I know that my question is could already be asked, but I can't find a clear answer.

I'm new to Indesign (i'm coming from webdesign), and I have to create a catalog. Each page contains the photo of a product and the description. To generate my indesign file, i've used data merging, and it works ok, in a way.

The only thing I'm not able to do, it's to have:

  • on the left page: the photo on left side and text on the right side
  • on the right page: the photo on the right side and text on left.

It is possible without paying for plugin like easy catalog? Should I use XML ? What's the easiest way to do this?

I've tried to check/uncheck the "facing page" option, before and after data merging, but the pages are always the same.

Note : I'm using Indesign CS3, perhaps a more recent version has this possibility?

Thanks, PS: sorry for my english...


InDesign's data merge feature is - like much Adobe software - old, rusty and in desperate need of an update that will probably never come. Often, it's easier to solve data merge problems in the spreadsheet than in InDesign.

I'd deal with this one by changing the spreadsheet from being like this:

| @Image  | Text     |
| Image 1 | Text 1   |
| Image 2 | Text 2   |
| Image 3 | Text 3   |
| Image 4 | Text 4   |
| Image 5 | Text 5   |
| Image 6 | Text 6   |
| ...     | ...      |

...to this:

| @Image-L| Text-L   | @Image-R| Text-R   |
| Image 1 | Text 1   | Image 2 | Text 2   |
| Image 3 | Text 3   | Image 4 | Text 4   |
| Image 5 | Text 5   | Image 6 | Text 6   |
| ...     | ...      | ...     | ...      |

Then, you can have a 2-page, 1-spread template with the left side arranged how you want using <<@Image-L>> and <<Text-L>> placeholders, and the right side arranged how you want using <<@Image-R>> and <<Text-R>> placeholders.

  • Thanks a lot. Your solution is a good option and makes the job. I hoped there was a solution to do this directly in Indesign but as you say Adobe software is desesperatly old. – Piccolina Feb 5 '14 at 12:11

Just have a look at this, it tells you exactly how to do it, http://tv.adobe.com/watch/instant-indesign/automating-a-catalog-with-data-merge/

  • 1
    Hello chelsian, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer! Could you please give a short version of the relevant content at the link you gave? That way, your answer is still valuable in case the link breaks at a later time. Thanks! – Vincent Feb 28 '14 at 14:49

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