very time consuming; they are often data-driven and the initial form of the data is a spreadsheet. In this tutorial, the author uses Data Merge to automatically create elements containing data that he then will use to create an infographic page for a magazine.

This approach to Data Merge is very eye-opening. Usually, Data Merge is used to create end products; here, it is used as a tool to easily create pieces of a bigger puzzle.

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How to use Data Merge to create a planner

Why buy a planner when you can make it by yourself? This video is a very detailed tutorial on how to create a planner starting from a spreadsheet. This tutorial is an example of how to combine Excel and the Data Merge function of InDesign.

It is especially useful to see how the author laid out the InDesign document that is going to be automated, and how she organized the spreadsheet.

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How to use Data Merge to create communication tools


This tutorial shows an interesting approach. The author is an employee of a creative agency, which uses Data Merge to create presentation-worthy documents to showcase their ideas and process.

In the design field, presenting ideas in the right way to the clients is the key to successful partnerships. Often, ideas and processes go from sketchbooks or whiteboards to a spreadsheet, so why not go a step further and also create beautiful documents?

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Most mentioned InDesign Data Merge Limitations

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