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How to produce PDF from a database - Adobe Illustrator Windows

Hi all! We have a trouble with catalogue printing. On the one hand, we have a paper product catalogue (250 pages); each item in the catalogue is presented in a block containing a picture, text description (5-30 words), and a table with characteristics. All the blocks are of more or less the same type Blocks are presented on the page in 2, 3 or 4 columns. This catalogue is reprinted every quarter, with about 75% of old information and 25% of new. On the other hand, we have a database where all the product details are stored. The database is ...

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  1. #1

    Default How to produce PDF from a database

    Hi all!
    We have a trouble with catalogue printing. On the one hand, we have a paper product catalogue (250 pages); each item in the catalogue is presented in a block containing a picture, text description (5-30 words), and a table with characteristics. All the blocks are of more or less the same type Blocks are presented on the page in 2, 3 or 4 columns. This catalogue is reprinted every quarter, with about 75% of old information and 25% of new. On the other hand, we have a database where all the product details are stored. The database is also updated every quarter for web presentation of the stuff. So, we have to do one and the same job twice: updating the database and updating the files for print in Page Maker, the latter is much more time-consuming than the former. We would like to automate this process. Does anybody know any special software, which can convert the information from the databases into printing format, PDF or something? Or is there any method in Page Maker, Illustrator or any other publishing software, which allows to update the files for printing automatically from the existing database? We'd like to find a solution, which enables either to export the figures for the tables, pictures and descriptions from the database to the existing blocks, or even to create the new blocks of the same type for the printing page. Do you have any ideas how we can implement automation of this type?
    Thanks!
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    Julia_Cherkasova@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to produce PDF from a database

    Adobe apps are now all scriptable. InDesign's javascript support is more fleshed-out than Illustrators. Acrobat has alot of scriptable functionality just under the hood in its Forms functionality.

    Although setting it up still seems rather geeky to me, Adobe is clearly planning big things for XML-centric data-swapping in its Variables features.

    So while I'm far from any expert in the matter, I'd feel safe in saying you are in the right place with Adobe apps; but not with PageMaker. You need to lateral from Pagemaker to InDesign regardless.

    On another tack,though:

    How graphics/design intensive is the changeable content areas, and how "married" are you to your present database? The reason I ask is, one of the bullet item improvements to the recently released version 8 of FileMaker Pro (a program I dearly love) is direct saving of the current found set of records to PDF pages. So assuming the design of the changeable content area is nothing more elaborate or demanding than what can be accomplished in a FileMaker layout, It seems that such a workflow might be just the ticket for some catalog applications.

    As a long time FileMaker devotee, I know I'm certainly going to be experimenting with it, with a few specific possible applications in mind. Combined with FileMaker's Instant Web Publishing feature, I can easily imagine a small workgroup performing routine updating of the content, and then exporting to PDF pages, either as finished pages of a "down & dirty" catalog; or as small "spot graphic" pages which would then be placed / replaced in frames in InDesign pages.

    I've only had time to do a few very basic experiments so far, but it sure looks promising for situations in which the workflow steps need to be quick and easy without designers having to get involved in the arcana of XML-based publishing or server-side technology.

    JET
    James_Talmage@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to produce PDF from a database

    Adobe home page have a lot of articles and links about Variable Data Printing - VDP. There you can have many options.
    Good luck
    Fernando_Berga@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to produce PDF from a database

    Many thanks, you were a great help!
    Julia_Cherkasova@adobeforums.com Guest

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