What is a DDF Set?

A DDF Set is a collection of Database Definitions (DDFs), which are a component of the AutoPrice and DesignMerge Pro software from Meadows Publishing Solutions. A Database Definition is a description of a database file (a plain delimited text file that contains variable data). 

Each AutoPrice or DesignMerge configuration or installation has its own discrete or individually distinct DDF Set that is separate from the DDF Set within any other DesignMerge configuration. To see your DDF Set, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the AutoPrice or DesignMerge menu and select Setup > Database Definitions. This will open the Database Definitions window. 

  2. The Current DDF popup menu on the Database Definitions window will automatically display the name of the DDF that is currently selected for use with a document.
  3. Open the Current DDF popup menu. The Current DDF menu will list all of the DDFs that are in your DDF Set.

NOTE: A new configuration of AutoPrice or DesignMerge will have a default DDF Set that contains only one DDF, named Default. This default DDF has not been set up to describe any database file. Once you have added a new DDF to your default DDF Set, then you can delete the default DDF whenever you wish.

The Database Definitions window allows you to AddRenameDeleteSetup, and Edit DDFs within your current DDF Set.

This window also allows you to select which DDF is the Current DDF for a document and which Database file you would like the Current DDF to use when merging a document. 

Additionally, you can import or export a DDF Set for the purposes of backup or to share your DDF Set with other DesignMerge configurations or installations.

  • Export DDF Set creates a DDF file that contains a copy of all of the DDFs in your DDF Set. Do not edit this file; editing this file may destroy it. Then, at any time you wish, you may import a DDF Set, a DDF file that was created by exporting a DDF Set.
  • Import DDF Set will replace all of the DDFs in your DDF Set with the DDFs in the imported DDF file. Importing a DDF Set will permanently delete all of the DDFs that are in your current DDF Set. Therefore, you may prefer to export your current DDF Set before you import one.

For more information about DesignMerge Database Definitions, see Tutorial #1a (The Basics) in the DesignMerge Tutorial Manual, available in PDF format in the DesignMerge product folder on your system.

For more information about AutoPrice Database Definitions, see Tutorial #1 (The Basics) in the AutoPrice Tutorial Manual, available in PDF format in the AutoPrice product folder on your system.




DesignMerge® Pro, a powerful suite of variable-data printing and data publishing software for Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress, provides the ability to automatically produce variable USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Codes.


Other major features of DesignMerge include automatic copy-fitting, advanced conditional programming (Rules), and multi-up imposition support. DesignMerge supports all of the major variable data output formats, including PostScript, PPML, PDF/VT, and Creo VPS and is compatible with printers from every major vendor.


In addition, DesignMerge can also be extended to produce variable 2D Bar Codes (QR Codes, PDF417, and Data Matrix) and other types of Linear Bar Codes (Code 128, UPC, Code 39, etc.). DesignMerge is great for creating personalized publications such as invitations, business cards, certificates, custom catalogs, etc.


For more information about DesignMerge, go to http://www.designmerge.com.





AutoPrice, available as plug-ins for Adobe InDesign or XTensions for QuarkXPress, helps to streamline the production and versioning of catalogs, price lists, retail flyers and financial documents.

AutoPrice provides sophisticated linking of InDesign or QuarkXPress documents to any external database of information (either flat-file, or ODBC). AutoPrice is great for performing price, picture, or text updates for any type of information that can be referenced by a “key value” such as product number (SKU).

• Saves time by automatically updating information from any flat-file or ODBC-compliant database. No more manual price changes.

• Allows last-minute revisions so published information is always current & consistent.

• Reduces errors and speeds proofing.

• Includes helpful reporting features for the AutoPrice tagged content in your documents.

• Allows you to instantly swap out product pictures, logos or any type of graphic image.

• Automate versioning: spin off multiple catalog versions from a single original.

• Extend AutoPrice with the optional AutoPrice Exporter Pro software to extract data from a QuarkXPress or InDesign document to a database file, which can then be used to populate Web, e-commerce or digital content databases .

• Extend AutoPrice with the optional AutoPrice PDF Exporter software to produce PDFs that contain hyperlinks based on the AutoPrice Links in your documents.

• Extend AutoPrice with the optional Meadows 2D Bar Code software to place updatable 2D Bar Codes (QR Codes, PDF417, and Data Matrix) in your documents.

For more information about AutoPrice, go to http://www.meadowsps.com/autoprice.





Index Builder is a software module for Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress that provides a very powerful set of tools for creating catalog indexes. Unlike standard indexing products, MPS Index Builder was designed to serve the special needs of catalogers, with a number of unique features that make the product ideal for catalog workflows.

You may use Index Builder to automate building both Product and Manufacturer Indexes. Index entries can be up to four levels deep and can be attached to any box or group of boxes (“Product Block”) in your catalog pages. Each tagged box or group can contain up to 10 distinct entries, and the entries are permanently stored with the document content. In addition, if you are one of our many AutoPrice customers, you will also be able to extract SKU information to include in your final index.

The Meadows Index Builder software includes the Meadows Index Tagger™ feature which provides an easy interface to tag the boxes or groups in your documents with index entries. You may enter index entries into Index Tagger by hand at any time, or you may import index entries from a tab-separated text file. Since most catalogers already have a hand-built index from the last catalog, it is quite easy to import the old index, make changes, and start tagging for the future. Index entries can also be saved, exported and shared by any other workstation.

Many catalogers create their catalog as separate pages, spreads, or sections, requiring that the index span across hundreds of individual documents. The built-in batch processing feature of MPS Index Builder will process any number of individual QuarkXPress or InDesign documents in a single session. A complete index can be created within minutes and can be updated at any time.

Imagine, querying a database application for SKU information, dragging a fully-formatted product block onto your QuarkXPress or InDesign page, automatically updating pricing or other information within the block, and then cranking out a catalog index. All this is possible using the Meadows suite of catalog software!

For more information about Index Builder, go to http://www.meadowsps.com/indexbuilder.



Copyright © Meadows Information Systems, LLC d/b/a Meadows Publishing Solutions. All rights reserved worldwide.

DesignMerge is a registered trademark of Meadows Information Systems, LLC.

AutoPrice is a trademark of Meadows Information Systems, LLC.

Index Builder and Index Tagger are trademarks of Meadows Information Systems, LLC.

Adobe and InDesign are registered trademarks of Adobe, Inc.

Quark, QuarkXPress and XTensions are registered trademarks of Quark, Inc.