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This is my first StackExchange question ever, yay!

First I will describe how I made the signs last year:

I started with a spreadsheet of plant names and prices, as well as a folder of images (one for each plant). I created a PowerPoint slide (with dimensions that would allow two signs to fit on one standard sheet of paper, with a gap for laminating and cutting... I put boxes on the slide for the two text items) and then duplicated it for each sign. I spent many hours copy/pasting each plant name, price, and image into each slide, and re-sizing the images to fit. Finally, I exported it to a PDF and printed two-to-a-sheet.

My question is: How can I do this more efficiently? If I should use anything besides Microsoft Office, I would prefer software that is free (as in beer).

EDIT: I just found out that I have access to MS Publisher, and it looks like that will be much easier than trying to force MS Word to work with pictures.

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Where did you Copy and Paste the Plant Information from? Is it on a website? A spreadsheet? A database? –  Ryan Aug 1 at 17:09
    
@Ryan spreadsheet –  user28056 Aug 1 at 17:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You want to use a technique called Data Merging. In Microsoft Office products there are two options:

Then you'll want to pay special attention, and learn how to Merging Pictures.

Essentially, you'll be using your spreadsheet but might need to create a new one (to not ruin your original) and get the formatting right. Typically avoid spaces in column headings, and for the images follow the instructions--- do not place your images into the document, place the location of the image into the document. Then you'll use Microsoft Word's Mail Merge to do most of the work for you by importing the data from the spreadsheet.

If you get stuck you can probably find more help on the topic at http://www.superuser.com

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I just found out that I have access to MS Publisher, and it looks like that will be much easier than trying to force MS Word to work with pictures. –  user28056 Aug 1 at 20:00

FWIW, you could lay that out in MS Word and use a mail merge. One page, one database, one mail merge later, you're done.

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