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Why does InDesign CS5.5 say "This document contains ...links to sources that are missing"?

Aug 6, 2012 10:27 AM

Tags: #cs5 #images

When I paste pictures onto an InDesign page, save, close the doc, then open the document later, it always tells me it can't find the sources?  This makes no sense because I can clearly see the images in the document & print it with them.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 10:33 AM   in reply to LeslieInV

    First, you shouldn't be pasting images, you should be placing them (and you wouldn't get that message from a pasted image).

     

    The warning means exactly what it says. ID can't find the image at the location in the link which means mostllikely it was moved, deleted, or is on some removeable media that is currently not inserted.

     

    When an image is palced, ID makes a preview for it, and that's what you are seeing and printing. It might be good enough for on-screen view and low-resolution prints, but it won't do for press.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 10:39 AM   in reply to LeslieInV

    Hi Leslie,

     

    When you import or place images into ID, the document is "linking" to the original image in the location that is was placed from. (What you are seeing on screen, and printing, when links are broken, is a preview of the actual art...likely low resolution.) If you change that original art, the link has to be updated.

     

    Links get broken if you move the original art file from where ID is looking for it, or if the drive it is on is no longer available to ID. It's OK (but messy) to let linked art be scattered all over your computer when you are creating a file (this photos folder, that CD ROM, or another email attachments in-box), but when you are ready to keep everything together to archive the project, or send it off to a printer, use the Package for Output feature to collect all linked art to one location.

     

    I hope that helps.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 3:13 PM   in reply to LeslieInV

    What you want and what you should be doing are two different things. You want to paste like you do in Word or Powerpoint? Then that’s what you need to use.

     

     

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 4:12 PM   in reply to LeslieInV

    Some programs have the ability to "embedd" the linked art into the document (AI for example). I do not believe that ID is one that can.

     

    But if you want a final document, unchanging, that has all the art in it, save (Export) the ID doc as a PDF. Or, do your layout in AI.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 4:35 PM   in reply to Home Power

    You can embed graphics in an InDesign file. In the Links panel, select the graphic and choose Embed Link from the panel menu.

     

    But if you're sending the file to your print service provider, create a PDF file (as you say) and everything will be embedded.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 4:50 PM   in reply to Steve Werner

    Thanks Steve. That's the answer she was looking for. And I learned something new myself. (funny it took 6 replys to sort it out).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 5:05 PM   in reply to Home Power

    Home Power wrote:

     

    That's the answer she was looking for. And I learned something new myself. (funny it took 6 replys to sort it out).

    What makes you believe that? As I already said, that missing links error message can only appear when there is, in fact, a missing link. Pasted content was never linked, and emebedded content is no longer linked and doesn't go missing. Yes, linking the art, then embedding it will eliminate the potential problem at a cost of huge files that cannot be updated (and in my opinion may be more likely to become corrupt because of the size factor), but it won't fix a link that is already missing.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 8:58 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Hi Peter,

     

    I bet she learned that you can embed graphics in ID. That's what I learned (Yes, I still have things to learn). My understanding is that she was frustrated by the linking issue, and would prefer to have the art be part of the layout.

     

    I'm not sure how a pasted graphic is any smaller than and embedded graphic of the same specs. Perhaps a pasted graphic is down-sized to a low-rez screen preview, and therefore doesnt take up much space. But the same can be done with the embedded graphic if the original link has it's resolution and jpg compression set so that the file size is small.

     

    OK, I just did a test using my basic ID template. The empty (sort-of) ID base file is 688 K,

     

    Pasting a 385 K JPG in the ID document (open in Preview, select all, copy, paste in ID) and saving it, results in a 5.7 MB document. Pretty big.

     

    Importing the same graphic, then embedding the link, and saving it results in a 6.3 MB file. Yea, a little bigger. Like 10% or so. The difference (I'm guessing) is based on the image data that is carried in the embedded object, whereas the pasted graphis is pure pixel info. But whatever.

     

    Importing the same graphic, but not embedding the link results in a 831 KB ID file, plus a 688 KB JPG graphic file that needs to be kept track of, for a total of 1,519 KB (1.5MB) combo. Smaller than either the pasted or embedded ID files. Yes, linking makes sense to me too...that's what it was designed for.

     

    I guess the key is, what's the end goal? A single document that one can alter? Panning on sending it around to other people? Do those other people need to alter it, or just read it? Those kinds of things determine how it should be constructed, organized, and eventually output. (Personally, I like PDFs for output. ID is for creating, and the bit's, pieces, and files sizes grow fast.)

     

    P.S. I moved the location of the original art, and didn't get a missing links error on either the pasted or embedded art ID documents, only on the linked version (just as one would expect). If she has a missing link, then she must have imported (or placed, or whatever you call it) the art. Remember Leslie, dragging and dropping an art file into an ID layout is the same as Placing...it'creates a link that need to be maintained.

     

    I hope this helps Leslie.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 7:03 AM   in reply to Home Power

    When you paste, all you are putting into ID is the screen preview. How much larger or smaller that will be than the actual image data depends on the image. Keep in mind, too, that becasue it is the screen preview, pasted images will always be RGB, even if the original is CMYK.

     

    The bottom line is that a missing link warning is a problem that needs to be fixed, and the only way to fix it is to find the link.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 7:59 AM   in reply to LeslieInV

    You apparently don’t care about the answers you’ve gotten here so go ahead and do it your way.

