This is a long shot, but I'm at a new job, learning InDesign, and wondering if I can automate something in a set of reports I'll regularly be generating.

The organization I work for partners with dozens of nonprofits across twenty categories. We issue a regular a report that includes a list of each category, ordered by number of clients served. Each page has about six of these, including a two sentence description of the category, a little icon for each one, and the current number of partners we work with in that category.

I've got a CSV I'll populate with the number of clients served and number of partners for each category. I've got the images/icons and standard text that go with each category. I've got an InDesign template with spaces laid out for each category (where we'll put Icon, name, description, merge tags and text next to merge tags). But what I'd like to do is make a script or something that puts the category with the most clients served in spot 1, the next most clients served in spot 2, etc. Is that possible?

FYI, I also have access to Acrobat and the rest of the CC Suite.

Thank you!

  • Look into indesigns xml publishing capabilities.
    – joojaa
    Jul 28, 2022 at 20:48
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    I might misunderstand this, but can't you just sort the csv data according to number of partners before doing the data merge?
    – Wolff
    Jul 28, 2022 at 23:36
  • @Wolff I can, but that won't(by itself) change the position of the merge tags on the InDesign Document. To use a simpler example, if I had a csv of three runners with the time they took to complete a race, named Alex Bob and Carol, I would have merge tags for Alex_time, Bob_time, and Carol_time or something. I can place each of these tags on the InDesign Document, but I'd rather designate a first place, second place, and third place time instead, so that if Bob comes first, his time (and name and picture) are listed in the InDesign document above the other two. Does that make it more clear?
    – IDn00b
    Jul 29, 2022 at 16:58
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    Yeah, but if you sort the rows in the csv (in Excel or similar) according to time, won't Bob come first in the csv and end up first in InDesign? Too long since I actually used Data Merge. Perhaps I just misunderstand how it works.
    – Wolff
    Jul 29, 2022 at 17:29
  • The way I've seen data merge in InDesign work so far is that you place tags in absolute places on the document. So to insert <<Alex_time>> you put a text field with that merge tag say, 100px from the top and left edges, <<Bob_time>> could go 100px from the top and right edges, and <<Carol_time>> could go 100 px below <<Alex_time>> etc. I'd love for something to trigger the behavior you're describing where it automatically repositions it based on the order of rows in the csv, if there's a way to do that, I'm all ears
    – IDn00b
    Jul 29, 2022 at 19:31


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