Often, repetitive jobs involve a consistent design along with some simple line changes. These line changes, also known as block changes, usually take the form of a name or date change.
The basic methods of implementing block changes are certainly viable and extremely functional, but what do you do if your job involves a large amount of name or block changes? You could just replicate all those steps, but on larger jobs, that can be time consuming. The old saying, “Time is money,” comes into play for situations like this.
For larger jobs like this, you can utilize the print merge function found in CorelDRAW. Print merge takes an auxiliary file, usually in the form of a .txt file, and merges these block changes right into CorelDRAW. While the basic principles for print merge are similar in all versions of CorelDRAW, there are some different nuances you need to be aware of.
I have found that the newer the version of CorelDRAW is, the easier it is to use with the print merge function. My recommendation is to visit YouTube using search terms such as “print merge” and “CorelDRAW.” By doing so, you will be supplied with numerous videos that are specific to your version of CorelDRAW.
One issue that always seems to creep up when dealing with the print merge function is the concern with really long names or long blocks of text. In most true engraving software, the text is squeezed into the prescribed margins, but in CorelDRAW, that’s not an option. For a good tutorial regarding this topic, I suggest you search “auto condensing text with CorelDRAW print merge.” This video features Roy Brewer of Engraving Concepts.
Another video that I recommend you watch is by Niels Norby, former owner of SD Trophy. You can find this video by searching “Corel Print Merge Niels Norby.” In this video, he shows how to easily merge text into CorelDRAW while combining multiple pages into one layout. This is a useful time saver, especially if you choose to fill your laser bed.
-Richard Korbyl, Columbia Awards
Want to learn more about how to prepare for high-volume orders? Turn to page 8 of A&E magazine’s 2018 Guide. Subscribe today!