Merged variable link is unexpectedly empty or displays data from wrong field or wrong record

If a merged variable link is unexpectedly empty or displaying data from the wrong field or the wrong record, review the following conditions: 

Variable Link Assignment Settings

To review which settings are assigned to the variable link that is becoming empty when merged, open the document and select that variable link in the document. Then, open the DesignMerge panel (DesignMerge > View > DesignMerge Panel). The panel will display which settings are assigned to the variable link. For example, confirm which Link is assigned and confirm whether a Rule assignment is changing the variable link's merged data. Also, confirm the appropriate Sequence Number (DesignMerge Pro) or Search Key Value (DesignMerge Catalog) is assigned. 

Current DDF Settings

If the data file is using a text qualifier but the document's DDF has None selected for its Text Qualifier setting, then data may not merge as expected. To determine whether your data file is using a text qualifier, do the following:

  1. Open the data file (the delimited text file) in a plain text editor, such as TextEdit or Notepad (other types of applications, such as Microsoft Excel, automatically hide text qualifier characters). 
  2. Then, search for a double quote mark. If you do not see any double quote marks bracketing field data, search for a single quote mark. You will be able to detect easily whether a quote mark is bracketing any field data. 
  3. Once you have finished examining the data file, close the file without saving any changes to it.
  4. Next, confirm the Text Qualifier setting in the DDF is appropriate for this data file by editing the DDF. To do this, follow these steps:
  5. Open the document. Then, open the Data Source Definitions (DDF) dialog (DesignMerge > Setup > Data Source Definitions). 
  6. Click the Edit button to open the Edit Data Source Definition dialog where you will see the DDF's Text Qualifier setting.

Variable Link Settings

Confirm the variable link is assigned to the correct field. To review which fields are assigned to variable links in this document's DDF, open the document and then open the Variable Links dialog (DesignMerge > Setup > Variable Links) and choose each variable link one by one in the list of the left to review its Field setting displayed on the right side of the dialog. Also, review each variable link's Empty Link setting.

Line Ending Character in Data

Data will not merge as expected when a field in a data record contains a line ending character (for example, a New Line/Shift-Return character, or a New Paragraph/Carriage Return character). Open the data file (the delimited text file) in a plain text editor, such as TextEdit or Notepad, to examine whether there are any line endings in any of its fields of data. If you find any, these need to be replaced (see the How to include a Line Ending in data for a variable text link knowledgebase article for more information).

Helpful DesignMerge Pro Tool: Data Preview

A helpful tool to examine how each record's fields of data are being mapped to the variable links in your current DDF is to run a Data Preview merge session. The Data Preview panel will display how each field of data in a record is being mapped to each Variable Link in the DDF.

Contact Meadows Support

If applying this information does not resolve this issue, or if you have any questions about this information, please contact Meadows Technical Support