InDesign and variable data: wrangling data sources into beautiful layouts

This month we're looking at InDesign in the production of longer documents such as catalogs, directories, or variable-data mailings. Jim Hinds will demonstrate the use of imported database and spreadsheet data into InDesign; we'll learn how to "keep your great design even when all the data changes."

We'll also touch on how to use XML data sources such as all the new "open datasets" provided by government and municipalities in creating an InDesign project with changing data. Maybe you're charged with creating a beautiful budget document based on an Excel sheet, or a directory based on a SQL database.

Need to create a mailing for a few thousand original pieces of output with different address blocks or name personalization? We'll show you how.

Jim's background in producing the Kansas City Business Journal  will come in handy as we talk "data into InDesign" at this month's KCDesignCore.

See you Tuesday night!

Join or login to comment.

  • Brian

    The information provided will be useful in speeding up processes that would be otherwise be tedious.

    May 7, 2014

  • Robert C.

    great info!

    May 7, 2014

  • phyllisart

    Excellent information, I enjoyed the meeting

    May 6, 2014

  • Jody G.

    A great opportunity to be exposed to functions I had never seen in action before. Jim and Buck did great demos. Very articulate and really knew their stuff!

    May 6, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was OK coverage of some pretty basic (but powerful) functionality of InDesign.

    May 6, 2014

  • Jim H.

    I've posted pdfs of the slide shows from tonight in the More-->Files area of the site. Or go here,

    or here

    May 6, 2014

  • Jody G.

    Seeking advice from fellow designers. I'm a Production Artist/Designer mostly working in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. No video editing or sound editing. 1. I am getting a new MacBook. Currently have a 17" Macbook Pro that has been deemed "vintage" by Apple. Can I get by on the 13"? Also, what's your opinion about ram considering the software I use. Is 8g enough? Other considerations?

    2. I'd like to try a Wacom tablet. Does anyone have an extra I can borrow to see if I could get used to it?

    3. Adobe Creative Suite — pros and cons of using CreativeCloud vs. buying it outright.

    I appreciate hearing the input from this knowledgeable bunch!

    My email:

    I'll be at the meeting tonight. Hope to see you all there.

    Jody Gittleman

    May 6, 2014

  • Lisa D.

    Will this meeting cover any Indesign basics/overviews er no?

    May 4, 2014

    • Jim H.


      May 5, 2014

    • Jim H.

      I will be covering the use of the book panel for working with long documents and importing and updating excel files into tables. Buck will cover variable data, and we will both talk about XML. If there are more basic questions you need answered, talk to me at the meeting.

      May 5, 2014

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