'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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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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New Here ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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I am currently having this exact problem - however only one of my "See.." references from an old document is being inserted into my Index. However it is NOT in the topic or reference list in the Index panel, so I can't delete it. I've recreated the index and it is always there. I started by deleting all the references and topics.

 

I don't want to start over as I've already started to add new entries and I didn't notice this until now...

 

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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I'd be interested to see your document. Can you attach it here, or post it somewhere? And please point out what the rogue cross-reference is.

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New Here ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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Strange. I just tested if this happened with the document I referred to: old references were visible but didn't return after deleting them in the index panel and saving and re-opening the document.

Of course, if it is just one reference, you can simply delete it in the index frame in your document, but I guess you already thought about that?

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New Here ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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Ah, I figured it out - I did not have all the book documents open (I didn't want the indexing to find things in the front and back matter). Once I opened every document, the "See.." index entry appeared in the index panel and I was able to delete it. So for some reason the cross ref was hidden in one of those documents, even though none of the text in the reference appeared in those documents.

 

Just makes me think - where are the cross references in the index stored? I always figured they were in the book file,  or in the index document, but now I guess not.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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That's very strange: InDesign uses all book documents to create the index, not just the open documents. The generated index should be the same whether you you have all, some, or no documents open.

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New Here ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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That's what I thought too... well, the GENERATED index was the same, but information in the Index panel was not.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2022 Apr 04, 2022

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Yes, that's the case: when you mark the 'Book' checkbox, then the index shown in the Index panel includes only the open documents. That's standard behaviour.

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New Here ,
Apr 04, 2022 Apr 04, 2022

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Well, yes, that's true for normal index entries where there is a tag in a document, and the index entry points back to the page number. The index panel only shows index entries to open documents, but the generated index will contain all index entries from all documents.

 

However, my isssue was that a "See..." index entry was being generated, but the tag for it must have been in the document I use for my title page, which has no visible or invisible indexing tags. This "See..." index entry does not refer back to a page in the book, so it is odd to me that it only appears in the index panel when the title page document is open.

 

My questions are: How do we know that the "See.." references in the index are tied to one of the documents? And which document? What if I had removed the title page document and used a different one? Would the index be suddenly missing a couple of "See.." references? Does it matter which book documents are open when you create these internal cross references in an index? When I create these cross references, would it be prudent to close down all other documents except the index?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2022 Apr 04, 2022

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Cross-references (what you call 'see references') are to topics, not to page references. You can have various topics in a document, but if they don't have page references and if they aren't the target of any cross-references, they won't appear in the generated index.

 

So you can have a topic in your title-page document and have a cross-reference to it, and when you generate the index, all you get is a single item in your index, namely, that cross-reference. The cross-referenced topic doesn't appear. So you could have an index with this single entry:

 

problem  See issue

 

which is of course perverse, but InDesign doesn't care.

 

> How do we know that the "See.." references in the index are tied to one of the documents?

They must be. It's not possible to have a cross-reference without a referenced topic. If you delete a referenced topic the topic is removed automatically (as long as that topic doesn't have any page references and isn't the target of other cross-references). Thus, using the above example, if you delete 'issue', 'problem' is removed by InDesign. (But, naturally, when you delete 'problem', 'issue' isn't removed.)

 

> And which document?

It's not possible to create a cross-reference to a topic in a different document. When you create a cross-reference and add the referenced topic's name in the 'Referenced:' field, the referenced topic is created in the active document, even if it already exists in one or more other documents.

 

> What if I had removed the title page document and used a different one? Would the index be suddenly missing a couple of "See.." references?

No, because for the index there is no relation between the two documents. 

 

> Does it matter which book documents are open when you create these internal cross references in an index?

No, because referenced topics are always created in the active document.

 

> When I create these cross references, would it be prudent to close down all other documents except the index?

No. It doesn't matter.

 

P.

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