How to use DesignMerge to delete empty table rows

This article describes the variable table features of DesignMerge, and the ability for the software to remove empty or flagged table rows during a merge session. This functionality can be achieved by adding the optional DesignMerge Pro Pack to your configuration.


The DesignMerge Pro Pack provides a set of utility functions that have been integrated with DesignMerge to perform various variable data tasks. The Pro Pack can be used with any version of DesignMerge, and provides a very powerful set of tools for specific VDP applications. In addition to the built-in features provided by the Pro Pack, you can even develop your own Custom Actions, which truly expand the customization capabilities of the software. Listed below are just some of the features included in the Pro Pack. Please visit the Pro Pack page on our web site for more details.

Collapse Empty Table Rows...

For clients that are producing variable tables, it is often convenient to create them using the InDesign Table feature. Each cell of the table can be filled with variable data imported by DesignMerge. Some clients prefer that when table rows do not contain any variable data, they be removed from the table to create a nice, clean look. This module automatically scans a document before it its printed, and removes empty table rows for tables that have been merged with data from DesignMerge. 

Update for InDesign 2021 - A new version of the Pro Pack now enables the MPS Variable Table feature. This feature allows you to set specific criteria for removing empty table rows, and is much faster than using the original, scripted approach. Check out the video below for an example of this powerful new feature.

... and Omit Empty Pages

DesignMerge already supports the flow of variable text across pages in a document, but what about those records that do not include enough text to span to the second page? In most instances, it is sometimes desirable to exclude that second page from the print run. This module assists in the process by automatically detecting such text flows, and marking the page for omission from the variable print stream. Please see the video above for an example of how to use the Frame Action feature provided by the Pro Pack to omit empty pages from the print output.

Advanced Title Case Conversion

This module performs advanced title case conversion on any variable text string being imported. The module handles simple initial case conversion (JOHN JONES becomes John Jones), but also has a built-in table for handing more complex names, which is nice for the McCormick's and MacDonald's of the world!

Price Parsing Module

Many of the variable jobs encountered by DesignMerge involve variable pricing information. This module provides a method for selectively grabbing just a portion of a particular price. For example, if a client has 2 for 1 pricing, this module allows them to selectively merge just the '2' and the '1' portion of the data independently, allowing for precise styling of this data after import. The price parser module handles many common retail scenarios, including standard and percent-off pricing.

Custom Action Support

For custom Rule Actions, the Pro Pack module serves to expose a set of special programming routines that can be used to totally customize your DesignMerge functionality. All custom Actions are developed using JavaScript (a/k/a Adobe InDesign ExtendScript), and can be triggered by any DesignMerge Rule. Using this approach, the Actions you develop will have access to not only the DesignMerge scripting events, but to all of the Adobe InDesign events as well. This means that you can develop a Rule Action to handle just about any variable data need.

More Information

Please contact the Meadows sales team for more information about the Pro Pack module.