Re: How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?

Subject: Re: How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?
From: Dan Richards <danrrich -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:26:02 -0700

Thanks for the initial suggestions! I'm hoping production of the documents
could be done in about a week. I have no need for collaborative editing and
just need to get to PDF files at the end that I would rename/redistribute.
I do need the document template to be professional/have clean visual design
rather than look like a stock database table export for example, so want to
define the visual style of each of the ~10 tables (e.g. wrt table border,
column widths, header row naming and fonts, etc.) for example in the
document template and have whatever renders each document with the
substituted content to retain the style.

Regarding the 1000 sets of label-value and table-values content that I want
substitute into the document template, I could put it into a database if
needed, but want to find a means to script/automate the
import/mapping/layout (handling pagination, text wrapping, etc.)/rendering
to PDF of all ~1000 documents so that I do not need to intervene manually
on creating any of the documents (each would be 4-8 pages long fwiw)
assuming some script or wrapper could iterate through all 1000 and send the
content and save off the resulting PDF document for each.

If there's a particular tool (or third-party tool that could do this for
Framemaker) that seems well-suited for this it would help to know; it's the
automation of inserting content into a fixed document template with hooks
for pre-specified label-value and table-values locations/styles, and
rendering at scale that I need to find an efficient way to accomplish. Any
further ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 9:52 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>wrote:

> If these values are coming from a database, Google "database
> publishing." FrameMaker and InDesign both have third-party tools for
> that.
>
> On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM, Dan Richards <danrrich -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> > Hi, I need to create 1000s of multi-page PDF documents which require the
> > typical header/footer/pagination/wrapping of text/etc. and each of which
> > (aside from static text) has 0-10 tables (of fixed types--i.e. the column
> > headers are pre-specified, but the number of rows/specific content varies
> > for each document), as well as ~30 different label-value pairs that need
> to
> > be substituted in predefined locations (some label values are a paragraph
> > of text, but others are single words). I need to give the tables a nice
> > visual design and have rendering the table automatically handle wrapping
> > values in columns automatically.
> >
> > What tool would you recommend using to create a template to specify the
> > layout of these elements to indicate where each label or table should be
> > placed? Preferably specify some basic conditional logic control over
> > whether to show a section/table based on whether content exists for it
> for
> > that document, to put the logic in one document template rather than have
> > multiple document templates for the different possible combinations.
> >
> > What tool or process would you recommend to substitute in the specific
> > label-values and tables values for each document into the template and
> > render to PDF?
> >
> > I've never needed to do something at this scale where I need automation,
> so
> > any advice would be appreciated. I'm not sure if there may be a means to
> > script something like Framemaker to automate this (applying appropriate
> > template and label-value and table-values content files for each document
> > to render to PDF) or is there some modern approach for producing
> > high-quality paginated documents from a template but substituting
> variable
> > key-value and table-value content may be better?
> >
> > D
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Follow-Ups:

References:
How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?: From: Dan Richards
Re: How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?: From: Robert Lauriston

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