Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How to make Illustrator play with Indesign

Discussion in 'Adobe' started by CES020, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    2,875
    4
    38
    Oct 16, 2008
    VA
    I have a job on deck and I'm trying to understand how to do this. It's a data merge job, so I'm looking at InDesign. I tested that feature some time ago and I think I understand that, not too big an issue. However, I drew the items in Illustrator when I did samples for the job. It was easy to make 2 samples in Illustrator.

    So now I have about 400 of them with different data on them. I can fit 10 or so on a sheet. My Indesign experience is so limited, so I need someone to tell me if what I'm doing will work, and if I'm really messing up by doing it.

    I'd like to layout the items (which already have some text) in Illustrator (just one sheet worth). So I have 8 or 10 of them all laid out in Illustrator and filled with text (3 or 4 fields of text in different places).

    I'd like to then cut and paste that from Illustrator to InDesign. Then, take the text frame tool and drag it around my existing text to create the place where the variable will go. Then just delete the existing text that was cut and pasted. So I'll be using what I had in Illustrator to define my text frames. At that point, I have all my text frames defined, then I can just add my variables or whatever InDesign calls them, into the text frames.

    Then, head to the merge tool and make it all happen.

    Will that work? Does it seem too backwards? I did cut and paste a sample over into InDesign and printed it and it printed sharp and crisp, so I was happy with the quality.

    I think this will mark the 2nd time in 2 years I have used the program, but it sure will make this job easier if I can do that.

    What do you think? Yes? No? Maybe?

    Thanks-
    Steve
     
    Tags:
  2. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

    1,637
    2
    0
    Nov 23, 2008
    Hi Steve,

    I don't see why that shouldn't work - however don't see why it is necessary to bring text over to InDesign if it's going to be deleted. (unless it's already there?).

    Not sure if this helps, but you could draw rectangles in illustrator where you would like the variable text to be placed, then copy/paste into indesign. You can then select only the rectangles (after ungrouping everything), right-click, then go to 'content', then 'text'.

    To remove the colour of the border you'll still have remaining from the rectangle, you simply select it, and remove the stroke colour.

    I've read before here that you use coreldraw too - I have rarely used it, but is the merge feature in it not suitable for this job in particular?

    Cheers,
    John
     
  3. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    2,875
    4
    38
    Oct 16, 2008
    VA
    Hi John, thanks- great question. The text is already on my sample pieces in Illustrator so I'm not having to really create much of anything. Great point about using a rectangle instead.

    I do use Corel Draw, but I have to hit a color on these things and I've already proved it all out and sent samples from Illustrator, samples which have been approved. I'm not sure I'm ready to try and figure out how to hit my color in Corel. I'm really really really trying to move away from Corel. Not because it's bad (I love it), but because the people we work with more and more are all using the Adobe packages, so it makes communications and file sharing much easier.

    Thanks for the tip, that'll help. Also, from placing and cutting and pasting Illustrator files, I'm guessing InDesign is a raster program, correct? I imported an eps file and it looked like a bitmap to me. So I'm guessing it's raster only?
     
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    Really, you don't need to use illustrator as much except when it comes to logos or detailed graphics and then all you have to do is import it from Ai into ID, just make sure you have PDF compatible enables.

    I think you are making it more difficult then it needs to be. Do your text in InDesign and if you just have simple paths or simple graphics use the pen tool in InDesign and don't worry about it in Ai.

    The following two pictures shows what it will look like. The screen capture shows how it looks in InDesign and the other one is how it exports it. The only thing that wasn't done in InDesign was the text "Plant Doctor", ignor the black box, that isn't apart of the final product.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

    1,637
    2
    0
    Nov 23, 2008
    I see, yeah the colour thing might put me off as well!

    In design isn't really either a raster or vector program exclusively. It is the layout platform for adobe products. The adobe workflow is basically - create your vectors in Ai, your rasters in Ps, then put it all together in InD for final output - usually to a PDF.

    Indesign also includes vector tools for creating shapes and the such, and you can also add some basic styling like drop shadowing, feathering, etc, which might be difficult to do in another program then import in without prolems. So if you ever need to do that sort of thing, try to limit it to doing it within indesign.

    One core strength of indesign, seems to be text. It has a very highly adjustable paragraph tool and text layout features that simply don't exist in corel (and probably aren't really required anyway most of the time unless you're doing up alot of multi page brochures, catalogs or magazines).

    To answer your question about your graphics looking pixelated, is to do with the "view/display performance" settings.

    When you work with 64 page colour catalogs with 300dpi images showing everywhere... having this on high quality can really slow down your system or make it crash, so when doing that sort of thing, you turn it down.

