I have a design of a job ID and need to create about 120 variants, the variables are the photo, name and employee number. Is there a solution to automate this?

2 Answers 2


This could be done either in InDesign or Illustrator. InDesign would fit better. And there is the XML-import. Get the book "A Designer's guide to Adobe InDesign and XML" which perfectly fits. Maybe you will need some scripting too. Everything in Illustrator and InDesign can be run by Scripts. This is the professional way. Don't think you might solve this in a couple of minutes. If your system, XML and Scripts run perfectly you may start a business for this because it's a very HUGE advantage.

I totally forgot DATA Merge in InDesign. It's much easier for these kind of jobs and you may import excel-files directly. https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/data-merge.html

Place to find Data Merge


This is not artwork job, so office tools fit perfectly

Microsoft Word has all tools to thislike automation. Typical application is mail merging, but other docs that are all based on same template are as well produceable.

All pics and texts must be saved as strictly unified, "no edit needed"

The database should be established for changing data and the common template must be designed with placeholders (=fields) for personal data.

Unfortunately the basic effort that's needed for automated job to start, is quite heavy for only 120 different outputs. Maybe an overkill!

Whatever is your system, you still have to walk thru pics and texts, finetune them to be strictly unified and insert them to proper files.

If this was my job, I would stay semiautomatic and use some most general and easy software. I would order everything into an Excel worksheet. There I would copy manually one line (=one person's data) at a time to "print input area"

My worksheet would have also print output area that takes the data as links from input area. In output area everything is in visually proper order for printing, but input area has one straight line.

Every time when a new person were copied to print input area, I would check how the print output area looks out and finally press "Print".

This system can easily be converted to fully automatic if one is familiar for Microsoft's scripting language and how to insert some function buttons.

The third possiblity is to take some cardfile system, for ex. AZZ Cardfile. This has an advantage: everything is in good shape when inputted. But the data is complex to extract for other purposes and complex to input in chunks without typing person by person and field by field. Cardfile is robust for ordinary office worker, but I would choose Excel.

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