Begin the final step by clicking on ‘Create Merged Document’ within the Data Merge panel. All three tabs in this dialog box – Records, Multiple Record Layout and Options – require our attention.
Records: This is where we choose whether to have one record or multiple records on each page.
For our example catalog we’ll opt to merge ‘All Records’ and have ‘Multiple Records’ per document page.
We’ll also choose to generate an overset text report and set up an alert for missing images. These options can help us to identify issues that may occur during the document creation process.
Multiple Record Layout: This is where we establish how the records will be laid out during the merging process.
The Data Merge tool works in accordance with page margins. This means that a record that’s too big to fit within a page’s margins will be automatically placed on the next page.
Records can be paginated using one of two directions: ‘Rows First’ or ‘Columns First’. Rows First merges records left to right and then top to bottom, while Columns First merges records top to bottom and then left to right. The following image shows Rows First on the left and Columns First on the right:
The distance between each record is defined by the two spacing options: ‘Between Columns’ and ‘Between Rows’. Setting both options to 0 will cause the records to appear attached in the final result.
For our example catalog we’ll choose a ‘Rows First’ arrangement and 1mm of space between both the columns and rows.
Options: This is where we configure a few remaining choices.
There are five options for placing images during the merge:
- Fit Images Proportionally – Fit the image inside the Rectangle Frame tool box and maintain its proportions.
- Fit Images to Frames – Fit the image width and height to the Rectangle Frame tool box width and height; proportions will not be kept.
- Fit Frames to Images – Import the image with its original size and fit the frame to this size.
- Preserve Frame and Image Sizes – Import image with its original size but do not fit the frame to this size.
- Fill Frame Proportionally – Increase image size proportionally until it has filled the entire frame.
Each option is shown in the following image:
Select ‘Fit Images Proportionately’ for our catalog. Also select ‘Center in Frame’ and ‘Link Images’.