How do I remove a preceding Line Ending when a Link is empty?

To set up a Link to remove a preceding Line Ending character when the Link is empty, do the following:

  1. Open the Variable Links window.
  2. In the list of Links on the left side of the Variable Links window, select the Link that will sometimes be empty. This will display that Link's settings on the right side of the window.
  3. On the right side of the Variable Links window, check Add Prefix.
  4. In the Add Prefix edit box, enter a Tag to represent either a New Line character or a Carriage Return. For example, the MPS Tag and the XPress Tag for a New Line character is <\n>. The MPS Tag and the XPress Tag for a Carriage Return is <\#13>. NOTE: The Link will add this Line Ending character when the Link is not empty. When the Link is empty, the Link will not add the Line Ending character.
  5. In the If Link is Empty box on the right side of the Variable Links window, select Delete. This will instruct DesignMerge to delete the Link when it is empty. Since the Link will be deleted, the Link will not add the Line Ending prefix (the Line Ending will not be displayed in the document).
  6. If you would also like to remove the Link's line when the Link is deleted, check the Remove Empty Lines checkbox option. This will instruct DesignMerge to remove each line the Link was on whenever there are no remaining printable characters on the line. NOTE: This removes the Line Ending character that was at the end of the line that the Link was on. 
  7. In the Link Type box, confirm Text is selected and then select the appropriate Import Filter. For example, if you have set up the Link to add <\n> or <\#13> as a Prefix, select MPS Tags Filter from the Import Filter popup menu in DesignMerge for InDesign, or check the Use XPress Tags Filter checkbox in DesignMerge for QuarkXPress.
  8. Click OK to save these new settings and close the Variable Links window. 
  9. Before continuing, open the DesignMerge Preferences window and uncheck Smart Tags. Then, click OK to save this change to your DesignMerge Preferences.
  10. In the document, use the Type/Text tool to select both the Line Ending character that precedes the text for this Link and also the text for this Link. 
  11. Then, open the DesignMerge floating palette, select the appropriate settings for this Link, and click Assign or Replace. This will place both the Line Ending character and the text inside the Link. 
  12. The next time you merge the document, if the Link is not empty, the Link will import the Line Ending character Prefix and then the data for the Link. If the Link is empty, the Link will not import a Line Ending character Prefix and the Link will be deleted from the page. Also, if you set up this Link to remove empty lines if empty, then the Line Ending character that was at the end of this Link's line will also be removed.
For more information about setting up Variable Links, see Tutorial #1a (The Basics) in the DesignMerge Tutorial Manual, available in PDF format in the DesignMerge product folder on your system.