Adobe InDesign/data merge in CS5


We created a simple document in CS5 to turn a csv file and a directory of jpegs into a simple catalog.

The preview ran beautifully once. But when running the actual merge, only one image row per page appeared.

Now we can't even get the preview to run correctly. And we've rebuilt and relinked the file from scratch several times.

Hi Darren,

Thank you for your question.
I'm afraid that I haven't had much experience of using data merge, but it looks like something to look into further in the future. However I'll try to help as much as I can.

Are all the original files still in the same location and stayed linked throughout the process? What sort of directory are the jpegs in? How are you creating the csv file? What do you mean by one image row per page - are there more than one image per row or multiple rows per page and only one image?

Is it just the images that are no longer previewing? If these are not showing it could be an issue with how they are written in the csv file - or their location has changed from where the csv file says they should be.

Or it could be a preview issue - "Switching preview on or off

Some issues may arise or correct themselves when you switch between previewing modes. Keep the following in mind:

   Placeholders replace the preview content when the Preview Record option is not selected. If you delete an image as well as the frame containing the image, or delete a whole text string, when you deselect the Preview Record option, the placeholders will not appear as they have also been removed.

   Changes in the Content Placement Options dialog box are not reflected until you click OK. Also, if the Preview Record option is selected, the data will not reflect the updated placement settings until you deselect and select the option again.

   If you try to save the document in preview mode, you will receive a message prompting you to turn off preview mode before saving your document."

More information/useful links -

A step by step guide -

Issue with csv coding -

Excel data file set-up -

Video step by step guide -

Hope that helps, any further questions don't hesitate to ask,

H Louise

Adobe InDesign

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H Louise


I am an artworker in the newspaper industry working with both newspaper and glossy products. I can answer most questions on the Adobe Creative Suite CS3 (Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat Professional), however please note that I am not as experienced in the use of Illustrator. I also have experience in QuarkXpress, Property software and Photography.


I have been working in the newspaper industry since 2007. I started in QuarkXpress before moving over to the Indesign software.

I have qualifications in art and design as well as a degree in media.

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