How to create individual, personalized PDF files with unique names

How to create individual, personalized PDF files with unique names

Each of the DesignMerge print drivers, including the PDF driver, includes a feature called Page Sets per Job. This feature allows you to specify the number of pages of VDP output to produce for each output file. We also refer to this process as Job Chunking. Here is a link to an article that describes this feature in more detail:

http://meadowsps.hesk.com/knowledgebase.php?article=268

This feature is useful for longer print runs that you want to break up into more manageable sized output files. The feature can also be used to create individual PDF files, one for each record of the data file.

UNIQUE NAMING

If you want to produce a single, personalized PDF file for each record of your data file, then you also must ensure that each PDF file has a unique name. This is easily accomplished by using an exclusive DesignMerge feature called a Control Frame (also known as a Name Box). Please follow the steps below to create a Name Box for your job.

WHAT IS A NAME BOX

A Name Box is a specially identified InDesign Text frame. The text content of the Name Box at the time the InDesign document is printed by DesignMerge will become the name of the output file produced by the software.

If you would like to assign a unique name to each PDF file you produce, then all you need to do is include one or more Variable Links in the Name Box. In this fashion, when data is merged, the content of the Name Box will be personalized, thereby ensuring a unique name for each data record processed.

HOW TO CREATE A NAME BOX

1) To create a Name Box, open your InDesign document and create an empty text frame.

The text frame can be placed anywhere, on any page. The only requirement is that the frame must be on or at least touching the live area of the document page. When assigned as a Name Box, the frame will automatically be suppressed from printing, so you can safely place the frame anywhere you like.

2) With the Name Box selected using the Selection tool, choose the following menu item from under the main DesignMerge menu:



You will be prompted to select the type of Control Frame to create. Use the popup menu to select Filename as the type.



3) Click OK and the Name Box will be created.

When you click OK, the Name Box will be created. The background and stroke of the frame will be colored to make the frame easy to identify. The frame will also be set to be non-printing (so you need to be sure your preview screen mode is set to Normal - if it is set to Preview the frame will not be visible).



4) Insert Fixed and/or Variable text in the Name Box.

Remember, whatever is in the Name Box will become the name of the output file that is produced. In the example below, we have inserted the Variable Links named Name and Email. We separated these two links with a fixed dash character, and added the fixed text .pdf at the end in order to ensure that the PDF is created with the appropriate filename extension. This will result in each PDF file being named Name-Email.pdf. Of course, since First and Email are Variable Links, each of the PDF files produced should be uniquely named using the Name and Email values from each record of the Data File.

HINT: You may want to run a Data Preview test at this point so you can verify the filenames that will be merged in the Name Box. Also be sure the Name Box is wide and tall enough so you do not end up with any overset text during the merge.

5) Save the document and start the merge.

With the Name Box in place, save your changes. You can now follow the steps below to start up a PDF merge session and create a single, personalized PDF file for each data file record.

CREATING THE PDF FILES

Following are the basic instructions for using the Page Sets per Job feature to create a single PDF file for each record of the data file. The example job is a 2-page personalized form letter, which means that each PDF file produced will contain 2 pages as well. The sample database contains 500 records. This will result in the production of 500 unique PDF files, each named according using the Name and Email fields of the data file.

1) Start a DesignMerge merge session and select PDF or PDF/VT as the output format.

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 PDF file.

3) Enter the number '1' for the Page Sets value.



5) Since it is unlikely that the PDF files you produce in this fashion will be for print output, you may elect to choose Standard PDF as the Format. Note that this format is appropriate for creating individual PDF files, but should never be used for VDP print output because the files will be much larger. You can also choose PDF/VT as the output format, which will result in a much smaller PDF file. The choice is up to you.

6) Once you have set the Page Sets per job value to '1' you can start the PDF session and choose the PDF Preset and output location as you normally would.

NOTE: When you are prompted to save the PDF file, it does not matter what file name you give it because the file name will be completely controlled by the Name Box feature.

7) DesignMerge will start the merge process. In this example, it will merge and create one Page Set at a time.

In the example presented here, DesignMerge will produce a total of 500 individual PDF files. Each PDF file will contain 2 pages, and will be named according to the values as read from the Name Box created in the previous steps. A screen shot of the partial output is shown below. Note how each PDF file has been named using the Name and Email fields read from each record of the data file.



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