In this tutorial we will learn how to use CorelDraw X7’s print merge feature. This feature is extremely flexible and can be used in a variety of ways, but for this tutorial we will be learning how to print merge text from a CSV file.
A CSV file can be generated in a multitude of ways, most software applications will have the option to export a database or report as a CSV file. CSV stands for comma separated values, which refers to the way the data is structured in the file. Each value is separated with a comma so other programs will know where one part of the data start and ends.
For this tutorial we will work with Microsoft Excel 2013 to generate some example data to test Corel’s print merge feature.
Here you can see some example data that I have generated. There are three fields each separated into their own column. Each of these columns will be a different fields we can manipulate in Corel later.
NOTE: Each column has its own heading which I have highlighted in yellow, this is important and must be done. These heading will define the data later for Corel’s print merge feature.
After you have your document set out with all the information you will need for Corel to import, it’s time to save your file. Firstly click on “File” then click “Save as”.
When you are greeted with this dialog box, you must make sure to select the correct “Save as type”. This should be set to “CSV (Comma delimited)”. This will mean your values are separated by commas as explained before.
You may get a warning message like pictured above. Press “Yes” to create the CSV file.
Check to see that your file is in fact a .CSV file, as using other file types will not work for this tutorial. This can be done by checking the file type which is listed on the right hand side of the file name, in this case it should be “Microsoft Excel Comma Separated Values File”. Alternatively you can right hand click the file and press “Properties” to check the file type.
This is the file we will be editing with dynamic data from the CSV file we made. This document will stay the same, only the print merge data will change. This file, plus all other files we use for this tutorial can be downloaded Here
First step to create a print merge document is to navigate to “File”, then down to “Print Merge” then click on “Create/load Print Merge” as shown in the image above.
Next we will be greeted with this dialog box, this will guide us through the process of print merge. Please make sure that “Import text from a file or an ODBC data source” is selected before pressing “Next”.
The second step is to locate the file source, this is the CSV file we created earlier. Click the “Browse” icon to the right of the “File” text box or alternatively type the absolute path in the textbox provided.
Please make sure to select the file type as “Comma separated File (*.csv)” from the drop down menu, otherwise you will not see the file you are looking for in the list.
Once you select the file, press “Next” to advance to the next step.
This step is relatively important; you should see the name of each of the columns listed as field names. If you see actual data in these fields, it means you have not created a file with column headings. Please refer to the first image, to see how your document should be set out.
If your field names are correct and in the right order, you can press “Next” to advance to the next step.
This next step is to double check your records, making sure they are in the right order and that all of them are present. You will have issues with missing numbers if again, the headings for the columns were not set out correctly.
If everything looks good, press “Next” to continue.
We will not talk about creating data connections in this tutorial, but if you wanted to refer to the same data source at a future date, you can save the settings we just set, to allow ease of use later.
Since we will not cover that in this tutorial, you can ignore that and press “Finish” to finish the setup.
You will now have access to a new toolbar, which can be seen above the document, titled “Print Merge”. This menu can be snapped in place or can float over your document for quick access.
This is the menu you will receive once the print merge wizard has finished. You have the option of editing the print merge settings, selecting a field, insert print merge field into document, preform the print merge or to merge to a new document by clicking the corresponding buttons.
The first thing I will do is select the “Example Serial Number” field from the drop down menu then click “Insert Print Merge Field”.
As you can see there is a field called “<Example Serial Number>” this field is the name of the heading of each column of your CSV file. I have manually placed it into the center of the box which corresponds to the serial number.
Now I will perform the same action for the rest of the fields. This is once again done by click on the “Field” drop down menu, selecting the next field, then clicking the “Insert Print Merge Field”.
After you have entered each of the print merge fields into the document, it should look something like this. Each of the print merge fields can be given its own set of parameters. For example Font, size, colour, etc can all be changed and these changes will carry through to the inserted data.
NOTE: Typically you would justify the text as “Center” if it is going to be set into a box as shown above.
You can now click the “Merge to New Document” button. This will create a new document and replace each of the fields with the values in each row of the CSV file.
As you can see the print merge fields have been replaced with text from the CSV file. Each row in the CSV file is represented as a new page in the Corel document.
You can now save this print merge file for later, or print it directly to Trotec’s JobControl software package in order to laser engrave it directly.
Now when you click “File” then “Print” you can see that there are multiple pages for each of the rows in the CSV file. You can print all of the pages at once, by having the Print range option set to “Current Document”, or select specific pages by clicking on “Pages” and typing in which page, or a range of pages that you would like to print.
As you can see, in the right hand side of the screen, in the “Print Queue” there are all the print merge files.
We can then place them on the plate as shown above, to engrave as a batch.
When we zoom in, we can see each file is the same apart from the dynamic data which was inserted with the help of Corel’s print merge feature.
All the files which were generated during this tutorial are available for download here:
Catch ya next time!