11 Replies Latest reply: May 4, 2012 4:05 PM by SteveC100 RSS

    Cut and Paste Cross References

    SteveC100 Community Member

      As some of you know, I'm updating a book composed of chapter files, with cross references between chapters. This used to be incredibly buggy, with crashes and broken references common. Some of that is improved in CS5.5, but a couple of big issues remain, and I'm wondering if anybody has any suggestions.

       

      Two problems:

       

      1. You generally can't cut and paste a cross reference. I have text that says "see page 27". I want to move this somewhere else in the same document. Cut it. Paste it. The paste comes in looking like this: "see <?>" -- and you get a broken link in the Hyperlinks panel. That really limits text editing. It doesn't always happen. Sometimes you'll paste and your cross reference works. But that's rare. And you can never copy and paste. That always breaks.
      2. Cross references refer to absolute file pathnames. I'd like to rename some chapter files. But I dare not because I assume that all cross references to destinations in those files will break.

       

      Anybody have any suggestions for either of these things? Number 1 is a real work-stopper right now.

       

      Many thanks,

      Steve

        • 1. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
          SteveC100 Community Member

          Okay, I take it back. Cross references between chapter files are still a real good way to crash In Design. I finally had to recreate an entire chapter today, cut and paste all text and then recreate all cross references, because, try as I might, I could not add a single additional cross reference to the original chapter -- even though it had worked fine in the past.

           

          Grrr.

          • 2. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
            SteveC100 Community Member

            I seem to be talking to myself here. But I don't know where to turn for help with cross references. Is it possible that with all the book publishing done with ID, that nobody is using this feature? I have a new chapter now, just two pages, pure text, no images, but with 18 cross references. Make one tiny text change in that chapter -- just delete a space, for example, at the very end, after all the cross references. And watch the pinwheel cursor spin and spin as ID runs what appears to be the paragraph compositor recursively, over and over again. This is a bug -- it wasn't a problem in CS5. And it sure makes text editing harder!

            • 3. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
              Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

              First, as you already know, inter-document cross-refs are known to be "fragile." Second, if you have them in a book, you should open all of the book documents so ID isn't constantly opening and closing them in the background as you edit and it tries to updat the refs.

              • 4. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
                SteveC100 Community Member

                Thanks, Peter. Your help is one of the big reasons I keep coming back to this forum. But I have to say that I had hoped that Cross References would work better in 5.5. Saying they are fragile is putting way to nice a point on it. You are right that editing improves if you open all cross reference destinations. But there are times when a file simply will not accept a new cross reference. No matter what you do, ID will crash. Yesterday I completely replaced a file, and remade all its cross references to get around this. Today, the new file is behaving like the one I replaced yesterday -- add a new x-ref and bomb.

                 

                Meanwhile, if you open all the cross reference destinations, they will each show that they need to be saved, when they are opened. If you go through and save them all, they immediatly show the asterisk in the title bar, once again. There is no way to get them all into the 'saved' condition.

                 

                Adobe really needs to have another look at this. It stinks, and it stands out in a product that is otherwise extremely smart and very robust.

                 

                Steve

                • 5. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
                  Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                  What can I say?

                   

                  Peter Gold has recommended a third party plugin a number of times here (I don't do a lot of that sort of work), but pretty much anyone with any experience here says if you need cross-refs you should work with a single doc rather than a book if you want to avoid add-ons.

                  • 6. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
                    peter at knowhowpro Community Member

                    Peter Spier wrote:

                     

                    What can I say?

                     

                    Peter Gold has recommended a third party plugin a number of times here (I don't do a lot of that sort of work), but pretty much anyone with any experience here says if you need cross-refs you should work with a single doc rather than a book if you want to avoid add-ons.

                    It just occurred to me that the number of cross-references in a document, and the document's size may have an effect on stability of cross-file cross-references. [EDIT] I forgot to say, "perhaps smaller files will be more stable than larger ones, as an alternate to a single large file that avoids cross-file references."[/EDIT] I haven't tested this, but you might want to experiment. Also, the common suggestion for cleaning up files with Save As, and/or exporting to IDML, opening the IDML file, and saving it, may help with stability. Worth a try, IMO. If you do the testing, please report your results, good or bad. Thanks.

