Monday, October 5, 2009

Automating inDesign for Repeating Content and QR Code

Our church is going to hold Bible Camp this coming week. We are all getting busy preparing for this event. I am responsible for creating publication materials, such as event booklet, brochure, name tag, etc.

Creating name tag might sound easy, but how about creating name tags for 50 persons. It will be painful to do it manually, copy and paste the layout plus typing names fifty times. So, I did some reading on Adobe inDesign documentation and found out that it's possible to create placeholders for repeating content using XML. Here is the article that I used. I just need to design the name tag, generate XML data for all attendees using Perl script, import XML to inDesign, and inDesign will do the rest of the work.

Generated Output by inDesign

Notice above figure, there is small box on the right of each name. It is QR Code containing information for each person. I was thinking that since I am going to automate the name tag creation process, why not adding some extra information. I decided to add QR Code and our team decided to add color coded group information (i.e. person with the same color belong to the same group).

Bible Camp GII 2009 Name Tag

I wrote a PERL script for grabbing contact information of each Bible Camp 2009 attendees from our church database and use GD-Barcode module to generate the QR Code associated to each individual.

Most people nowadays have phone with built-in camera, and most of them can decode QR Code. So, I think this as a good way for letting people to exchange their information with each other easily during our Bible Camp event. That's it for now. Following QR Code contains our church contact information.

Decoded Message on Android


ogautama said...

Okay.. I think this is WAY too advanced for a simple name tag, but good for you! If it were me, it would be faster to type out 50 different names, compared to writing script(s) to auto-generate them. ^_^

Pancha W. Yahya said...

Chris, saya salut dengan apa yang kamu lakukan. Pakai QR Code segala. Di Indo setahu saya belum ada gereja yang pakai itu. Cuma Kompas yang sudah pakai itu. Itu namanya mempersembahkan semua talenta untuk pelayanan. Banyak orang lain begitu profesional di dunia kerja tapi pelayanan di gereja seadanya saja. Semoga Tuhan memimpin jalannya retreat GII!

closari said...

thank you pak Pancha, saya senang juga sih saat bisa contribute kemampuan saya dalam pelayanan buat Tuhan :)

closari said...

hehehe, for scripts, if you know what you are doing, it's fast, max 10 min, and you can reuse it later :)

As for this project, it actually took 2 hours of my weekend time, researching on various QR library on different platforms. I decided to use Perl because it's a quick and dirty way to do practically anything :)

Unknown said...

wah keren banget, name tag yang IT sekali, hehehe...

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