12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2011 9:16 AM by peter minneapolis

    Book File Questions

    Stix Hart Level 5

      Background: First off, I've never used book files before, all our documents are usually too short.  However I've got a fairly simple catalogue that has mushroomed in size.  It starts of at 250MB and after a couple of edits, shifting sections etc when you save it it's 450MB or so.  A save as brings it back down to around 250MB.  But it's very slow to work on (Windows XP CS5 4GB RAM various different processors, none that fast) so I'm looking to split it into a book.

       

      First question: Will splitting it up into a book help much?  I know we'll be able to open each section up much faster but will the book file bog down?

       

      Second question: How do I do a hyperlink from each page to a contents page?  I tried putting a hyperlink on the master page that is in the same document that the contents page is but it only works in that document.

       

      Third question: How do I do hyperlinks from a contents page to each section?

        • 1. Re: Book File Questions
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          I've only done one or two projects big enough to warrant a Book, and since they started that way, I can't say for certain that they run faster, but my instinct is that they do. You can, after all, keep a lot of the book closed most of the time.

           

          Now the bad news, I suspect your links need to be cross-references. Cross-file cross-refs are notoriously unstable, though, and most people I know and respect advise avoiding them, even to the point of not using a Book, if necessary.

          • 2. Re: Book File Questions
            Stix Hart Level 5

            OK, that was another question, there's been quite a few bugs reported in this area and I seem to remember one area that is broken and hasn't been fixed.  Is that cross refs across docs in CS5?

            • 3. Re: Book File Questions
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              I think they are improved, but not perfect, by any means.


              • 4. Re: Book File Questions
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                That's based only on what I've seen here, not personal experience.

                • 5. Re: Book File Questions
                  Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Yup. CS4 xrefs across docs in a book are (in my experience) laggy but useable, CS5 xrefs across docs make even small, simple book projects impossible. I haven't tried with 7.0.4, though.

                  • 6. Re: Book File Questions
                    Stix Hart Level 5

                    Arg.   Given my background info above does anyone have any other suggestions then?

                    • 7. Re: Book File Questions
                      Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Well, serious-DTP-producer-with-aging-hardware buddy, I've often done it manually. Two hundred instances of

                       

                      To learn more about foo, see page {t14}.

                       

                      with corresponding entries on the xref source page

                       

                      All About Foo {s14}

                       

                      don't take all that long to process at the end of a project, when you know that the text flow won't change. However, you don't get live clicky xrefs in your PDF. If you have a really large number of cross-references, or lots of live changes at the end of the project, this is obviously not a usable technique.

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      DTP Tools' Cross-Reference Pro is good stuff, I'm told. Never used it myself.

                      • 8. Re: Book File Questions
                        Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I'm also really hoping that one of our other regulars with more long-doc book experience shows up with better suggestions for you. I have some ten-year-old Framemaker experience, but after that part of my life conclusively ended, I've handled long docs or used book files about once a year. It just so happens that I had a really good opportunity to test the CS4/CS5 cross-reference thing a few months back, and since I only had a total of 50 xrefs and complete control over when the doc was final, the manual method worked fine. YMMV, of course.

                        • 9. Re: Book File Questions
                          Stix Hart Level 5

                          I like the aging hardware part!  Unfortunately doing it manually isn't practical, it's a "live" document with lots of changes all the time hence the need for automatic updates, I'll look into that link though, thanks.  I hadn't thought about a third party solution.  I've read a review done by Peter Gold about the CS3 version in which he said it was a must have, be interesting to see if he has any other comments.

                          • 10. Re: Book File Questions
                            John Hawkinson Level 5

                            Well, you could not add the hyperlinks until you are almost completely done with the book. That is a gross hack but it may work for you.

                             

                            This reminds me of the thread a few weeks ago about CS5 being slower than CS3 for some kinds of documents. That was really sort of scary. Perhaps you could try deleting pages until the problem goes away, and see if it is a characteristic of the number of references, number of pages, number of stories, or something else weird.

                            Also, roundtrip through IDML?

                            • 11. Re: Book File Questions
                              Stix Hart Level 5

                              We can't do that because we are never "done" with the book.  We export to PDF one day, add 20 products the next and export again.  Repeat ad infinitum (I hope!).

                               

                              Round tripping through idml doesn't help at all, save as does but only for a short time.  Drastically reducing the number of pages helps but it's still not snappy and if I can't use a book file is pointless anyway.  I think I will try converting back to CS3 though and trying that, I'm pretty desperate!

                               

                              I'm off to find my CS4 install file and a machine that hasn't had a trial installed on it yet!

                              • 12. Re: Book File Questions
                                peter minneapolis Level 4

                                Stix Hart wrote:

                                 

                                I like the aging hardware part!  Unfortunately doing it manually isn't practical, it's a "live" document with lots of changes all the time hence the need for automatic updates, I'll look into that link though, thanks.  I hadn't thought about a third party solution.  I've read a review done by Peter Gold about the CS3 version in which he said it was a must have, be interesting to see if he has any other comments.

                                Hi, Stix:

                                 

                                I don't use any InDesign features or tools enough to consider my projects as stress tests, so I can't speak from personal experience.

                                 

                                Harbs (in-tools.com) has commented from time to time on cross-references in books. I believe his summary statement is that InDesign's own cross-references are problematic in stressful situations like cross-file references in multi-file books; the problems vary from slowdown and hanging, incorrect conversion of links in PDF and edocs, and crashes. The main point in his comments, for me, is that InDesign's cross-references are always updating, hence slowdown and resource starvation.

                                 

                                He also noted that DTP Tools' cross-references for InDesign plug-in had some problems, but fewer, probably due to its ability to stop live cross-reference updating. When there's less activity, there's less stress. Click a menu command to update whenever you want. The main new feature in the later version of the DTP Tools plug-in, IIRC, is that it can convert existing InDesign x-refs to its format, and restore the InDesign x-refs. I've never tried this idea, but it might work: convert all InDesign x-refs to DTP Tools format, turn off live x-ref updating to reduce demand on resources, then, if you prefer InDesign's to DTP Tools', restore the InDesign x-refs. However, DTP Tools offers smarter customization of cross-reference formats than InDesign, so restoring InDesign's x-refs will lose those smarts.

                                 

                                I think this covers your question and situation - a live doc always in flux. Tech writers describe this aspect of their job as "changing tires on a moving vehicle." You can see that with live cross-reference updating, InDesign would think of its workload the same way. Add in the usual speed-draining operations like high-quality graphic display performance, linked graphics on a network server, page thumbnails and transparency indicators displayed in the Pages panel, live preflight, etc, you can see that you need to choose among options.

                                 

                                HTH

                                 

                                Regards,

                                 

                                Peter

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