I'm building a business directory in InDesign, and my data source is a MySQL database. I can query this database anyway I wish, and output it either as xml or as a csv file.

I prefer the XML option, as it gives me the ability to use a more complex hierarchy of subdirectories, and is easier to work with, compared to Data Merge of a csv file.

The one thing missing, though, is the ability to generate QR Codes from the XML data, as can be done with data merge (using hashtag as prefix for the field name).

I've spent quite a lot of time Googling it, but couldn't find anything that has to do with XML data and generating QR Codes in InDesign. Does that mean it can't be done?

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    I have never done this, I just quickly googled it. This seems to be closest to what you want. I was thinking that maybe you could use the Inline merge script. I have no idea if it supports the qr-code generation. I don't know how it was coded. For all I know, everything in that script is custom and doesn't support the qr code creation...
    – Joonas
    Apr 5, 2016 at 12:16
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    Thanks, but your first link is an explanation of how to do it with data merge, which, as I said, doesn't suite my needs. Your second link points to a script that also uses data merge (it is a bit more easier to work with, but it's still data merge and not XML import).
    – einav
    Apr 5, 2016 at 12:33
  • Well I guess, if data merge is out of the question, the only thing left is that you write a custom javascript to do what you want. Creating qr code with javascrip ( Indesign CC ). Indesign Javascript scripting guide has a chapter on XML stuff.
    – Joonas
    Apr 5, 2016 at 12:39
  • You can create the qr codes during export (or supplementary to an export) using e.g. PHP ( stackoverflow.com/questions/5943368/… ).
    – Yorik
    Jun 3, 2016 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


XML won't allow native QRCode generation. I did use it in a recent workflow thanks to scripting on top of xml import. If you build dozens of such documents you may want to consider catalog assembly dedicated tools such as EasyCatalog. Those generally ease all the steps ;)

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