Variable data for Illustrator


New member
I have a very different request for variable data. Im not sure its even possible but Ill give it a try. Im embedding single PDFs from illustrator for packaging and I want to enter variable data in the flap glue spare out area.
Then the mother illustrator gang imposition file can merge the data and put numbers in to singles based on the number of versions. is this possible? its a little confusing. Im linking various boxes into an illustrator file as a gang.
but I need the information in the flap to automatically enter itself.


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Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
Illustrator’s variables create new files from the source files, is that OK or do you wish to have the variables “live” in the source file without creating “merged” files?

Where will the variable data come from?

A spreadsheet?

Metadata in the linked file?

Illustrator has long supported variables, however they were restricted to a special XML format that was often too much of a chore to use. Recently Adobe have added the ability to use a more common CSV datasource, however there are still limitations and pros/cons with Illustrators variables. However there is a fantastic free script that is very feature rich which was created to import CSV data long before Adobe added the feature:

Stephen Marsh


New member
Im thinking Metadata. Is it possible to enter metadata into the linked pdf and have illustrator enter that data in a text line. lets say for instance I wanted every instance of that
placed pdf file to put a number in the glue flap area of the place box. Also I would like the the mother illustrator file to be able to enter the name of the file ( not the linked file ). just like in the photo I posted.
these are two different inputs I know but is it possible ? I may need a script for this won't I ?

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