Pictures are not sized or positioned or printing as expected.

When DesignMerge imports a variable picture, the picture will first be sized and positioned as it normally would if you had used the InDesign "Place" command to import this picture into the picture box, and then the Picture Variable Link's "Position" setting will be applied to the imported picture. Before continuing, confirm you are using the most recent available version of DesignMerge. Installers are available at


To determine how a variable picture will be sized and positioned, examine the following settings in InDesign, in your document, and in your DDF: 


FirstReview your InDesign Preferences, Import Options, and Frame Fitting Options. 


To test your current settings, use the InDesign "Place" command to place one of the variable pictures in the Picture Link's box. If the picture is not sized or positioned in the manner that you wish, select different InDesign Preferences, Import Options, and Frame Fitting Options before merging


For example, turn off (uncheck) the "Preserve Image Dimensions When Relinking" File Handling Preference. 


SecondConfirm you have selected an appropriate DesignMerge "Position" setting for the Picture Variable Link.


To do this, open the "Variable Links" window, select the Picture Variable Link by its name in the list on the left. This will display its settings on the right side of the window.Confirm you have set the "Link Type" to "Picture" and that you have selected the appropriate "Position" setting. 


For more information about the settings for a Picture Variable Link, see Tutorial #1a (The Basics) in the DesignMerge Tutorial Manual, available in PDF format in the DesignMerge product folder on your system. Once you have confirmed the action that your selected setting will perform, apply that setting manually to the picture that you imported above to confirm you have selected the appropriate "Position" setting for this Variable Link.


ThirdDetermine whether the picture box should be empty before you start a merge session


Depending on your InDesign settings, you may see different results depending on whether a picture box is empty or contains a picture before you start the merge session (for example, when placing a picture that is replacing another picture, the previous picture's settings may be applied automatically).


For example, if a picture box is not empty, review which Fitting and Clipping Path settings have been applied to the picture inside this box. 


Fourth: Use InDesign to produce the same type of output that the DesignMerge Print Driver will be producing, and examine how your digital printer will print that InDesign output.  


If using the DesignMerge PPML or Creo VPS DriverConfirm your InDesign Export as EPS feature can export the picture satisfactorily. If using the DesignMerge PDF Driver, confirm InDesign Export as PDF feature can export the picture satisfactorily.


If using the DesignMerge PostScript Driver or Optimized PostScript Driver: Confirm your InDesign Print to PostScript File feature can print the picture satisfactorily.


FifthImport the graphic file to your digital printer and print the graphic file to confirm its format is compatible with that printer.


Note: If none of the above recommendations resolve this, it may be helpful to turn off the Print Driver's "Print Optimization" setting and/or to turn off the "VDP Optimizer" setting. However, please note that this will reduce the Print Driver's optimization, so remember to turn these settings back on the next time you use this Print Driver.


IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using DesignMerge for InDesign and your current installation is an earlier version (DesignMerge vX.50b4 or earlier), then we recommend updating your DesignMerge software. DesignMerge vX.50b9, which was released in early January 2013, is the first version that made a change available to address an intermittent problem in the positioning information that InDesign provides DesignMerge. The change involves the manner in which DesignMerge collects positioning information to avoid this InDesign issue.