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Jason Grover
customizable advertising
on May 8, 2007 at 4:57:31 pm

Hi. This problem has been bugging me for a month.

I'm creating advertising for a franchise to give to their franchisees, but I'm getting sick of changing the phone numbers and pricing structure for every franchisee that uses my ad.

Hypothetically the franchisees printer/advertiser should be able to customize their stuff, but frankly that rarely happens. Most of the time the guys want the completed ad or want to charge our guys.

Our operators usually don't have acrobat, or the cs2 suite. I tried creating pdfs with text fields, but our guys can't save the changes in reader. Is there any way I can design an ad using the adobe suite and create a way that our franchisees can edit their personal information?

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate



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Mike Gondek
Re: customizable advertising
on May 9, 2007 at 2:35:17 pm

I think to solve your post you have to first look at what software do they all have, and make a template/solution for that.

Acrobat as you have found out would be a great solution, except you cannot save your files with just the reader.

Maybe you should have them fill out a web form and email them back a PDF with the correct information.


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Mike Gondek
Re: customizable advertising
on May 9, 2007 at 8:42:07 pm

I actually may have a solution for you, as long as you can covert your document to word format (.doc). I am no big fan of word and hate to suggest this, but this is what works with google documents.

http://docs.google.com/

You can uplaod a document and then share it. Only requires the collaborators to have a free google account(one of the few on the interent you wont get spammed from).

If you use word, I like to export my logos from illustrator as .emf and you will get vector quality if you place them into word.


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thumbslinger
Re: customizable advertising
on May 23, 2007 at 2:49:08 pm

First, you ARE charging for these changes, are you not? This is your first outpoint.

Even something as simple and small as changing numbers should be billed at your minimum hourly charge. How to sell this?

1- The cost of the software.
2- The time to learn the software.

It works and is a fair business practice. Not to mention, revenue for you!

However, you could actually produce an interactive document with XML whereby the franchise would go to a website, enter the numbers in a field and then that web page emails that data to them in an XML file which in turn is read by the InDesign file to populate the appropriate fields.

I worked in a publishers whereby articles were submitted online by various authors around the globe. They would enter the headline in a field called "Headline", story into "story" etc.

Then, they would import the xml into the magazine template where stylesheets would style the type.

Look up XML in the InDesign help files to see how to use this feature.

The only external file you would need would be a php script on the webserver to capture the data and convert it to an xml file which could be found for free by a search.



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