Data Merge not populating correctly when placeholder curse overflow
When using Data-Merge with an .txt/.csv and using export as pdf, indesign (still) merge the fields wrong (only use the first data-entry), if the placeholder and not the data curse an frame-overflow.
You have a textframe with enough space to place the string "888", but not enough space to place "8888".
You have a .csv table with a colum named "number" and values from "1" to "999".
You select the file with data-merge and get a placeholder "<<number>>" and replace the "888" with it. Now you got a frame overflow.
You select preview, and all values (1 - 999) shows up fine without any overflow.
You try to export as pdf.
You aspect: a pdf-file containing 999 pages with numbers from 1 to 999.
You get: a pdf-file containing 999 pages all with the value 1. :-(
1.) making the text-frame bigger, until the placeholder fits.
2.) let data-merge generate a merged indd-file.
Both work-arounds are no solutions! I often work with layouts where u can't choose option 1, small tickets for example. Solution 2 is a real nightmare if u work with graphics and many data-entrys.
I have this problem as well, but only when I add photos with the merge. Either way, I'm surprised to see that it's a bug as I thought it was a beginner mistake from my side - even more surprised that this has not been fixed yet, as I don't really see how I can use the function in the state that it is in. I guess it's option 2 for me, but i was trying to avoid the huge files.
So glad something exists that documents this problem. Please fix it. This was **** to figure out, and the work arounds are really not great. Particularly annoying when using single number values that need to be larger than other text.
I am surprised that I find that this bug has been reported already and not fixed, and it is not a new bug.
The bug is still happening in 16.1. I don't see how Adobe can let this go on - there is no work around whatsoever.
Going on 17 months since the bug was introduced and reported?
I also wanted to add that whatever shows in the preview must make it to the exported PDF - at the very least make the preview show the same wrong result as appears in the exported PDF.
Rick Plummer commented
Still there in ID 2021. Huge problem for us, as we do hundreds of these merges a year.
Kathleen Brunetto commented
Wow, thanks for explaining this Yve, I couldn't figure out why my fields weren't merging. I am using a ton of small numbers but the column names are 2 large words so expanding the text box isn't an option.
I ended up exporting to indesign and it generated everything correctly as you suggested for #2.
I am running latest version of maxOS and tried this both in 2020 and 2021 indesign.
Looking forward to a solution so that we can trust PDF export.
Yve Ice commented
The Problem still exists! INDD 15.0.3 x64 on Windows 10 (1909).
I was just about to report this bug, when I saw it was already here. Thank you, Yve for adding it!
I would say it's a bug, since you should not have to rely on a PLACEHOLDER textframe being large enough to show a part of the field name, for the actual data merge to work. But that is the case. Data merge developers at Adobe, please fix this.