TL;DR: Does anyone know how to show on InDesign file one table field that represents "Category" and under that all other table entries that have that same "category"?

Details: I have to create catalog with InDesign, right now I'm stuck with data merge but I'm open for any other way to do this. Situation is next:

I have spreadsheet with informations formated like this: Data spreadsheet

And my InDesign file should show like this: InDesign "Template"

What differs my question and my project is that under categories I have subcategories but I'm thinking if I manage to figure out how to handle categories I could do the same for SUBs.

1 Answer 1


I think it would be easier to do in excel and then import that file as regular table to indesign (remember to check "keep imported text files linked" so you will have auto updated file). What I would do in excel would look like this

enter image description here

You could also merge cells in indesign but then you would need to do it again when excel file is updated or changed.

  • But is it possible then to automatically style every category and subcategory different then other table entries? That's why I need data merge or some other way to style a template and import data without need to style every category title manual (there is over 150 categories with each having its own 2-6 subcategories)
    – Daniel
    Aug 22, 2016 at 7:54
  • Yes, just create the styles (table and cells) before importing the file. Then you can use GREP styles for more polished work. Data Merge is ok when you are sure that no one will change the source file or that you are ok with making manual changes. Aug 22, 2016 at 9:10

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