10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 2, 2018 9:44 AM by sheridantanner36600

    Unlink missing word-file (text) link

    EVDAE Level 1

      I'm working on an old Indesign file that has Word documents linked to it. The links are missing but the text shows up as editable text so it's not lost.

      I can copy it all and paste it in a new text frame to fix the missing link issue.
      But this is a lot of work for a whole book. It would be perfect if I could unlink the Word-file from my text frames, but this option does not show up.

      I've found 2-7 year old questions on Adobe forums without any helpful answer.


      Can anybody help me with this?


        • 1. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Select the link in the links panel and open the panel menu. I don’t remember the exact wording for unlinking the text but it should be fairly obvious.

          • 2. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
            EVDAE Level 1

            Thanks for your answer, but I don't have many options in the panel menu. I made a screenshot:


            Schermafbeelding 2016-04-08 om 08.39.00.png

            2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Unlink SHOULD be right under Go To Link. Edit > Menus... and be sure it's turned on.

              • 4. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
                Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                "Unlink" should be available in the context menu, if you right-click the link in the Links Panel.

                From my German InDesign:




                Hope, that helps.



                • 5. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
                  springks Level 1

                  Thank you for posting this. Did you ever find a solution? I have the same issue with a book I'm trying to make updates to.

                  • 6. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
                    springks Level 1

                    The best option I've found is to export out the story using the WordsFlow plugin. This creates a new link. Then, when I unlink, I have the text in my InDesign file free and clear. I don't use InCopy, but I tried the same idea of exporting out all the stories to InCopy. This, too, created new article links that I could then unlink.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
                      cathg74 Level 1

                      I just came across the same problem in a document.

                      .txt file was in the links panel, but no option to 'unlink' or even 'go to'.

                      I realised that I'd sourced the file in the Data Merge panel and my .txt file was still registering as the Data Source.

                      From the Data Merge Panel right click the top right drop-down menu and choose 'Remove Data Source', this will then remove the file from your Links Panel.

                      • 8. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link

                        Hey guys,

                        I'm having this same problem - but think I've found a work around.

                        In my ID file I have a linked Word doc, when I refresh the link it basically reloads in and ruins the styling applied to the current instance of the link.


                        So in order to fix this I needed to unlink - but as on these posts, 'unlink' wasn't appearing in my link palette drop down.

                        I've noticed a discrepancy - with old links that were not showing up as missing, if you relink them to a local file, the 'unlink' menu item will show. (I'd noticed a difference in the 'unlink' menu item showing up / or not for versions of the link on my HD vs a version stored on Dropbox).


                        Therefore I've devised a work around. I've copied the initial instance of the link so there is a spare instance. Use spare instance to relink to a local link file. Indesign then thinks both links are up to date/local and will display the 'unlink' menu item.


                        Then you can unlink both links, then delete the spare instance.


                        Weird huh but it works!

                        • 9. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
                          sethm74763717 Level 1

                          Workarounds aren't really feasible, especially when your book has dozens of links to unstyled text. Can Adobe do something about making the "unlink" option available? It's their bug, they should fix it.

                          • 10. Re: Unlink missing word-file (text) link
                            sheridantanner36600 Level 1

                            I guess it depends on what you need from the "unlink" option, and I know workarounds aren't ideal at all, but until this is fixed by Adobe...


                            As someone earlier in the thread suggested, I just exported my content through Wordsflow again, which effectively made a new link (overwriting the old one). Since the new link was obviously fresh and functioning as it normally should, my "unlink" option came back! I'm guessing that since what you want is to delete the link altogether, it doesn't matter that you're unlinking from a newly-made document instead of the original. The only downside is that it's one extra step and perhaps creates extraneous files you may not need; a headache, for sure, but not stupidly unfeasible.


                            But you probably solved your problem months ago. Hope you figured it out!