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Thread: VDP help- Need directions on how to print cards with different numbers on each one

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default VDP help- Need directions on how to print cards with different numbers on each one

    Hello, rookie Fiery user here. I have a client who has a two sided card, one side stays the same, one side will have a blank field for numbers to be printed on. Each number is different, and I have a list of all the numbers in a word document. I just need to know what I will need in order to get this going, and how to do this. A video link would be very helpful, as the tutorials I have found don't really cover my needs. I have the latest CWS, and have just downloaded Freeform. I have the variable text in a word document, and the other file to be printed on top of in a PDF format.

    I have already created a VDP template via the guide for the postcard creation on the EFI help site.

    Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks.

    I will attach the files if it helps
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  2. #2
    adam1991 is offline Fiery Forum Expert Contributor adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    You say you have "downloaded FreeForm". I think what you downloaded was the How-To instructions for FreeForm. Can you confirm that?

    This is significantly easier than you think. You will create two files:

    1) your master background, which you have already created (think of it as a shell, but in electronic format)

    2) a second print file, exactly the same dimensions as your master background and with the same number of pages (in this case 2), that is blank except for containing the number you want printed in that blank area of your master background. So you'll have one blank page plus one page with a number on it, and that's it.

    Start with your master background and that simple second print file, with two pages, and follow the instructions in the FreeForm How-To document for downloading the master background and setting it up as a FreeForm master. Then download the second overlay print file and set it up to use that FreeForm master. Print the second file, which you sent over as blank with the number on it, and watch it show up on paper with your master background underneath it.

    That's FreeForm. It's a simple overlay function. It will take one file and overlay it on top of your master background. It has no intelligence and makes no decisions regarding content; it simply lays one on top of the other. Think of it as putting a transparent sheet with writing on top of a printed sheet. That's all it is.

    The rest is details. If you have 500 numbers you want on tickets, you will create a 1000 page number document (2 pages per ticket, alternating blank and number pages) and tell it to use your FreeForm master.

    So now you need to create that 1000 page document. How you do that is up to you, using whatever tools are available to you. Creating this document is not a Fiery function. InDesign data merge is fine for this. Word mail merge may work, as long as you can create a Word document that's the same dimensions as your master background. I know Word can be troublesome with custom page sizes.

    I would do this in InDesign data merge. Using your master document that you've created in InDesign, create another layer onto which you can place with great precision a text box inside your blank number area. Turn off the background layer and its contents, and do a data merge into that text box. Make a PDF of that, send that to the Fiery as your print document, set it up to use the master background, and go.

    Oh--but now you probably want to impose these on a sheet. So impose your print file (not your master background file). The Fiery will know what to do.

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