I'm laying out a role-playing game book that has a large number of repeating components that would have their own 'box' style:

Game component info box

Is there any way to generate something like this in InDesign? I have the data as a CSV table and I could generate a custom ICML if that helps.

1 Answer 1


You can put objects in text fields so they flow with the text. (You also can put text fields in textfields). Just by copy pasting them in. That should be very useful in this context.

enter image description here

If your data is very repetitive (as in all pages look the same just with different title numbers and text but exact same layout) It should be possible to set this up as a "data-merge" from a CSV file.

There is also a "book feature" with which you could combine the data merged pages with other non-repeatable pages into one document. (At least I think you can't have other content in a data merge document – but never tried it just used it for business cards so far)

For boxes that would vary in width like the "head" box, you could use "Object > Text Frame Options > Auto-size"

If every page would have a different layout of boxes there may be options to do that but probably none that would be quicker than doing it manually unless you have 10'000s of pages. I'm thinking something like creating custom fonts with boxes that turn "--box_9--" into a box in combination with a GREP style that changes all strings that start and end with "--" to this custom font.

  • Thank you! Data merge looks like what I was thinking of—this explains it well: redokun.com/blog/data-merge-indesign —my question then becomes how to make these 'components' that flow within a 2-column format
    – T3db0t
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:57
  • gcostudios.com/… could be an option – not sure. Or you make the merge document with half the width of the main doc and load the components in as embedded pdf or indesign file. Sep 10, 2021 at 0:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.