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cross reference problem when file names are changed

Apr 10, 2012 4:13 PM

Hi everyone,


I used Indesign's books panel to manage the chapters in a book I was working on last year. I prefixed each of the chapter files with a code and now need to change that code to an updated version for this year. I noticed that when I do this, all of the cross-references that reference parts in other chapters have a question mark (within a red circle) which signifies that the referenced document is missing.


I wondered if there was a way to prevent this from happening as there are more than 20 chapters in the book and it would be really time-consuming to re-do the references?


Appreciate any help.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 4:51 PM   in reply to gwhPoster

    gwhPoster wrote:

    I wondered if there was a way to prevent this from happening...

    Indeed. Don't change the filenames.


    That aside, if the name changes are consitent and predicatble, it may be possible to export .idml, unzip, then edit the .idml files in a text editor to change the file names, but that's way out of my league.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 5:00 PM   in reply to gwhPoster

    I have some Javascripts that I use to take down and rebuild xrefs. So, an InDesign crossref source and target will both be turned into unique codes (like {x102s} and {x102t}) that aren't live and don't cause my book files to freak out. When I'm done working (or renaming my book files or whatever) I can then run the complementary script that turns my codes back into live xrefs. This is always the last, last, last stage in any project because xrefs + book files = incredibly sluggish performance. Something like this would allow you to rename files to your heart's content, if you chose a good xref naming system.


    I'm told that DTP Tools' Cross References Pro does what my duct-taped wonky scripts do, and a whole bunch of other useful stuff besides. Might be worth a hundred quid to you, I can't say for sure, but it's worth a look.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 5:29 PM   in reply to gwhPoster

    I agree with Peter about not changing the filenames as this just causes more work than is neccessary.


    I update a catalogue on a regular basis and my workflow involves using a "Master" set of files pulled together into one book. Once the first version is finished, I package the book and name the resultant folder with the date or code of that version. I might then zip the file and store it as an Archive file. When the next version comes around, I update the "Master" files again without changing any names etc, and then just keep saving over. Then, once finished, I would again package the book and I have version 2.


    The only issue I can think of with this method is if you had to search for a particular filename from a particular version of your book as all the individual filenames will be exactly the same but they will be enclosed in different folder names. You would have to go through all the file locations to get the right one. I have never come across this issue myself but it's just something to think about.


    It may not be the best workflow but I have been using it since 2005 for this catalogue and not hit a road block yet.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2012 9:49 AM   in reply to gwhPoster

    Unfortunately, the scripts were a custom job - not my own work, I stumbled through roughing it in and then hired a real developer to clean up after me and actually make it function - and I am not permitted to share it. It wouldn't be of assistance to you by itself anyways, unless you too are translating InDesign documents using SDLX and Trados TagEditor, and would require significant modifications to work outside of that context. However, I'll ask if I can just extract the relevant bits and post them for your benefit - I'm not sure but it looks easily re-purposable. (I suspected that you'd ask that very question, TBQH, which is why I posted that link to the commercial plugin.)

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