     

     

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 9:07 AM   in reply to LeslieInV

    If all you are ever concerned with is screen captures and you never need to do any print work, a copy/paste workflow is probably OK, if not optimal. Screen caps are low res anyway so you don't lose anything.

     

    But the fact that you see the warning means that SOMEBODY linked something. There's a risk in any workflow, especially a collaborative one, that someone won't follow the rules. Since you are only going to screen, in this case it's probably OK to ignore the warning and let ID export with the preview instead of the real image data, as long as the preview is visible in the document and looks OK.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 9:51 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I agree with Peter. What you're doing is probably fine.

     

    When I publish screen captures (usually just "active window" captures) on my Mac, it creates .png files on my desktop. I just place those. This is where you could embed the link and be free of the png.

     

    It sounds like you capture to the clipboard and paste into ID. That's fine too, and yes, probably faster. Like Peter said, those images should be rather small.

     

    Keep all the images on a separate locked layer from the text so your coworkers can't mess them up.

     

    And, like Peter said, if you're getting a missing link error, that means someone, somewhere, placed an image instead of pasting it. Find it if you can, and embed it too.

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,120 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
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    Aug 7, 2012 10:08 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Peter, I think when you paste an image the pasted object is different then when you link an image—if you paste a 50mb image onto a page the ID file size will also be 50mb, which indicates that all the data is there.

     

    A question came up awhile back as to whether you could turn a pasted image into a linked image if the original did not exist. It turns out that if you copy a pasted image its format on the clipboard is PDF and not JPEG as would be the case with a link. I wrote a script that extracts the PDF and links it to the page. As far as I can tell the pasted image at 100% contains all of the original pixels of the pasted object unchanged in PDF format. Here's the thread:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4343272#4343272

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 10:18 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    I remember that thread. Very interesting. Two things were not clear to me, though.

     

    What happens when the image is scaled prior to copying? Are you getting "real" pixels, or the pixels on the screen?

     

    What about images in CMYK or Grayscale mode? Is the mode retained when you extract them? For many years I know the answer to that would have been no, and also that the pasting behavior was a little different in Mac than it was on PC, but somewhere around CS4, I think, there were some changes that improved pasting.

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,120 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 10:48 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    What happens when the image is scaled prior to copying? Are you getting "real" pixels, or the pixels on the screen?

     

    My script sets the image scale to 100% before getting the PDF and linking it back to the page—that way I get all of the available data for the link. I've checked the extracted PDF against the original image via the Difference layer mode in Photoshop and the pixels are identical (identical images show as all black pixels when the top layer blending mode is Difference).

     

    When you paste a CMYK image the CMYK values read correctly in Separation Preview. Here I've pasted 50% black, MY, CY, CM patches from PS, and the readouts are correct (my cursor is on MY)and stay that way when I run the relink script:

     

    InDesignScreenSnapz001.png

     

    Which isn't to say there's not a problem with pasting—you could easily end up with multi gigabyte page layouts and bring ID to its knees in a cut and paste workflow.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 10:50 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    You misunderstood my question about scaling, I think. I meant scaling the image on screen BEFORE you past it into ID.

     

    I'm inferring from the second part of your response that you feel there is no RGB conversion because the separations values are correct, and that may be true. but I wonder if it would be affected by the color spaces in use.

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,120 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 11:21 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Are you getting "real" pixels, or the pixels on the screen?...I meant scaling the image on screen BEFORE you past it into ID.

     

    Looks to me like you get all of the pixels on the Clipboard—if you copy the entire image in PS and paste into ID the output pixels are the same as saving the PS file and linking the file. I can't see anything that indicates a difference in quality, at least on OSX.

     

    On the otherhand If you link and then loose the link file, there is a quailty problem because the link proxy is a lower res RGB JPEG and not the high res PDF you get with a paste.

     

    you feel there is no RGB conversion because the separations values are correct,

     

    A pasted image acts like a link with no profile. In my CMYK example the pasted image's appearance changes if the assigned CMYK document profile is changed—which is what happens with a CMYK link with no profile.

     

    If I convert my test patches to RGB and paste it, it also acts like a linked RGB file without a profile:

     

    Here you can see the pasted RGB 50% K ink readouts change with different assignments–SWOP vs. SNAP:

     

    InDesignScreenSnapz002.png

     

    InDesignScreenSnapz003.png

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,120 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
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    Aug 7, 2012 11:34 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I wonder if it would be affected by the color spaces in use.

     

    I ran my linking script on the pasted CMYK and pasted RGB examples, and checked the color spaces of the 2 linked PDFs it created in Acrobat and the color is unchanged–the pasted CMYK is a CMYK PDF and the pasted RGB is an RGB PDF.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 11:55 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    This is very interesting. Do you have Prefer PDF When Pasting checked, or unchecked in the prefs?

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,120 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
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    Aug 7, 2012 12:56 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I have it unchecked—it doesn't appear to have an effect one way or another on OSX.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 12:59 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    Thanks. Unchecked here as well.

     

    I haven't done the same extensive testing as you, but I think I'm starting to revise my thinking about the quality of pasted images. Not that I'd adopt pasting as a workflow -- too many other downsides for my workflkow.

     
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