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'See' in index resurfaces in new project

New Here ,
Aug 14, 2021 Aug 14, 2021

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Strange bug (or at least unwanted behavior) I encountered today in Indesign:

For a new book project, I used an earlier book as a template (a lot of the settings and styles should be the same), replacing all the text and images. The index in the earlier book contained 'see'-references. For the new book I generated a new index ('replace old index' checked), and the 'see'-references (just these) from the old book also showed up!

Not a big deal (they were easy to be found), and certainly not a reason to change the way I work, but maybe something could be done about it.

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Bug, Feature request

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Aug 14, 2021 Aug 14, 2021
Did you clear out all the index entry references in your Index panel? Both the Reference and the Topic entries? Whenever you're recycling old documents you're going to re-index, the safest course of action is to first delete all the information out of these panels, then start indexing your new document. Even though Index Entries are text elements, they straddle the line between being part of your document and part of your document structure. Document structure is important if you're preparin...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 14, 2021 Aug 14, 2021

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Did you clear out all the index entry references in your Index panel? Both the Reference and the Topic entries?

 

Whenever you're recycling old documents you're going to re-index, the safest course of action is to first delete all the information out of these panels, then start indexing your new document. Even though Index Entries are text elements, they straddle the line between being part of your document and part of your document structure.

 

Document structure is important if you're preparing documents for accessibility or you're merging data elements. If you're not, it's just debris. Like the old meme about nuking it from orbit, clearing all the entries from your old document with the Index panel before you start indexing your new version is the only way to be sure.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2021 Aug 14, 2021

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Randy, thanks for your answer.

However, I would think checking the 'replace old index' box should do it. I might miss something, but I don't see any advantage of keeping old references of whatever form when you make clear to the software that you want to replace the index, whether in an existing document or a new document using an old document's settings. I would say index entries shouldn't 'straddle the line'.

If Adobe doesn't want to address this problem, okay: as I wrote, it's a minor problem that's easily helped. But I think people should know about this glitch nevertheless.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 14, 2021 Aug 14, 2021

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Actually, a lot of experienced users would suggest that you never select the Replace Existing Index check box.

 

It's better to create the first index, and when you get it exactly the way you want it, log the the styles in your paragraph and character styles as you want them. Then always run a new index document through the Generate Index flyaway menu command, place it and stylize it with your preferrred styles. Delete the old index and replace it with the new index text you just created.

 

All I can suggest is the workaround to get you past your problem. I wouldn't argue that it shouldn't work easier, or better, than it does right now. But I'm an end user just like you. I don't work for Adobe, and those decisions are made far higher than my pay grade of absolutely nothin'. I'm just another user in the user forum trying to help out.

 

But if you want to suggest a bug to be fixed, you can do it with this form. I can testify this works, sometimes, because I had one suggestion incorporated into InDesign. And I even got a year's free CC subscription for doing it. That was a sweet little bonus.

 

Good luck,

 

Randy

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2021 Aug 14, 2021

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I would like to know what other problems you could encounter when checking the 'replace index' box!

And I just tried to get a free subscription in the way you suggested - my pay grade isn't too high either..

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 14, 2021 Aug 14, 2021

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It gets you a fresh, clean index.

 

Indexes are a snapshot in time. At the moment you run that index, you should ideally get a perfect representation of your document and/or book index at that exact moment. Just like a little haze can distort the true color of a picture, writing over data time and time again kind of loses a little in the translation. So just like it's important to completely blow away any old index entries at the start it's important to get the clearest, simplest definition of that final index at the back.

 

It's that structure thing in the back end of your InDesign document(s). You want to do everything you can to keep that information clean and simple. That's the best way to ensure you get the results you're looking for.

 

Randy

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2021 Aug 22, 2021

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Got a mail from Adobe whether this answer was correct and solved the problem: well, the answer is correct, as it is a work-around. The problem is that InDesign shows unexpected behaviour –and that will, I hope, be solved in a future update.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 23, 2021 Aug 23, 2021

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As Randy mentioned, page references and cross-references are different things. Page references are text objects, they live inside text fames. Cross-references are not page-references, and aren't incuded when you replace an index.

InDesign doesn't provide a way to delete an index.  There isn't even an interface for deleting all topics (only unused topics, but InDesign has its own ideas about the notion 'unused').

The behaviour you describe isn't a bug, Adobe would undoubtedly say it's as designed. Poor design, but still . . .

The easiest way to delete an entire index, including cross-references, is this simple script:

if (app.activeDocument.indexes.length > 0) {
  app.activeDocument.indexes[0].topics.everyItem().remove();
}

P.

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New Here ,
Aug 24, 2021 Aug 24, 2021

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I have generated the index anew after deleting the old one. The wrong cross-references still appeared, so the problem has nothing to do with checking the replace old index button.

As you imply, the problem is using an old project as a base for a new project. I'm not going to change that strategy – as I wrote, the problem is rather small (for me). But others might like to be aware of it. And maybe maybe maybe, Adobe will be prompted to address this.

Next time, I'll give your script a try.

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