                     

                     

                    HTH

                     

                     

                    Regards,

                     

                     

                    Peter

                    _______________________

                    Peter Gold

                    KnowHow ProServices    

                     

                    Message was edited by: peter at knowhowpro

                    • 7. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                      What, you aren't going to tell him about the plugin? I was hoping you would since I can't remember the name....

                      • 8. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
                        SteveC100 Community Member

                        Okay, guys -- I've made some progress. And I really appreciate your support, now, and in the past.

                         

                        Upgrading from 7.5.2 to 7.5.3 -- no improvement,

                        Save a new copy of the file via Save As -- no improvement,

                        Export as IDML and then just double-click the IDML to open it -- worked! (Is that the correct procedure? Anything else I need to do?)

                         

                        It's still just about suicidal to try and edit text in any story containing multiple cross references to chapter files that aren't open. And adding a new cross reference is super-slow, during which time you're sure you're going to crash. But with the imported file, the new cross ref held.

                         

                        One other point of confusion: new cross references display differently than ones created in older versions of the software. The old ones have dark grey boxes around them. New ones have light blue boxes. No mention of this in the help file that I could find. Even if you update an old cross ref, the dark grey remains. Only starting from scratch produces light blue.

                         

                        Something corrupted that file, which IDML got rid of. It was corrupted by doing little more than adding or updating a bunch of cross references, and doing some minor text editing. No images in the file, so that had nothing to do with it.

                         

                        Chapter file sizes, since you asked, are anywhere from 3 to 40 mb. The file I was having problems with is only 2.5 mb. The book contains 22 chapters. Long ago I converted it from one big file to separate chapters. Easier to manage, chapter numbering works more logically and chapter starts are easier to handle. But cross references worked a lot better with the single file.

                         

                        In any event, problem solved for the moment, so thanks very much again. But Adobe really needs to look at this. It's been broken for way too long.

                         

                        Steve

                        • 9. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
                          peter at knowhowpro Community Member

                          Peter Spier wrote:

                           

                          What, you aren't going to tell him about the plugin? I was hoping you would since I can't remember the name....

                          Silly me! I wrongly assumed that you were referring to my mention of DTP Tools' Cross-References Plug-in for InDesign earlier in the thread. So, I just mentioned it.

                           

                          SteveC100, there's a free trial you can experiment with. If you take it for a test, please post the results here - success or failure. The plug-in converts existing InDesign cross-references to its own, internally and reversibly, but it's a good idea to test with a saved copy. If others need to edit your docs, there's a free reader they can install to avoid missing plug-in messages. IIRC, DTP Tools cross-references adjust for text reflow, with the reader installed, but all users who need to change or insert new cross-references need a licensed copy.

                           

                          Also, SteveC100, thanks for posting the sad news that 7.5.3 doesn't change the problem.

                           

                           

                          HTH

                           

                           

                          Regards,

                           

                           

                          Peter

                          _______________________

                          Peter Gold

                          KnowHow ProServices

                          • 10. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
                            Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                            peter at knowhowpro wrote:

                             

                            Peter Spier wrote:

                             

                            What, you aren't going to tell him about the plugin? I was hoping you would since I can't remember the name....

                            Silly me! I wrongly assumed that you were referring to my mention of DTP Tools' Cross-References Plug-in for InDesign earlier in the thread.

                            I probably was, but that part of the thread wasn't visible... <g>

                            • 11. Re: Cut and Paste Cross References
                              SteveC100 Community Member

                              Thanks again, guys, you have been lifesavers. The DTP thing looks pretty cool. I'm way too close to the end to make the switch now. But for future editions, I'll look into it.

                               

                              For what it's worth, I don't need any cross ref features that ID doesn't support -- it does everything I want and more. It's just too bloody unstable, with the app just vaporizing way too often. It stands out because ID is otherwise so stable.

                               

                              Steve