data merge can be a little tricky for this. Try making a single ticket at the top of your page (not on the master page). Put your merge fields into this ticket. Then when using data merge click the option to put more then one per a page, preview and see if this does what you want it to do. Granted if you have double sided printing, data merge gets very tricky, but can be done.

My quick process involves setting up a row of plaques with a01, a02, a03, thru a09. Then copy the plaques to the clipboard. Run the REPLACE TEXT feature to replace "a" with "1". Move row down and paste clipboard back into page. Run REPLACE TEXT to replace "a" with "2". Repeat until I get all the numbers. It's faster than manually typing the numbers in but I know there's go to be someway of automating the process.

You need to create a list of numbers using some method (maybe even through VBA) as a text file, database or other data source, then just insert merge field in the document and use Print Merge to generate multiple labels with different numbers in it. (just need to give it enough space to fit the longest string along as many lines as you think there could be) If I reserve space for 50 chars and the major strings are 25 chars, the result is not professional looking. My solution for all print merge for ID cards (and similarities, incl. Auto numbering) is to merging data BEFORE printing, in an CDR file with all pages. So, I check all the cards and I correct only on text object how need. I found an software with this capabilities, but 300 USD is excesive (not only for Est Europe) for one only week of working (yes, his UI is better than my). I found an software with this capabilities, but 300 USD is excesive (not only for Est Europe) for one only week of working (yes, his UI is better than my) And my script use photo also.
@Andy: I’m sorry that I sounded dismissive. That wasn’t my intent. Rather, I was just admitting that I had no idea why someone using CS3 would not see the dialog boxes as they are shown above. If you’re using CS2, they would be significantly different. But the second part of the tip (where I show the numbering dialog boxes) relies on CS3 or later. If you are using CS3 or CS4 and you don’t see that dialog box, feel free to email me at david [at] indesignsecrets [dot] com and send me a screen shot of what you are seeing.

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The trick is this: I creat an 'template' of the card, somewhere outside of the page. All object for data are text object, with all the formating needed. In place of the photo is an rectangle. The script read an text file (CSV) with the database, duplicate all template object, one by one and replace string in text object with the string from DB and import photo in place of the rectangle, redimension and convert to RGB or CMYK, acording to the initial data (atach.) When the page is full, create another one.

But it’s not hard to duplicate and reduplicate until you have a thousand or more numbered tickets. I think the conclusion of all these Rube Goldberg approaches is that InDesign still isn’t ready for handling what is really a head-smacking-stupid-simple kind of numbering job — the kind of jobs computers were created for in the first place. My DOS word processor XyWrite — from AD 1987! — could do numbering stuff like this in no time and with no trouble. Quite ridiculous, really, when you consider the staggering graphics and typography capabilities inside InDesign — but the poor thing cannot really count. I handle this much differently. I create a number list in Excel and save as a txt file.
The ticket numbering problem seems solved, if awkwardly. But what about linking automatic numbering of text references to a figure (e.g. “see fig.101″) to a legend of that figure (e.g. Fig. 101 shows….”)? Is this quite beyond InDesign CS3? If it is solvable the solution isn’t mentioned in any CS3 book I have managed to get hold of, nor is it dealt with in the CS3 Help facility as far as I can see, nor were the speakers at a recent Adove CS3 Workshop able to solve it. Please advise this frustrated book author!
The SEQ or Sequential Numbering Function in Word is the best and quickest way to number your tickets. Many raffle ticket templates use them, yet few sites explain how it works. To see if it uses the SEQ function, you need to download the template first. Then, open it in Word, click right in the middle of where a serial number is, and then right-click. how to number raffle tickets in publisher