I am looking to design many unique study cards, with text and some images on the front and back, to be printed on a professional digital press. Right now, I have the material in a table, with one row per card to be printed.

My question is: what tool can I use to convert a long list of source material into mostly-laid-out cards? I may have to do some manual tweaking, but is there some tool to bulk-import these card lists into a layout document?

Note that this is a different problem than a mail merge or greeting-card run, because each of the cards I am making is unique, in a set of about 1000. I don't want the same card 1000 times; rather, I want to bulk-import many unique cards and then adjust by hand.

  • Sorry; do you mean that the cards will be identical - except for text? Or will some be different visually? You could do it in excel/word, but for the professional approach, I would suggest InDesign. – benteh Dec 3 '13 at 0:41
  • They will all be the same size and shape, but the contents of each will be different. I am looking for the way people recommend going from a table of words, with a column for the front and one for the back, to a set of pages. – Travis G. Dec 3 '13 at 2:37

I've been messing around with Flat and Even from http://xxyxyz.org/. Flat is a graphics toolkit written in Python. Even is a presentation gui and python editor. It's very handy for mocking up pdf documents programatically.

If you are an inDesign user, you can use Adobe's scripting features or basil.js, a plugin that uses a more processing-like syntax for manipulating inDesign documents.

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  • Looks like I will be using a custom program along these lines to convert the raw data into layouts. Thanks! – Travis G. Dec 5 '13 at 1:34

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