Setting Up the Local Image Collection for Merging

This section is only about working with images on your PC's hard drive or local network. For web images, see Setting Up Links to Web Images.

OnMerge Images doesn't create any new images, but selects the correct existing image to use on each merged page or record. It does that by composing the appropriate Folder and File Name for each image.

OnMerge Images supports the following types of images:

  • JPEG photos (files ending in .jpg .jpeg .jpe .jfif)
  • GIF web images (files ending in .gif)
  • PNG web images (files ending in .png)
  • TIFF images (files ending in .tif .tiff)
  • Windows bitmap files (files ending in .bmp)
  • Windows Metafiles (files ending in .emf .wmf)
  • Apple Mac pictures (files ending in .pict .pct)
  • (OnMerge Images Suite only) PDF

Any other image files must be converted to one of the above types to use it with OnMerge Images. File conversion is beyond the scope of this text.

Folder and File Names: Important Details

Like all files that are accessible from your computer, image files all have a unique Folder and File Name. For example, an image file's File Name might be John-Photo.JPG and that image file might be located in a folder whose Folder Name is C:\Beatles\Pictures\ (also known as a "path"). The Folder and File Name are usually jammed together to create a unique name like this: C:\Beatles\Pictures\John-Photo.JPG

It is possible to have many files on your computer named John-Photo.JPG, but you can only have one John-Photo.JPG in any given folder or subfolder. That is why we talk about the full Folder and File Name. Note that Windows considers upper and lower-case letters to be the same thing, so you can't have different files with the same File Names that are just capitalized differently.

Note that Windows requires you to place the backslash ( \ ) character after each folder or subfolder name so that it can tell where each part of the name ends and the next part begins. For example, C:\Beatles\Pictures\ really means "(a) the Pictures subfolder, which is itself contained in (b) the Beatles folder, which in turn is on (c) your computer's C: drive.

Planning an Image Collection

OnMerge Images builds each Folder and File Name by "gluing" together small fragments of text into a Folder and File Name. You can specify what each piece of text is, either:

  • A folder name that you select
  • Some text that you enter
  • The value obtained by looking up a variable in the merge data. When doing a merge, OnMerge does that lookup for each page or record.

What If the File Names Vary?

Many image collections are messy. For example, some collections are a random mixture of .JPG and .GIF files. Or you might have some files named <First><Last>.JPG and others named <Last>,<First>.JPG See here about working with that situation.