Breaking up a VDP Job (the Page Sets per Job feature)

Each of the DesignMerge print drivers includes a feature called Page Sets per Job. This feature allows you to specify the number of pages of VDP output to produce before sending the job to the press. We also refer to this process as Chunking the Job.

The Page Sets per Job feature allows you to break your VDP output into a series of smaller files, and allows those files to be processed or printed as soon as they are ready. Once the output file has been produced, DesignMerge resumes processing for the remaining database records.

As an example, setting 250 as the Page Sets per Job value (for a single page document, in this example) will result in 250 pages of variable data being created. When the 250 page file is ready, it will be sent to your printer or hot folder, after which DesignMerge resumes the merge process. This will permit parallel processing - the printer can get started printing, while DesignMerge continues to merge the remaining records.


It might be helpful to understand what we mean by a Page Set.

Definition of Page Set


: a Page Set is the number of pages that are in your VDP template
(InDesign document) when you start up a merge.

Basically, a Page Set is the number of pages that are in your VDP template when you start up a merge. If you are running a single page job, then that Page Set contains 1 page. If you are running an 8-page newsletter, then that Page Set contains 8 pages.

So we call this feature Page Sets per Job (not Pages per job) because during a print run, it is unlikely that you would want to split a VDP job in the middle of a Page Set. For example, you would not want a Page Set to print the first 2 pages of a newsletter in the first chunk, then the remaining 6 pages at the start of the next chunk. So that is why we specify the chunk size in Page Sets and not simply as pages (although the total number of pages is calculated for you, as you will see in the example below).


Following are some basic instructions for using the Page Sets per Job feature. The example presented below uses the PDF driver dialog window, but the identical feature is supported in all DesignMerge print drivers. The sample job is a 2-page form letter, which means that each Page Set contains 2 pages. The sample database contains 5,000 records.

  1. Open the PDF driver dialog window
  2. Click on the dropdown menu next to Page Sets per job and select Specify:

    This allows you to specify how many Page Sets to produce for each chunk.
  3. Enter a number (for this example, we entered 250 Page Sets, which will result in a PDF that contains 500 pages)
  4. Verify the number of actual pages that will be produced for each job. This value is calculated and appears next to your entry.
  5. Once you have specified the Page Sets per job value, Start the PDF session and choose the PDF Preset and output location as you normally would.
  6. DesignMerge will start the merge process. In this example, it will merge the first 250 Page Sets, create the PDF file (the chunk), and then start merging data for the next chunk.

In the example presented here, DesignMerge will produce a total of 20 individual PDF files. Each PDF file will contain 500 pages.

If you have questions about this feature, please visit to open a support ticket.