Formatting data

sae's picture

Afternoon all,

Not a design question as such but it is a gnarly issue that I could do with some pointers on.

I have to layout a 4-8 page section of a magazine which consists of a product guide. Mostly text with the occasional image and/or logo.

The data for the entries is collected on a web form and extracted (and arrives with me) as an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet contains an awful lot of data I don't need (date, IP address etc) as well as the company name, product details and contact info.

I have been told I can outsource this task if need be and I am happy to do that (although I have no idea to whom, ideas please?) but in the meantime I would love to find out what methods are available to me to get what I need from Excel into InDesign (or Quark, I have both and am not fussy which) preferably tagged so the formatting required is minimal.

I know it is possible – I designed the election night special for the last four UK general elections and received, from the Press Association, when the majority of seats were declared an RTF file which I simply streamed into my Quark design. All I needed to do was ensure no widows or orphans and my job was done!

Does anyone have any experience of doing such an operation, or know of a company that I can farm the task out to?

Joshua Langman's picture

Export the Excel document to a comma-delimited or tab-delimited text file (save as). Then import the file into InDesign via "data merge." This feature is designed to do exactly what you need. Look up a tutorial.

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