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What's the benefit of using cross reference markers versus using cross references to paragraph tags?

Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2015

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I'm stepping into a job where they've used cross reference markers for all of the cross references in a 13-file book instead of using paragraph tags as the source type. What is the benefit of doing that? I'm finding many, many unresolved cross references when updating the book. They appear to be linked correctly though...do markers simply show up as unresolved? I know some files are missing fonts and that may be adding to the problem, and I haven't looked at every cross references to see if it is correctly linked or not. I guess I'm just wondering why you would use one type of cross reference over the other. Thanks.

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What's the benefit of using cross reference markers versus using cross references to paragraph tags?

Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2015

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I'm stepping into a job where they've used cross reference markers for all of the cross references in a 13-file book instead of using paragraph tags as the source type. What is the benefit of doing that? I'm finding many, many unresolved cross references when updating the book. They appear to be linked correctly though...do markers simply show up as unresolved? I know some files are missing fonts and that may be adding to the problem, and I haven't looked at every cross references to see if it is correctly linked or not. I guess I'm just wondering why you would use one type of cross reference over the other. Thanks.

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Sep 10, 2015 0
Advisor ,
Sep 11, 2015

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I can fairly confidently assert that when a file won't open (until you confirm) because of font problems, the book will get upset about cross-references pointing to that file; the quick trick is to open all files in the book (shift+File menu) before trying an update.

I'm not sure I understand the situation as far as the markers goes, though; if I'd ever stopped to think about it, I assumed* that markers were usually created by selecting paragraph tags in the Cross-reference dialogue and could then occasionally/as required be used again. I vaguely remember times when I've needed to insert a new cross-reference by finding an existing xref marker instead of setting up a new one: but don't remember the circumstances.

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Sep 11, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2015

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Thanks for the reply. I fixed my missing font issue. I still don't understand the big picture of why one would choose xref markers vs. using paragraph tags, but I'll continue to look. I'm pretty sure using paragraph tags does not create a marker; the two "systems" of xrefs are totally separate. I'll keep working at it. Thank you.

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Sep 11, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 11, 2015

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In unstructured documents, all cross-references use markers. FrameMaker just gives you a choice of creating the marker text yourself or of letting it construct the marker text from the paragraph tag and initial paragraph text. You can see this behavior by creating a new test document and typing in a few paragraphs. Then insert some cross-references by Paragraphs. Use View > Text to turn on text symbols and you will see there's a marker at the start of each paragraph that you picked for a cross-reference. You can select the paragraph and use Special > Marker to see the text, or just set the cross-reference pod to use Cross-Reference Markers for the source type.

The advantage of using Paragraphs as the Source Type is that it saves you the effort of creating a marker in a separate step before creating a cross-reference. However, in a long document with lots of paragraphs, it might be difficult to find the one you want. This is especially true if you have numerous paragraphs that start with the same text. For example, suppose you are writing a reference manual with a section for each command in a computer system and with all sections having the same subsections (syntax, arguments, examples, etc.). Picking a subsection to cross-reference can be difficult. However, you can put whatever text you want in a marker. Especially since markers are listed in alphabetical order, it can be easy to find the one you want.

Also, if you change the text at the beginning of a paragraph, the text of any cross-reference markers it contains does not change, and that can be confusing if you are looking at marker text.

I hope this explanation helps!

--Lynne

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Explorer ,
Sep 24, 2015

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It does help, Lynne. Thank you.

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Sep 24, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 11, 2015

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re: ... they've used cross reference markers for all of the cross references ... I guess I'm just wondering why you would use one type of cross reference over the other.

Over the other what?

The process of creating a Cross-Reference merely auto-creates a Marker at the target of
Marker Type: [Cross-Ref]
with Marker Text:
[Unique###: ParatagAtTimeOfMarkerCreation: FragmentOfInitialParatextAtTimeOfMarkerCreation]

Are your markers something different? What type markers are at the targets?

In the Special > Cross Reference dialog, there is a Source Type pull-down which allows you (theoretically) to Xref by MarkerType:Cross-Ref or by ParagraphTag. The current state of that pull-down might be causing some confusion.

There are some things that can cause xref Markers to go missing. In older FMs, sorting table with markers would do the trick.

That "AtTimeOfMarkerCreation" stuff, by the way, can result in MIFs containing a lot of really old stuff over time. when I clean up old Catalogs, I usually hack the MIF to get it really clean.

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