There’s more than one way to cut and stack…

In the post Using Data Merge to Impose? I demonstrated a way of making a cut and stack imposition using Data Merge. Essentially, it meant performing a data merge with artwork which was prepared one-up with the appropriate numbers to one large PDF; breaking the PDF into single pages; and then re-merging into a layout which was 6up (or however many up as required). While it demonstrates that Data Merge CAN do this, it is quite complicated and probably a technique which is nice to know but unlikely to ever use.

Following from a post in the Adobe Forums with a frustrated poster unable to prepare a cut and stack Data Merge, another method has been revealed which does away with the need for a second merge and is a very clever use of the Multipage Importer script written by Scott Zanelli. This was discovered by Adobe Forums regular Peter Spier, who was happy to credit me with providing the route for the idea. See the full post here:

Just for the record, I am against using InDesign as imposition software, but for the sake of those that have to; or to simply demonstrate the power and usefulness of scripts, I hope this post provides some value.

Nevertheless, here is how it is done. This example assumes DLs 3-up on an A4 page much like the original post from the Adobe Forums, but for the sake of this example only uses 99 records. Before beginning, make sure that the multipageimporter.jsx script is installed – if it isn’t, it can be downloaded here.

1) Prepare the data and the merge one-up and merge the result to a PDF or InDesign file. In the actual files attached at the end of this story, i’ve made a PDF rather than a new InDesign file.

2) Make a new InDesign document and start the multipageimporter.jsx script.

3) Once the dialog box appears, put in the following:

4) Click OK. the script will run and place the first third of results in the top third of the sheet. Double-click the multipageimporter.jsx script and this time put in the following:

5) Click OK. the script will run and now place the next third of results in the second third of the sheet. Once again, double-click the multipageimporter.jsx and put in the following:

6) Click OK. The script will run and place the final third of results on the last third of the sheet.

The key to using this script to behave like a cut and stack imposer is the page-range entered into the script; and the offsets applied each time that the script is run. Because the DL panels are 99mm high, the offsets for the second script run will be offset by 99mm, and 99 +99 (198) for the last run.

Files demonstrating what i’ve done can be downloaded here.

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About colmin8r
A prepress operator since 1997 specialising in Adobe InDesign.

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