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InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO

Mar 6, 2013 2:23 PM

Tags: #cs5.5 #book #cross_references #crash_on_export #dtp

There are already posts all over the forum about how inter-document cross references in InDesign are "fragile" and slow and can cause crashing, which I recently learned the hard way. We tried to live with the slowness and the breaking links, but the show-stopper was that we couldn't export our largest book without InDesign crashing. (The book contains 150+ individual documents.)

 

Based on some recommendations, we are now using a trial of DTP's Cross References PRO plug-in for InDesign. I removed all cross references that were created using InDesign's native cross references, and added several new ones using the plug-in. The slowness has gone away and the cross references don't seem to be breaking anymore, but InDesign still crashes when I try to export our book. DTP's support people insist that their plug-in should be able to handle large books, unlike InDesign. (And I've heard very good things about their support.) Is it possible that our files and/or book are corrupted from when we had the native InDesign cross references? Has anyone switched from native InDesign cross references to DTP cross references?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2013 4:45 PM   in reply to erin.miska

    It's always good for users to hear from another real user, good or bad experience with a product, especially when it works as advertises and fixes a problem.

     

    The usual fix for removing corruption from ID files is to export to IDML format, open the IDML file and save it back as INDD, overwriting the original INDD file. HOWEVER, it's not always noted that it's wise to first copy the original file, in case something goes wrong when overwriting the original. Some plug-ins may not survive this round-trip, so that's another reason for making a safety copy.

     

    If a single file, or a few files, are fixed by the IDML round-trip, you're stuck with a hundred-plus more files to fix. You can post a request here and on the scripting forum to see if there's a script that can do the mass process.

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 5:21 PM   in reply to erin.miska

    Alas, corruption is always possible, and the other classic approach to identifying suspect file(s) in a book is to divide and conquer: export limited sections of the book—typically halves followed by halves of halves, etc.—to narrow down which document(s) cause crashing.  This might or might not be faster than "washing" 150+ files through IDML.

     

    I really hope DTP's Cross References PRO proves to be a viable solution to ID's cross-referencing problems.

     

    David

     
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    Mar 7, 2013 10:21 AM   in reply to erin.miska

    ID is still a 32-bit program, so it doesn't take advantage of all that extra RAM. Your best bet is export in pieces and combine in Acrobat Pro.

     
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    Mar 7, 2013 10:30 AM   in reply to erin.miska

    All, or just ones to parts that are not included in the export?

     

    Perhaps you can do two pieces that are nearly the whol file and overlap, then add pages from one to the other?

     
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    Mar 7, 2013 11:07 AM   in reply to erin.miska

    I'm sure you have all the book's files open at the time you're exporting, but thought I'd mention it in case you don't.

     

    A wild idea: Make a safety copy of your project, then create two separate book files with half the document files in each. Open both books and all files in both. It's just a guess about how x-refs would behave, so check some of those that point across files within one book and across books as well.

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices    

     

    erin.miska wrote:

     

    That kills the cross refs. Already tried it.

     
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    Mar 7, 2013 4:55 PM   in reply to erin.miska

    I don't think it's been determined if you have the latest ID update for your version of ID? BTW, which version are you using?

     

    Where is the "too many files open" message coming from? Operating System (which?) ID? What's the exact message? A screen shot would help. Back in the days of DOS and early Windows, there were commands to set the number of permitted files open at once. Not sure how to do it in modern OSs. If it's an ID message, perhaps someone's got a suggestion.

     

    Some folks on the forum like to see crash files so they can try to analyze them. Search Google for terms like "adobe forum indesign pastebin" without quotes to find some of those postings and learn how to send your crash report files there, and look at the names of those who volunteer to analyze the files.

     

    I was thinking that two book container files that hold the same total number of files in the original single book might lighten the processing load and perhaps avoid a crash. With some work, I think it's possible to get the pagination and other numbering schemes, and x-refs to emulate a single book. I think that this is different from exporting half the files from one book, then the other half. It's not tested, just a thought. One other thought is to remove one file at a time from the book, starting at either the beginning or end, and export, until you find the maximum number of files that succeed consistently. Then try from the other end, to see if the crash happens with the same number of files, or perhaps same number of pages, or even, perhaps, at the same page. Perhaps the number of cross-references in the content is related to the crash. Again, just brainstorming.

     

    You might explore with DTPTools support whether they'd want to see your crash files, to determine if the problem traces to their plug-in. Also, perhaps they'd like to look at your whole project - if it's permissable with your company or client, to see if DTPTools' techs can reproduce the crash.

    erin.miska wrote:

     

    We've actually never had the InDesign files open while exporting the book and never had a problem. Just to be sure, I tried this. We actually have too many files to open at one time, but I opened as many as I could. Still crashed.

     

    Can you help me understand your thought behind the second option? What am I troubleshooting by having cross references that point to a document in another book?

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 9:23 AM   in reply to erin.miska

    How much free space do you have on your hard drive? That second report looks like it has no place left for virtual memory...

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 9:25 AM   in reply to erin.miska

    You might also try updating the CS5.5 to 7.5.3 which is the actual latest version for 5.5.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 9:31 AM   in reply to erin.miska

    Just saw that on the second crash report. I think Peter is on to something. It seems as though you are very low on scratch space on this computer. ID is trying to load all the info into scratch memory and doesn't have the needed room.

     

    How is it allocated? Are you running other applications at the same time like Photoshop?

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 9:31 AM   in reply to erin.miska

    Maybe defragging would help?

     
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