Cross References Issues in Framemaker 2019

Community Beginner ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Hello Adobe Support,

I have a person who is having  trouble with cross references in Adobe Framemaker 2019.  They have to insert and delete figures and tables, and it looks like it’s messing up the list of cross references, and links.  Also possibly impacting the Table of Contents, the List of Figures and the List of Tables.  Any idea what could be causing this?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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You're not talking with Adobe Support - this is a user-to-user forum with occasional glimpses of Staff. See https://helpx.adobe.com/contact/enterprise-support.other.html#framemaker for your support contact options.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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... but this is exactly the right place here to ask such questions 😉

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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But I didn't have any more time to dig into what's going on - so, what are they specifically doing? Inserting and deleting stuff shouldn't mess up anything once the book has been updated.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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From the user: "

I am inserting and deleting figures and tables.  The cross references and markers are messed up.  Somehow the markers and cross references do not line up.  That is, the cross reference in the text says “Table 4-12” when it points to a marker listed as “Table 4-15.”  All cross refs and markers are offset like this. 

 

I believe I have figured out how to edit these cross references:  First I edit the Marker, then I Replace the Cross Reference in the text with the newly edited Marker.  It is slow and tedious.  Is there were some way to edit the text of all these markers, or automatically refresh the numbering of these cross refs so that they line up with what their markers are supposed to say?  How is it possible that the list of markers would include entries like “4-12, 4-15, 4-15, 4-19, 4-20…” having skipped some numbers in the sequence?  And still have the reference look like it is pointing to the correct marker?"

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Do the autonumbers remain incorrect after doing an Update?

If so, we'd need to consider the syntax of the offending Xref Markers. If someone hand-typed a literal "Table 4-12" into the marker dialog, it's not going to update.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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There could be several reasons for that:

  1. It could be that the table numbers are "hand-written" and not done with Paragraph auto-numberings. In that case, they would not automatically update. Therefore, Cross-References would also still show the existing paragraph text and would only update if the handwritten text is changed.
    More information about auto-numbering can be found here.
  2. If might be that the author manually inserted markers and manually typed the figure/table numbers into the marker. And the cross-references point to these markers (i.e., the marker content).
    When updating a book or the Cross-References, FrameMaker does not change custom marker content, as this is not what custom markers are meant to be for.
    In that case, unfortunately "someone" needs to update all the markers when inserting a new figure or table. This probably could also be done with scripting. More information about markers can be found here.
  3. If the figure/table titles are properly auto-numbered and the cross-references are correctly set up to pick the automumbering (+ the paragraph text = title), everything should work fine.

 

That said, can you please copy & paste the Cross-Reference definition here, and also check the figure/table title's auto-numbering setting? Screenshots should also be fine for us.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Gwendolyn,

    One of the major reasons to use cross-references is so that FrameMaker can automatically update them as the document evolves. As long as your customer's tables are numbered in the autonumber of the table title, FrameMaker will update the cross-references. FrameMaker does not change the cross-reference markers and there is no need for the user to do so. In fact, in most cases, users don't ever need to inspect the cross-reference markers.

    When a writer creates a cross-reference to a paragraph (such as a table title), FrameMaker inserts a cross-reference marker in that paragraph. It creates marker text that is very likely to be unique in the document.  As you have noticed that text does include the current autonumber of the cited paragraph. Suppose your customer creates a cross-reference to Table 4-15 and then deletes three of the preceding tables (or moves them to another chapter or later in the current one). The automatic numbering will change the number of what used to be Table 4-15 to Table 4-12. When the customer updates cross-references, for example, by updating a book, by using the Edit > Update References command, or (depending on document settings) simply by opening a document, FrameMaker will look for the original marker and retrieve the current number of the paragraph with that marker. It doesn't matter whether the number in the marker text matches the current table number; it just needs to differ from all the other marker text in the document. Since the marker contains other fields than the number, if the table's number changes, that string is intended to continue to identify that particular table.

       --Lynne

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Well, if any content containing one or more cross-reference markers is deleted, any references to those are going to throw Unresolved Cross-Ref errors at the next update.

But I'm a bit confused by the term "list". What list is that? Is an LOM (list of markers) being generated?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Is there were some way to edit the text of all these markers, or automatically refresh the numbering of these cross refs so that they line up with what their markers are supposed to say?

  • To update x-refs in a single file, use Edit > Update References > Cross-References. 
  • To update x-refs in a book, update the book. (This also updates the TOC, LOF ans LOT.)

 

FrameMaker supports two different kinds of cross-references: paragraph cross references and spot cross references.

  • A paragraph cross-reference references the paragraph text and/or the paragraph number , i.e., "For more information, see Table 6.1 on page 333." When you insert a new table with auto-numbering enabled, you update the x-refs (and the book files) and are good to go. It's quick and easy and efficient.
  • A spot cross reference — which involves adding a marker before you cross reference it — is typically used to reference a specific text within a multi-line paragraph.

 

If you are editing markers, it sounds like someone took the long way with spot x-refs—can you confirm that this is what happened?

 

~Barb 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Is there someway I can connect to Support with the customer to show exactly what's happening?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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I don't actually know if Adobe offer Enterprise Support (or equivalent) for FM, but if your entity has a contract, you should have access to the contact credentials.

If you are seeking no-extra-charge support, this forum is it, for the most part. The software license subscription does not (and can't, really) include that. The former perpetual licenses never did.

Some forum members (not me) offer consulting services.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Jeff gave you the link, above to connect with support. 

 

On the Community Forum, we are volunteers who help other users in our free time. I am happy to look at one of your files. Add it to dropbox and put the link in a reply (public) or message me directly by clicking on my name above this post (private).

 

~Barb 

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Just as a little bit of clarification (sort of off-topic): Adobe Support is for technical issues like installation, system integrations, crashers, etc. For "how-to" questions, this forum here is the perfect place to discuss them. Adobe Product management and the support team, (and I) "co-read" here as well, and can jump in where necessary.
I think this way, this forum becomes a huge ressource of information and knowledge over the time, we all learn from each other, and grow together 🙂

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