Thank you for the explanation. Yes, our digital machine (Minolta Bizhub) does have a variable data module, however the support folks do not seem to be able to successfully get it to number in the correct order for output to print and stack properly for our needs. Indesign works great in this manor but with the quirps we are discussing here. Anyway your assumption that I do not understand threads is true. I have never done "threading". I am going to focus on this next as you mentioned it is easier than data merge. We do numbering of carbonless forms, raffle and event tickets often here and so the "smoother" the better. Apparently my supervisor requires that I make it work with the tools at hand and will not "invest" in any "pricey" new programs.


Corel crashed repeatedly on my production person today while he was trying to number them using the plug-in. I couldn’t figure out how to make Mike’s script work. It appeared designed for variable numbers in one place. My customer needed her tickets numbered in two places, on the ticket and on the stub. Because she needs them tomorrow there is no time to send them out to be numbered manually. I’ll keep watching this space for more info. Thanks folks.
The uncomplicated , straight forward and trouble free method for creating numbered tickets (movie ticket template) is to search for existing templates which can be modified and attuned to suit your requirements. Today umpteen numbers of Microsoft word files which provide a wide variety of ticket designs are available throughout the net space. You can either make use of them as they are or you are free to make them unique by making your own alterations. You can insert images or texts that you desire and make them your own!
i’ve had to do tons of this lately and found that for the amounts of tickets being done (e.g. 7000 x 10 tickets + cover & mailer) that chuckT’s solution almost 2 years ago is similar to what i use. would be interested to know if others doing similar VDP are using a wholly indesign/excel solution, or if specific VDP software such as XMPie are being used.
I came across this website that explained how to do it using Microsoft's "Raffle Ticket" template (https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-create-numbered-tickets-in-word). However, when I tried to update the sequences as the article said, I could not find the option to update the field (I think they were referring to the option "edit field"), after copying and pasting the template onto a second page.
I then numbered two rows across 1 -4, then 5 -8. Then I dropped down to A – H in row 260. (I did this to give 1,000+ numbered tickets.) I then used the Excel fill function chosing series and told the program to skip by 4. It filled the rows. I then saved as a tab delimited text file. In InDesign CS4, I set the tickets four up on the master page. On page 1, I positioned my merge fields such that ticket1 was directly above stub1, ticket 2 directly above stub 2, etc.
An awesome new feature to has been introduced to Microsoft Publisher 2010 is the ability to use Data Sources to create "Catalogue Pages". This is like a Mail Merge for design documents. Now, I would have to agree that Publisher isn't the best graphic design program in the market. But it's certainly adequate for simple ticket designs — for example, for a school social. Let's say we want each ticket to have a unique number and an inspiration quote. This is all possible through Publisher and a data source, e.g. an Excel Spreadsheet.
I am using your instructions to create a page of tickets - the design has been created as a picture so I added a text box to "hold" the mail merge instructions but I keep getting the error message "You cannot include DATA, NEXT, NEXTIF, or SKIPIF fields in comments, headers, footers, footnotes or endnotes." I have not included any of these but I'm wondering if it's because I've attempted to insert it in a text box. Is there an easy way to do this? TIA
We have a 700. In Indesign I design raffle tickets 5 up. You have to create an excel file with your numbering 5 up or 5 columns, save as a text file. Use your data merge in Indesign. If your file is too large your Indesign will crash. So keep the placement of your number and delete all other copy on the page. Then do a data merge. It will create just the numbered pages. Send that to your Fierty command workstation as process and hold. Go back and send original file with just your copy layout as a process and hold job. In your command workstation open copy file

I know that PrintShopMail will do it, but I was wandering if there was a less expensive solution out there so that I could get numbered tickets (usually 4-up) right off the Xerox. I just want to avoid having to go the the Windmill after trimming and doing it the old fashion way. There is a tiny little copy shop here in town that is doing it, and am willing to bet that they are not using PrintShopMail, but I'm also not going to ask them to share their methods with a competitor. There has to be cheaper solution. I know that I can do it with auto page numbering in Indesign, but that means I can only print raffle tickets 1-up which wont work.
I basically used Bob Levine’s method (thanks) but wanted to add some extra detail – am using CS2 which is somewhat behind CS3 in this area. David, I was very discouraged to read your response to Josh on April 28th 2008. It seems your comment was quite dismissive to him with exactly no feedback help. He seemed to be looking for some more help trying to work through what you and the other InDesign gurus discuss as a “simple process”. I to, have read through your directions while using both mac & pc platforms. I fail to find the “standard features” screen shots that you show above in either program. I too have spent several hours trying to get the sequential 3-up numbering as described.
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Our raffle ticket templates have a placeholder for a ticket number, usually “xxx” to remind you it needs to be replaced. Select it, click Insert Merge Field > Ticket. Do the same for the second ticket number placeholder. Most tickets will have two number placeholders because one part of the ticket is for the raffle host (you) and the other is for the purchaser.
I thank you for your explanation. I also do tickets in a similar manor. I use excel to create the numbers as well. I create a 4 column set of numbers and assign each column to the ticket positions from left to right (four up tickets) on an 8.5 x 11 sheet. I merge the numbers to the tickets and send to print. With Indesign the numbers are able to print from last to first(printing face up, normal order, collated). They then come out stacked in order so that we simply cut and stack each column one on top of the other to complete the number set in order. I am going to try the threading technique you mentioned.
 Does anybody have an easy way to set up sequential numbering in Coreldraw? Our shop has to lay out unit number plaques for vinyl cutting and sometimes my employee has to manually type in hundreds of numbers. I've read all the print merge suggestions for raffle tickets and such but I need the numbers entered into an object and not during the print process. 
Hello Bruce, I seem to be having a different problem altogether. I created my ticket in word using logos and text boxes as needed, ticket looks great. I followed your very clear instructions but when I did the Finish & Merge I got this message, "You cannot include DATA, NEXT, NEXTIF, or SKIPIF fields in comments, headers, footers, footnotes or endnotes." I then click on OK and get this, "A field calculation error occurred in record 1. Bruce any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!!
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