Mail Merge with QuarkXPress

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Mail Merge with QuarkXPress

Postby Matthias Guenther (Quark) » 08 May 2018, 08:40

Hi all,

please see this article on how to do mail merge with QuarkXPress 2018:
http://www.planetquark.com/2018/05/08/m ... arkxpress/

Regards
Matthias
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Re: Mail Merge with QuarkXPress

Postby UtahLlama » 08 May 2018, 13:50

Why not build a GUI for this :?:
This is a valuable feature if handled properly
Where is the functionality to delete the blank fields, its pretty much a non starter without this.
Also you need ability to variable scale text to fit lines without breaking and ability to jump to longest record in the data is super useful too.
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Re: Mail Merge with QuarkXPress

Postby Matthias Guenther (Quark) » 08 May 2018, 14:06

Hi Utah,

so you are saying that – as you can envision better solutions – we should have not provided JavaScript support and also not provided this sample script? ;-)

And there are powerful Mail Merge solutions out there emsoftware comes to mind or JoLauterback and many catalog production systems. Have you looked at them?

Thanks
Matthias
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Re: Mail Merge with QuarkXPress

Postby UtahLlama » 08 May 2018, 14:28

Hi Matthias
supplying the javascript is a great start but it really looks a lot like programming and not very designer friendly, a great deal of people who could use this will be put off before they start.
I have never looked at emsoftware or any way of doing this via Quark.
I learnt to use XMPie a few years ago and later learnt that InDesign has a lot of its functionality already built in, the bits I mentioned in my first post really are the bare bones essentials of most Mail Merge jobs I've had to deal with. With XMPie you can build extremely complicated stuff and yet 9 out of 10 jobs I used it for could have been achieved using InDesign alone.
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Re: Mail Merge with QuarkXPress

Postby MikeWenzloff » 08 May 2018, 21:07

Personally I feel Quark had to begin somewhere. I don't it's a "set it and forget it" feature. I suspect it will improve over time.

Mail merge in ID is far too simplistic and is only half as powerful as that in Word. It's fine for mailing labels and a few other simple projects. But really, if it isn't a simple job, who wants a bazillion text frames? Which is why if/when I use ID for merging, I use JavaScript to either do it all or use it to clean up after ID does its native merging.

JoLetter takes this concept a few steps forward and is the bare minimum that ID should be up to after what, 16 years? Data merge hasn't improved one bit in ID since its inception. And the bugs that were first in it are still there...and one or two more. It needs redone.

99% of all my merge jobs are done using Em Software's XTension. Why? Because I need logic, conditional statements, etc. And likely I'll keep using it versus the as-shipped mail merge or redo what I would need from this particular sample JS.

I do applaud Quark for adding JS. It will be used by me, just for other things.

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Re: Mail Merge with QuarkXPress

Postby dannyrome9 » 09 May 2018, 11:07

Mike,

Is the Java solution for QuarkXpress, in your opinion, enough for basic jobs? I presently don't really have need for anything beyond simple addressing, labels, etc. JoLetter looks interesting, but I'd rather not plunk down the money if Quark's solution works.
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Re: Mail Merge with QuarkXPress

Postby MikeWenzloff » 09 May 2018, 13:20

dannyrome9 wrote:Mike,

Is the Java solution for QuarkXpress, in your opinion, enough for basic jobs? I presently don't really have need for anything beyond simple addressing, labels, etc. JoLetter looks interesting, but I'd rather not plunk down the money if Quark's solution works.


Yes, I believe so, Danny.

Large merges (using the sample letter document) can take a performance hit. The 500 record merge I tested took enough time to make and eat a small lunch (about 45 minutes). Could be my bit under-powered laptop and I didn't try on the better-speed of the desktop. I didn't give it a try without the master page background and what not but cannot imagine that has an effect other than when Q2018 gets to displaying pages. I also didn't try something like an envelope-size of document with just the addressee for the merge nor a sheet of labels with/without return address on it.

ID took 00.03:30 using its built-in merge facility. That included making a comparable master page.

In ID, using a JavaScript I have for the merge process took a mere 00:01:05 but the master page elements were already created. Unlike in Q, I didn't time the individual processing of a merge. Using my "seat of the pants timer," the overall merge process in ID for in-built v. JS was about 1/2 the time for the JS merge. However, the JS solution is also an "in-line" merge and it all flows into the same text box in ID. So not needing to create text frames on every page may have something to do with the speed.

The performance of the new JavaScript needs addressed and am quite confident that Quark will do so.

If there is anything in particular you would like me to test over the next X days until the trial version is released, let me know.

Mike
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