13 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2013 11:49 AM by TomJohn

    Multi-page pdf not linking properly

    TomJohn Level 1

      I have a 6-page interactive indd template that I have been using for months without any issues (well, not these at least), but recently it has been not linking multi page pdfs properly. The pdf that I use is always saved from illustrator cs6 and correlates page to page with the indesign file; page 1 in the pdf links with page 1 in the indd and so on... The issue I am having is that almost every other time I link the file up it behaves differently. Sometimes it will link one page of the pdf to all of the pages of the indd while showing that they are linked to different pages, other times it will not show up at all on the pages, but will show that it is linked in the links panel. Sometimes it will only link one of the pages up and leave the other 5 blank or it will link the pages up with some sort of transparency...


      Now, I am not sure if this is a problem with Illustrator or Indesign because of another symptom: Sometimes when I save the file as a pdf it saves as if it is not a multi-page pdf with different content on every page, but rather a multi-page pdf with every page being a zoomed-out view of all of the artboards together but with only some of the content showing (only artboard 3 and 4, only artboard 6 and half of 1) when it is opened in acrobat. Also, sometimes the pdf when viewed in acrobat looks perfect, but when linked it only does a few of the pages in indesign.


      Long story short, this doesn't make any sense...  I know this is hard to follow and I don't understand why or how it is happening because it seems that every time has a different issue.


      I know that you'll probably have questions and I’ll do my best to answer them, but I'm afraid that uploading files for samples won't work because there appears to be nothing wrong with the files themselves... just the links and/or export.


      Win7, CS6 , 12 gigs RAM, i5

        • 1. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
          TomJohn Level 1



          This is what the pdf looks like in illustrator.

          pdf in illustrator.PNG

          This is what the exact same pdf looks like when saved and opened in acrobat. (all pages look like this)

          pdf in acrobat.PNG

          This is what the pdf looks like when linked to Indesign

          pdf in indesign.PNG

          • 2. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            How did you import the PDF in ID? Script or manually? If manually, did you show import options to choose the pages?


            Do you mean that all of the pages inthe PDF have the identical hat when viewed in Acrobat? That would be a problem with how you saved from Illustrator, and you can only import what's in the PDF.

            • 3. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
              TomJohn Level 1

              I have been using this method successfully for quite some time with these exact files, only in the last few days has this problem shown up.


              When I originally made the template in indesign, I imported the pdf, showed import options, and linked the pages to the same page number in the pdf. 1 to 1, 2 to 2, etc. My original thought was that this setting had been lost, so deleted the linked pdf and imported it again to try to get the 1 to 1 link. However, that did not change anything and I noticed that the page that shows up by itself in the pdf is almost always page 2, not page 1. If the page-to-page connection had been lost, all of the pages in indesign would be linking to page 1 as is the default behavior for linked pdfs.


              Also, I thought that the save issue would be on the illustrator side too, so I tried resaving it but that didn't work either. The only way that I can get the file to work is if I remake it completely and save over the old file.


              Now, I know that you're most likely thinking that this is an illustrator issue, but I don't think that it is one or the other, but rather both of them. The screenshots that I attached above are not the only way this error manifests itself. Sometimes the pdf looks right in acrobat, but once it is linked it displays with a transparency, shows only a few of the pages, or shows none at all.


              I'm probably going in circles here, but I cannot figure out which program is the cause of the error or if there are two different issues that are happening at the same time.

              • 4. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                What happens when you save as .ai?

                • 5. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                  Fede Gianni Level 3

                  do you change the name of the linked PFD?

                  • 6. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                    TomJohn Level 1



                    It works when I save it as an .ai, but I have no way of knowing if it will keep working as sometimes it works when I save as a pdf, and sometimes it doesn't. I deal with this process and templates more than 10 times a day so even if it only happens once in a while it is still an issue. Also, most of the co-worders I have need access to the saved pdf and do not have illustrator to open an ai file. I supposed I could save both an .ai and a .pdf if the ai fixes the problem but I'd rather see if there is a soltuion before I look for workarounds. Can you think of anything that would cause an export error like this to occour?




                    Yes. The indd template that I work with has a blank version of the 6-page pdf template already attached to it when I open it up. I keep it there so I do not have to constantly re-attach every page to the indd every time i import a file, it's much quicker to just relink the blank version to one with the correct content. Because of this, the file names do change every time I make a new version of the file for export as each version is for a new customer and needs to be saved so that I can go back and find it if it needs changes.

                    • 7. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      I'm afraid I'm baffled, but I try to think about it more. My brain isn't running on all cylinders at the moment.

                      • 8. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                        TomJohn Level 1

                        I'm right there with you. Stumped to the core and at my wit's end.

                        • 9. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                          TomJohn Level 1

                          So I've been trying it with using an .ai instead of a pdf, and the .ai just did the same thing.... Now I'm really stumped, and also beginning to be confident that the only linking one page symptom is more an issue with illustrator.


                          However.... I don't think it is only illustrator. Another symptom started yesterday: Hidden layers in the linked file are being un-hidden once they are linked.


                          There is a gradient on every page that is used for showing white elements in the mockup, but only when they are against the background. It is hidden and in it's own group and layer in illustrator. (From left to right) This is what the pdf looks like when viewed in acrobat, then when linked in indesign, and then what it should look like when linked. (I deleted the hidden layers and resaved). Any ideas?

                          pdf.PNG indd.PNG correct indd.PNG

                          • 10. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            Layer visibility can be a problem if you resave a file and change its structure in some way. If the layering, including names isn't identical to what it was, ID will revert to the saved visibility. It doesn't sound, though, like this is the problem.


                            This is just weird enough that I wonder if it's a configuration issue. This may sound like a strange question, but do you use Suitcase? There was one version of Suitcase that messed with Photoshop files in some odd way that seemed improbable.

                            • 11. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                              TomJohn Level 1

                              No, the other artists in my company use corel as a standard so I have to use bitstream for font management.


                              So you're saying that the visibility is not related to the other issues that I'm facing?

                              • 12. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                I honestly don't know. I'm not entirely sure I have a complete grasp of the entire problem, but from what I think I understand the whole thing is quite out of the ordinary, but the workflow is a bit out of the ordinary, too.


                                I'd be curious to to know if using a new user account for a while has any impact.

                                • 13. Re: Multi-page pdf not linking properly
                                  TomJohn Level 1

                                  Yeah, I understand my problem probably can't be duplicated and is unique to the process that I go through to make the files that I use... It's hard to explain the reasoning behind all of the steps that I take but they are necessary for the final product.


                                  I'll see what I can do about using a new user account, but I'm on a network account and I'm not sure if I'll be able to. I guess only the IT guys will know.