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PDF bookmarks appearing in reverse chapter (document) order when exporting an InDesign book

New Here ,
Mar 18, 2022 Mar 18, 2022

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I have an InDesign book with a TOC document and 7 content (chapter) documents. When I export the book to pdf, the “print” TOC is correct, but the pdf bookmarks have the chapters in reverse order (7, 6, 5, etc.). The bookmarks do go to the correct pages. (Lower H level bookmarks are in the correct order within each document.)
My TOC style setup creates PDF bookmarks and makes text anchors in source paragraphs.
I’ve tried a few different pdf settings, including interactive.
I removed all but one document from the book and started adding them back one at a time, updating my TOC after each save. Doing that, the pdf bookmarks came in with the correct chapter order, until I added chapter 7 back in, and then all of the chapters reversed again.
I opened chapter 7 and removed all (I think) of the existing anchors on the headings (using story editor view) before re-adding the document to the book and regenerating the TOC, but the PDF bookmark chapter order still reversed again.
How does InDesign (or Acrobat) decide on the bookmark order?
Any ideas? Thanks!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 18, 2022 Mar 18, 2022

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Hi @Tobler:

 

That's very odd. Based on your experience, it sounds like there may be an issue with chapter 7. Can you save the book and all files at chapter 6, where everything is working as expected and then:

  • Save chapter 7 as .idml, and then save it back to .indd, add it back to the book and try again?
  • Or, since it is chapter and presumably a 1-story, threaded document, this might not be too difficult: can you save one of the other chapters under a new name like (tempchp1.indd) and then copy the content from chapter 7 and paste it into the copy of the other chapter? And then try adding it back to the book? If it works, rename it with the correct name.

~Barb

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New Here ,
Apr 29, 2022 Apr 29, 2022

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Hi Barb,

 

Thank you so much for your suggestions! After several tries getting back to this, I finally discovered the problem was at the other end of the book - in my TOC. 

My TOC start page has a fixed title in a separate text box serving as a text anchor to reach the page from all the other book documents. So - when I ran the TOC utility, I ended up with duplication in the "print" TOC, but with properly ordered PDF TOC navigation:

SEED_TOC_successful-a.JPG

SEED_PDF-navigation_successful.JPG

When I deleted items from the print TOC to remove duplication, the PDF navigation TOC reversed order.

SEED_TOC_unsuccessful.JPG

SEED_PDF-navigation_unsuccessful.JPG

I found that just removing only the generated TOC title left the PDF navigation order correct and didn't look too bad:

SEED_TOC_successful.JPG

This was all much more frustrating than it should have been - a reminder that sometimes I need to step farther back from a problem instead of digging in. 🙂

Next time I'll use the page as the book navigation anchor instead of the TOC separate title, I think.

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