Some workflow questions - building a 'catalog'
Good afternoon, all!
Ok, so I design a bi-weekly natural food and grocery flyer where I work as an Art Director for a local health food company.
On average, we have about 100 products that go into our flyers every issue, at varying sizes on a page, which is dependent on how much one of our coop partners choose to support us.
In years past, this publication was a monthly flyer with 200 products. The typical workflow would start with exporting data from one of our proprietary programs into a series of comma-delimited .txt files, Datamerging them into a 'bucket' file (style formatting, not laid out to size), copying/pasting the files into the live flyer document, and massaging the individual product ads as needed.
I'm trying to further automate the process. At first, I thought I was on to something with the alternate layout feature in CS6, but I haven't had much luck with it yet -- I suspect that I am setting the documents up wrong, which is what led me here.
My objective and question is thus:
Is there a way to apply either a master page or alternate layout to a page in a data-merged document to re-size it to a predefined page size, to be copied into the live flyer document? I'm trying to avoid XML at this stage because I'm simply out of time for learning it before the first issue goes out next month. XML Solutions are still welcomed if they're the only way.
Any help is greatly appreciated. I've been banging my head against my desk for 3 months now trying to figure out a way to accomplish this with no success.