Complex data merge in Adobe InDesign for business cards

I have a spreadsheet of people’s info for business cards including name, title, phone, mobile and email that I want to use as the input file for an InDesign data merge. The phone, mobile and email lines are prepended with “T”, “M” and “E”, respectively. Example:



The problem is that some people don’t have a value for every field (e.g. many don’t have a value for mobile) and this makes a data merge more complicated; if a row doesn’t have a value for a particular field, not only does the value need to not show (which I have managed to do — data merge can hide the line if the value is omitted as long as it’s the only thing on that line) but the letter prepended to the line needs to not show too.

Is it possible and, if so, how?

EDIT: Also the prefixes are a different colour than the values.


You can assign an individual Paragraph Style for each line/placeholder (Phone, Mobile, E-Mail) in which you define the Bullets and Numbering as the associated Character (T, M, E).

Make sure to Remove Blank Lines for Empty Fields when merging the document, so the empty cell wont result in an empty paragraph.

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This way the prefixes shouldn’t show.

Source : Link , Question Author : Rich Jenks , Answer Author : theyve

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