Variable Data Printing Extension

Only available in version with Variable Data Printing Extension.

The practical use of a Variable Data Printing Extension consists of two steps: the first is the data source definition and the second is the use of data from that source. A file containing records (rows in Excel for example) can be used as a data source, where each record contains individual fields (Excel columns for example). The file must be in text format, individual records and fields must be separated by specified characters. These delimiters can be defined and the data file can be selected in the Data Import palette. A typical file is .csv, where the fields can be delimited by a comma (or a semicolon or a tab) and the records by end of line (enter). This format can be easily exported, for example, from Excel or from most database applications. Fields and records can be also delimited by other characters. It is possible to use a .txt file exported from Word for example, where individual fields can be delimited by enter and records by two enters.

Data from this source can be used in Custom Objects – in text, as a PDF or image name or as a source for barcode generation. You can use references to individual data file fields (these references are replaced with the data from a file when rendering and exporting), as well as the field you can use as the image name. Data can be used in Variable Data, Numbering & Custom Objects mode. Turn on this mode by clicking the button on the Marks palette, using the toolbar button or the edit menu. You can then insert the text using the AB button on the Info palette. After clicking the Properties & Var. data button the Text properties palette appears. Here, the text can be combined with the [FIELD1], [FIELD2], etc., inserted using the drop-down list. If the data file contains names of images or PDF files, use the PDF button on the Info palette and select a field containing the image name. Variable PDF files are expected in the same folder as the data file or in the folder specified using Default PDF dir on the Data Import palette (if data field does not contain path but file name only).

You can use several references to the data file (text objects or custom pdfs), e.g. one for an image, another for a name, another for an address, etc. Of course, for the correct synchronization of values used in the objects the same object properties must be set – assignment to positions or to the sheet and the display properties must be the same, while using the two-sided sheet must also be suitably set displaying on the front and back, on the front only or on the back only.

You can use two repeat modes of pages for imposition if there are not enough pages to use all records from the data file. In that case, either only the last page is repeated, or after the last page is used, the first page is used as the following, followed by all the other pages for imposition (imposition will start from begin again).

ProHot version only: if you use variable data in the template for hotfolders, there are two options for using a data file: if the file is selected on Data Import palette (at the time of creating a template for the hotfolder), this selected file is always used. If the file is not selected (or if it is not founded), the *.txt or *.csv file must be saved in the hotfolder together with PDF for imposition (name of the file can be arbitrary). This file will be used as data file. Use Clear button (on the Data Import palette) to cancel the file selection; the fields and records delimiters definitions and the Default PDF dir are also considered if no data file is selected. This file must be saved before the imposition begins, i.e. before the PDF for imposition is saved. If data from the data file are used as PDF names and these data do not contain paths but only file names, use Default PDF dir button to define the location of variable PDF files.

See the example of the use here.