    I think indesign has alot to learn from corel - It's probably adobe's attempt at something like coreldraw, which is a tremendously user friendly document platform that ticks alot of boxes in the one program.

    I used to be a corel only user a while back - was hard making the switch - but I still use corel for alot of things to be honest - especially laser engraving. (but adobe still has the edge in this department too overall if you know how to use it - not very user friendly though).
     
  6. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    That's exactly the workflow that was used in that flyer from beginning to end(PDF export).
     
  7. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    2,875
    4
    38
    Oct 16, 2008
    VA
    Thanks guys! I have a lot to learn. I use corel for our laser and router and it's hard to beat.
     
  8. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

    1,637
    2
    0
    Nov 23, 2008
    Sure is... the print "selection only" is gold.

    Adobe has it's secrets though in this department :) just not as user friendly... more flexible/powerful maybe, but definitely not AS friendly.
     
  9. mikey-Oh

    mikey-Oh Very Active Member

    1,431
    1
    36
    Apr 16, 2009
    okc
    I dunno man... Far as pagination software goes, InDesign is far more intuitive and user friendly, for me, than Quark ever was.
     
  10. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

    2,136
    2
    0
    Oct 29, 2009
    Nobody mentioned Quark, you're going to curse us all! Boo!

    InDesign is an amazing product worth learning thoroughly. Designers are still in many ways too reliant on using Illustrator for layout which it really isn't intended for and has many drawbacks. The OP should be using InDesign from the beginning and developing graphic elements in the appropriate program, then placing into ID as described by a few people above. A few hours on Adobe.TV learning ID basics will do a world of good, before long you'll find laying out and flowing 450 page books fun.
     
  11. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    2,875
    4
    38
    Oct 16, 2008
    VA
    I spent some time on lynda.com tutorials last night with InDesign. Seems like a very very powerful program. One I think I can use more and more.

    I did the original samples in Illustrator because I can, and I couldn't do it in InDesign because of my lack of knowledge. The samples turned into a large job, so now I have a little time to figure it all out.
     
  12. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5

    I think you would be surprised about how much you'll end up using it. It was a little confusing for me in the beginning, but I did what you did and learned a bit on lynda.com and that helped quite a bit.
     
  13. omgsideburns

    omgsideburns Very Active Member

    2,180
    0
    36
    Apr 15, 2008
    Don't paste, PLACE.

    Then when you update the file you put in the document, it will update in the document too.
     
  14. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    2,875
    4
    38
    Oct 16, 2008
    VA
    Thanks OMG. I'm only pasting because I want the master to be in InDesign. I don't plan on using the Illustrator file again.

    How do the links work when placing? I've done a little from Photoshop into Illustrator, but I'm planning changing some folders around soon to make things easier to locate for me and I'm already thinking doing that's going to break all my links. I assume when it can't find the link, it gives the option of trying to find it somewhere else?
     
  15. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5

    I find that it works pretty much the same, although I'm not a fan of using the links, I actually place a copy in there. Yea, that does make for some pain for having to "re-place" the file if I did any work in it's respective program, but if I have to send indd files somewhere else, I don't have to worry about sending over the linked files as well.
     
  16. joshjackson

    joshjackson New Member

    6
    0
    0
    Feb 1, 2011
    Did the Data Merge function work for you? It's funny that I stumbled across this thread as I am about to use Data Merge for the first time. However, my understanding is that it either works best or only works with Excel. I have never heard of using Data Merge with Illustrator. Keep us posted.

    Also, this might have been posted, and perhaps I overlooked, but if you have multiple images to paste, using the PLACE command will allow you to load up your mouse cursor with many images at once. Each time you click on your InDesign page, it places that image and pulls up the next one.
     
  17. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    2,875
    4
    38
    Oct 16, 2008
    VA
    I'm not to the data merge part yet. I'm waiting on the file from the customer. I have tested it in the past, using open office, so not Excel and it appeared to work fine. I hope it doesn't require Excel. We don't own Office.
     
  18. jmcnicoll

    jmcnicoll Member

    300
    0
    16
    Nov 18, 2007
    Green Bay, WI
    If I am not mistaken, InDesign, Quark, Pagemaker and such are page layout programs for multiple page items. Correct?

    jim
     
  19. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    Don't forget Publisher as well. That's what my sister likes to use.
     
  20. Rodi

    Rodi Very Active Member

    1,333
    1
    38
    Aug 3, 2007
    You may wish to consider a plugin such as Fusion Pro. It is expensive, but you have good control over the variable text, it can be handled exactly as the static text and the plugin handles all the text flow.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...