Huh, it looks like, unlike the Links panel, you can either update all cross references at once, or none, ever.
It looks like Indesign isn't capable of just updating one cross reference (the way you can with links in the links panel).
Hopefully I'm wrong, but it un-greys itself as soon as I deselect the cross reference I want to update. I can't see any sign of any tool to update just one cross reference (like the 'Update link' button in the Links panel).
EDIT: Well this isn't it, according to the official help docs it should be possible to update one at a time:
Select one or more out-of-date cross-references. To update all cross-references, make sure that none are selected.
EDIT 2: All three of the possible places to update cross references are greyed out - including the flyout menu and Type > Hyperlinks & Cross References > Update Cross Reference
EDIT 3: Updating all cross references at once by using the button with nothing selected does work, so the cross references are definitely capable of being updated.
Version is CS6 (8.0.1) for Mac (Lion).
The Cross Reference updating has a glitche that ADOBE MUST FIX!!!!.
I use cross refrences to identify figure numbers I am refering to in text body so that if I add, delete, or move the figure to another page and the number changes I can simply update cross references and all is well.
Today, in my CC version, I moved an illustratioon and the figure number changed but I could not update cross references. The only way it would update was that I needed to go into the hyperlinks panel (your illustration reminded me to go there) and when I double clicked the currently incorrect figure number to see where it was referring to it magically updated. I do not want to have to do this for every every one of my 1023 cross references!!!!!! All options to update cross references are grey and do not work in my system. Not Happy with that!
Adobe needs to do some work on this one!!!!
So your 'Update cross references' button is greyed out even though there are cross references that need updating? That sounds like a bug - all I can guess is that maybe InDesign's cross referencing falls apart with more than 1,000 cross references.
I'd try copying and pasting a few pages to a new blank document, and/or temporarily delete some to bring the number down, to see if it starts working again. Won't solve the problem but if you know exactly what the bug is, you can at least find ways to avoid it.
Don't hold your breath on this ever getting fixed. Now that you're a CC subscriber, Adobe still get a constant feed of your money whether they fix the problem or not.
For as long as Adobe still feel like a monopoly, there's now no reason for them to make meaningful improvements or bug fixes. Expect them to do nothing but take your money every month and you won't be disappointed.
Giving this thread a bump, since I'm hitting the same issue. I'm hoping I can update one cross reference, or update just the cross references on one page. If I do the 'update all cross references,' (I work for Banner Engineering, where I handle the 1,000 page Catalog, which has thousands of cross references) -it takes over 36 hours & crashes. Where it would be great to do just one page at a time.
I get the grayed out cross reference button. Any updates, advice or help on this would be greatly appreciated .
InDesign CC 2015, Windows 7 64bit, 16 GB RAM, SSD 500 GB, Windows Experience Index 7.7
Just commenting on one point made here: To speed up that 36 hours, open all InDesign documents that all the cross-references refer to, so that they are all open at once. Then try to update the cross-references. This is because if these cross-references reference a document that is closed, that document will be opened in the background, and then closed again, and then reopened, each time each cross-reference is updated, and clearly that can take a long time. Opening all the docs first should cut down the updating time considerably!
@TᴀW , Thank You, I appreciate the feedback . The Banner Catalog has ~35 InDesign files (some very large files). I have opened all of the files before (which was a nice item I learned of; select all of the files in the Book file, then double-click & they will all open). I turn off all image previews, I do everything local (nothing on a network, keeping it all on my SSD drive), etc. Where I attempt to speed up everything as much as possible. But, with all 35 files open, it is still extremely slow. With everything local, I have noticed it does speed up the cross reference work (cross references were extreeeeeeeeemmmmeeeelllly SLOW on the network ).