The Data Process
After the tools have been acquired, the first step is arranging the data list into the necessary columns and exporting it into the correct format. Once in the correct format the Data Field Insertion can begin.
Create a folder on your desktop where all the files for this project will be contained. Name it VDP. Each data field should be contained within its own column. A standard mailing list is usually composed of First Name, Last Name, Address, Address 2, City, State, Zip as seen in the example image below.
Important Tip: Make sure that no columns are left blank as this could cause a conflict when importing the file into InDesign.
I also like to delete a few rows below and a few columns after the ones I am actually using. Better safe than sorry!
When all of your customer's names and information have been entered into each column, you can now export your data file in .CSV (Comma Separated Value) format.
In Microsoft Excel®, choose "Save As" and scroll down to finally click on "Other Formats". A pop up window will appear, choose "CSV (Comma Delimited)" in the Save as type drop down menu. Save the file to the VDP folder you created on your desktop.