Unexpected quote marks or inch marks in merged data

If you are seeing an unexpected quote mark or inch mark in a DesignMerge Text Link when you merge or update a document, then it is likely that your data file is using Text Qualifier characters. Various database and spreadsheet systems use quote marks in this fashion to identify non-numeric text in a data field.

DesignMerge attempts to detect the use of Text Qualifier characters during the initial setup, however, sometimes the quote marks are used infrequently and may therefore be missed during the setup process. The symptom of this is that you see the inch or quote marks appear around your data when it is merged by DesignMerge.

To keep these quote marks from being displayed when you merge the document, simply change the Text Qualifier setting in the Data Source Definition (DDF) to the appropriate quote mark (single quote mark or double quote mark). To do so, please follow these steps:

  1. Select DesignMerge > Setup > Data Source Definitions...

  2. Click the Edit button
  3. Use Text Qualifier dropdown menu and select the quote (') or double-quote (") character to match the character you are seeing in your document.
  4. Click OK to close the window, and click OK again to close the DDF window and save the changes to your settings.

After making this change, DesignMerge will automatically detect and remove the quote marks for you!

If you would like to confirm whether your data file is using any quote marks as a Text Qualifier, you can also edit the data file using a plain text editor, such as BBEdit, TextEdit, or Notepad (do not use Excel because it may automatically hide the quote marks when you open the file). Once the file is opened, simply search for the quote marks. You should be able to easily detect whether a quote mark is bracketing any of the data fields.