18 Replies Latest reply: Mar 11, 2013 8:35 AM by erin.miska RSS

    InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO

    erin.miska

      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?

        • 1. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
          peter at knowhowpro Community Member

          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

          • 2. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
            David W. Goodrich Community Member

            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

            • 3. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
              erin.miska Community Member

              Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like I can export the first half of the book without problems, and I can export the second half of the book without problems. I can even export up to 3/4 of the book without problems, just not the whole thing.

               

              This helps me rule out file corruption and makes me think maybe the cross references just cause InDesign to work harder during the export. Maybe I just don't have enough juice in my laptop to export a giant book with tons of cross references. At the same time, I find it hard to believe that my new-ish MacBook Pro with 16 GB of RAM can't handle this. Even tried it on another writer's laptop that has a better processor.

               

              Will report back if I make any more progress.

              • 4. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                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.

                • 5. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                  erin.miska Community Member

                  That kills the cross refs. Already tried it.

                  • 6. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                    Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                    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?

                    • 7. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                      peter at knowhowpro Community Member

                      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.

                      • 8. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                        erin.miska Community Member

                        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?

                        • 9. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                          erin.miska Community Member

                          Unfortunately exporting in sections is not really an option because our TOC is linked to literally every other document.

                          • 10. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                            peter at knowhowpro Community Member

                            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?

                            • 11. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                              erin.miska Community Member

                              I'm using the latest version of InDesign CS5.5 on OS X 10.8.2.

                               

                              The "too many files open" error is coming from InDesign. It just says "Cannot open 'document.indd'. Please close one or more Adobe InDesign documents or books and try again". I explored this a bit, but couldn't find a way to increase the limit. It's definitely not an OS X limit, as I read that you can have thousands of files open in OS X by default. I think I'll try pinpointing the number of files that I can consistently export without a crash, like you suggested. Although I can't make up my mind whether the number of files could be a contributing factor. I've never heard of having to have files open while exporting a book. The way I understand it, InDesign opens and closes the files one by one and sort of in the background while exporting a book.

                               

                              Another thing to note is that I just made a copy of all of our files and removed all cross references, and the crash still occurred. So now I'm not so sure it's an issue with the cross references. I may try exporting all files to IDML and then saving back to INDD, just to be sure nothing's corrupted. Will probably re-create the book, too. I'm also working on getting my hands on an iMac with a more kick-butt processor.

                               

                              Since this may not be a cross reference issue, I'm thinking of starting a new thread. But in the meantime, here is a crash report from one of the times I've tried exporting the book: http://pastebin.com/UtvghvYa

                               

                              Today I also experienced a crash when trying to reproduce the error that is displayed when I have too many InDesign files open. That was new. Here's the crash report from that (it's a little different from the others): http://pastebin.com/R1A0RCga

                              • 12. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                                Peter Spier CommunityMVP

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

                                • 13. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                                  erin.miska Community Member

                                  A lot. Over 150 GB. Plus this is happening on other writers' computers too.

                                  • 14. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                                    Larry G. Schneider CommunityMVP

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

                                    • 15. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                                      erin.miska Community Member

                                      Just did that this morning. That first crash report is from the other day when I was on 7.5.2, but the second is from this morning and was on 7.5.3.

                                      • 16. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                                        Larry G. Schneider CommunityMVP

                                        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?

                                        • 17. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                                          Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                                          Maybe defragging would help?

                                          • 18. Re: InDesign Cross References with DTP's Cross References PRO
                                            erin.miska Community Member

                                            Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. Although I still haven't found a great solution to this, it's been helpful to rule out all of these variables.

                                             

                                            Started a new discussion with a more appropriate title and description: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1168431