Link an Image Variable in a Data Merge Templatemail_outline

Tempo’s Data Merge imports data from a spreadsheet that needs to be applied to a template. These data combinations may include alternate layout selection, text, barcodes, QR codes, logos, and other images.

While text, barcode, and QR code variables are applied to Data Merge templates in the same way as traditional templates, image variables require a different approach.

Configure a Data Merge Image Variable

When you are planning to use an image variable in a Data Merge template, you will need to set up your spreadsheet to call each Asset ID from the DAM to ensure each record is linking to the correct image.

In a traditional template, you would input the Asset ID in the “Type Specific” section of your image variable to link your preview image from your DAM. This allows your end user to change the image variable to an image in the DAM as they build their publication.

However, when building a Data Merge template, you want the spreadsheet to dictate how the image variable changes. To do this, you will need to configure two types of variables in the CHILI Back Office. One variable will pull the Asset ID number, and the other will push the system to swap the actual image.

For example, if you are creating a headshot variable that will update for each person you’re outputting, you will create a Short Text variable and an Image variable.

Create a Variable to Pull the Asset ID

The first variable you will create is a Short Text variable. This variable is going to align with the column in the spreadsheet that holds the image Asset IDs from your DAM. Since that Asset ID is a text field, you want to make sure this variable is a text field as well. As you can see in our example, we have called our variable “Headshot.”

Note: You will not assign this variable to your image frame.

Select your alternate layer

Create an Image Variable To Pull the Image From the Asset ID

The second variable to create is an Image variable. This image variable will receive the Asset ID value from the text variable, allowing for the image variable to find and display the corresponding image.

  1. Create your image variable and assign it to your image frame, making sure to give it a unique variable name (in this example, we have used “HeadshotIMG” as our name).
  2. Next, open your “Type Specific” tab under the “Variable Settings” section. Set the source to “Dynamic Asset Provider” and ensure your Dynamic Asset Provider is pointing to the numeric value associated with your DAM instance (this should populate automatically).
  3. Instead of inputting your preview image’s Asset ID in the “Value” field, you are going to input the Short Text variable you just created. To do this, simply add “%” marks in front of and behind your Short Text variable’s name.
In our example, we named our Short Text variable “Headshot”, so our value field should say %Headshot%. This is going to function the same way your other text variables do, in that  the Headshot text variable will take the Asset ID from the spreadsheet, that ID will then be passed into the HeadshotIMG variables "value", which allows the HeadhshotIMG variable to find the corresponding asset from the DAM and display it in any frame the HeadshotIMG variable has been assigned.

Once your image variable is assigned and calling back to your Short Text variable, use the left side “Variable Input” section to load in an image Asset ID from your DAM to populate your preview image.

Watch the video at the top of this page to see Data Merge image linking in action!

To verify your spreadsheet fields are populating correctly, you can use the “Upload File” button in your left “DataSource Settings” tab. Be sure to remove this file prior to saving and loading your document into Tempo
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