5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2011 1:55 AM by kkingg

    Create index problem: entries contain invalid characters. Please help!

    kkingg

      When trying to create (Indesign CS5) an index, I get a message that one or more index entries contain invalid characters. I should delete them.

       

      BUT: where can I find any invalid characters? Which characters are 'invalid' and which not? I looked through all entries in the Index panel, but can see no strange character at all.

       

      I need to create this index for a book that has to be printed soon. On internet I could not find any solution.

       

      Who can help?

       

      Thanks,

      kking

        • 1. Re: Create index problem: entries contain invalid characters. Please help!
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          I don't usually do the type of work that requires indexing, but I wonder if there might be some "invisible" character involved here, end nested style, discretionary line break, non-joiner, etc.

          • 2. Re: Create index problem: entries contain invalid characters. Please help!
            kkingg Level 1

            Thank you for responding. It might be such a thing as you suggest. BUT how and twhere should I look for it and try to fix it?

            • 3. Re: Create index problem: entries contain invalid characters. Please help!
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              That's a bit tougher. As I said, I don't do index stuff, but I'm thinking you might want to do something like show non-priniting characters, then do a Find/Change to search for index markers. As you step through you can examine each one and see if perhaps you picked up a non-printing character along with what you wanted when doing the original selection. Very tedious.

               

              Jongware (or John) might be able to come up with a GRP query or a script that could find an invalid character in an index entry, but I think that's out of my league. Part of the problem is the vagueness of the message and the lack of pinpointing a particular entry.

              • 4. Re: Create index problem: entries contain invalid characters. Please help!
                [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                P Spier wrote:

                [..] Jongware (or John) might be able to come up with a GRP query or a script that could find an invalid character in an index entry, but I think that's out of my league. Part of the problem is the vagueness of the message and the lack of pinpointing a particular entry.

                 

                The regular GREP doesn't help here -- it cannot search "inside" an index marker.

                 

                I could write up a script to hunt for, then remove, any illegal characters inside already indexed entries, but I concur: I'd have to know first what this illegal character is.

                 

                I have used ID's native Indexing features a couple of times and haven't encountered this particular warning on a regular basis. I just might have seen it one, once, in an index that got imported from Word. For some stupid reason a null byte got appended to each of each indexed words, and so I wrote a quickee script to remove them.

                • 5. Re: Create index problem: entries contain invalid characters. Please help!
                  kkingg Level 1

                  Hi,

                   

                  Thank you for your suggestions. However I could not solve the problem that way, of course...

                   

                  I read another thread on this specific problem and that seems to be the only way to get rid of the problem:

                   

                  Trying to find the entry that causes the problem, by isolating it. Therefore I had to chop the document in half, and repeat this until creating an index would succeed. At last I found some invisible characters following a number in the entry I left over. Deleting these (white space?) was the key to success.

                   

                  It takes some time, but apparently will work. It is quite annoying that a few invisible characters can cause such a problem.

                   

                  Anyway, the problem has been solved.

                   

                  KKingg