For a while now footnotes have been disappearing from my documents--just the actual footnote, not the reference. When enough disappear that text reflows I receive the "Overset Text" error, but recently one disappeared and text should have reflown but did not, and I received no error warning. This was only caught by chance before sending it to the printer.
I have seen others on forums struggling with issues like this, but there are never any answers, from Adobe or from other clever typesetters. This is a very concerning problem. Please let me know if there's any way to at least make sure I am notified if footnotes disappear!
It would help a lot if you would add to your report: Please tell us what operating system (exactly) you're running. Please tell us (exactly) what InDesign version you're using.
Right, sorry! I am using 15.0.1 on a Mac desktop computer.
I've been getting this as well for a few weeks. Footnote text just randomly disappears. The only indication is an "overset text" message when creating a pdf. Extremely serious bug.
I am using Indesign 15.0.1 on Mac OS 10.13.6
I am on Indesign 14.0.3, Mac OS 10.15.3. I have had same issue with footnotes going to overset text with no warning. This was just discovered in a 19-chapter, 660-page book that is about to go to printer. I had to go through every chapter finding the footnote number reference in the text, then make sure the footnote itself is not hidden. I found 6 instances out of hundreds of footnotes. This was discovered AFTER the book went to the indexer, so page breaks could not be changed. This is serious!
My own workaround to this problem while working on a 1000 page document:
Firstly, I only know of the problem when updating the TOC. It gives a warning of overset text, but no indication of where it is.
The solution is to do a global format change of all superscript characters (footnotes reference format) to be changed to color black, which is already the color of the footnotes references. I use black in my document, and actually nothing changes, but this will make all footnotes appear again. You can check this first on individual occurrences.
You've just saved my life.
i do not understand your workaround. can you elaborate?
My english is not that good, sorry. I tried to change the paragraph format, but it didnt change anything.
Do you find that you have to use Find/Change to make this work? I had been doing it in the footnote reference style, highlighting and then unhighlighting the footnote. It fixed it immediately for a while, but then I noticed it made some things reflow, which makes no sense because the size doesn't change at all. I was just wondering if you have tried changing the style itself and if that works?
I JUST had this problem start today--months after the OP, and I use Indesign almost every day! While the work around suggested above about the footnote color works (thank you!), has Adobe not fixed this or a settings solution found? I'm running the latest version, which is 15.1.1. No overset text message either. So frusterating as I now need to check everything.
I'm so glad to have found this tip! The footnotes have appeared. (It partially solved my problem of references showing as "?" and no footnote.) I voted for this bug in hopes they will keep working on a fix.
It's now the end of 2020 and this bug is still severely affecting my work. Random footnotes disappear when using the Book export function. It means that my workflow is slowed down to a crawl while I re-check files that have been edited and approved multiple times. It's a serious bug and severely undermining my confidence in InDesign. I use Indesign 15.1.2 with Mac High Sierra 10.13.6.
The best work-around is to export as separate files, but that is a backwards step when working with publishing houses.
It's January 2021 and I'm also having this problem. Adobe, you've got thousands of my dollars at this point. Fix it.
That's an excellent idea.
I've found that if I open "Document Footnote Options" from the Type Menu and change the numbering style the footnotes reappear. I keep the Preview box checked and make a change ... footnotes reappear, and I then click Cancel or change the setting back. There's no need to implement the change. Typically I check the "Restart Numbering Every" checkbox, the footnotes reappear, then I uncheck the box, and close the options window. It's very annoying but seems to occur in files that are part of a book that has had pagination changes elsewhere in the book.
Thank you Todd! That fixed my problem.
The fix for this issue is now available in the latest update of InDesign—version 16.1
Please update to this version to get the fix. To prevent problem on existing documents and see the footnotes again, you will have to force recompose the stories. To force recompose stories, you can use the shortcut Command-Option-/ (slash) on Mac or Ctrl-Alt-slash on Windows.
I have tried all the suggestions here but I still can't get my endnotes and references to reappear. Every time I try to work with the Endnote options the file crashes. I'm using InDesign 17.0.1 for Mac, running OS Big Sur 11.6.2.
Exporting the .indd file to .idml format stops the crashing, but all the references are replaced with <?>. Adobe support suggested changing the font to force them to reappear but that didn't work.
I also tried the Recompose command+option+/ (slash) and that didn't work.
I unsuccessfully tried exporting the text to various formats hoping the endnotes would show up and I could at least copy and paste the text.
Any and all suggestions welcome!