TOC is blank

Explorer ,
Dec 16, 2021 Dec 16, 2021

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CS6.

I've generated hundreds of TOCs and know how to use the function. Suddenly today I can't generate a TOC. I've rebooted, restarted InDesign (any number of times). I've tested generating a TOC in a previous book where it worked fine when that job was live. All I get is the heading word ("Contents") followed by a blank line ending in ¶ and a # on the last line. That's all. I ended up typing the whole TOC manually to get the job out the door, but I'm looking for a solution.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

Hi Dick:

 

My apologies, it was in my spam folder.

 

So, like you, I was also unable to generate the TOC for no apparent reason. I then selected the entire threaded story and pasted it into a new file and it worked just fine (see left side of spread, below). This leads me to believe there is some sort of corruption in the file.

 

Here is a link on how to approach a damaged document: https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/kb/troubleshoot-file-issues.html.

 

But worst case is you can fairly quickly rebu

...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 16, 2021 Dec 16, 2021

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Is it just this single document that creates an empty TOC? If so, try exporting that document to IDML and re-opening it, to see if you can clear out whatever corruption is preventing TOC generation.

 

Or can you not make a TOC in any document? If so, I'd suggest that you try a reset on your InDesign prefs.

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Explorer ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Thanks for your suggestions, Joel. As I indicated in the query, I had already confirmed that the problem is across all documents. I had forgotten the key sequence for resetting prefs. So I just tried that (thanks for the link) and succeeded in trashing my prefs but did not solve the TOC problem. No change whatsoever. But this gives me an idea. If I knew where that module is buried in the installation hierarchy, I could restore it from backup. So if anyone has an idea about that, let me know.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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If you have a solid system backup that will hopefully get you back to the baseline. Cloned drives with complete system backups are worth their weight in gold in these situations. Just be sure to search your system for data files created since your last backup and save them externally before you go back to your previous baseline. That will keep recovery issues down to the absolute minimum.

 

If you're "lucky" and that was a random corruption of the program, you will hopefully never see that issue again. You can chalk that up to computer karma. But if you're not quite so lucky, and the backup bears the seed of the eventual corruption that caused you issue, ruder cures may be called for.

 

The only way I know for "resetting" program modules if resetting preferences doesn't work is to uninstall/reinstall the program. And then, if that doesn't work for the program, to do the CCCleaner/reinstall for the annual version of Creative Cloud that's causing your problem.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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  1. You should not make the headline style of the toc itself as entry style.
  2. Look, if some glyphs or spaces cause a toc creation. I had this week the issue that a dash in the paragraph style name stopped it. Maybe that another glyph is also stopping it. (This is a bug and I have reported it.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Are you willing to share the file @Dick Margulis you used for the screenshots? Corruption is always possible but sometimes it's just something little. If so, you can put a link to it here (public), or message me directly (private). You don't need to include fonts or images.

 

~Barb

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Explorer ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Thanks for the offer. The problem is not with this document; it's with the software. However, I was able to chat with support and get a fresh download, which is in the process of installing now. That should solve the problem.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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I sure hope they gave you the last update, 8.1.0.420 or you're going to have a lot of other issues...

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Explorer ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Oh, brother. It downloaded 8.0. When I click Updates, I get a message that it can't reach Adobe servers and I should check my firewall settings. Okay, I'll bite. So I turned off the Windows Firewall momentarily to see if that changed anything. Nope. Same error.

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Explorer ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Some progress: After a significant amount of whining, I finally cajoled Adobe support to clue me in about the problem I was having with updating. (They sent me a link that explained a Windows Registry hack to get past what was hanging up.) So now everything is up to date in Kansas City, except (a) About InDesign still says it's version 8.0 (but swears it's up to date); (b) the TOC still doesn't work; and (c), I don't see a place to register the software using the registration key, but I expect that if I have to do that in a week, Adobe will be kind enough to put up a widget where I can paste it.

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2021 Dec 20, 2021

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Peter Spier, I've gotten nowhere with Adobe. They refuse to let me download any version past 8.0.0.370. And "updating" it gets right back to the same version. They deny that it's possible and insist that I subscribe, which I'm not going to do. Tech support said I could purchase ID 2020, then transferred me to billing, who said that was mistaken: subscribe or die, basically.

So my question for you is whether you know of a way for me to download 8.1.0.420 (or at least some version of 8.1) from somewhere else.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2021 Dec 20, 2021

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LATEST

When I installed CS6 on my new Windows 10 system six months ago I ran the downloaded installers from my archive, then copied the program folder from my old, up-to-date, Windows 7 machine and used it to rplace the new install on the new system. Seems to have worked, though I'll never know if I've missed some .dll file that was loaded in the Windows System or System32 folder.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any source for either updated downloads or the updaters other than asking another user who might have made copies and archived them. I was able to find Acrobat updaters on the Adobe FTP site, which I immediatley grabbed, but there was nothing left for InDesign and it hadn't occurred to me that I should look there before it was too late.

As I recall, when I was asked to register all I need to do was furnish my Adobe ID to reactivate since I was working with a previously registered serial number. What will happen with you I can't say. Personally, I think Adobe is treating customers who purchased perpetual licenses quite shabbily. In my opinion, it's up to the user to determine if it will install and run, and they should provide any OLD program installers/updaters that were previously available upon proof of valid licensing. To my mind, that's what "perpetual" means.

 

In the meantime, what's your OS? Do you have a backup from before of a working install that you can copy files from? Since I don't have your file I can't test anything here, but my suspicion is file corruption of some sort rahter than a program fault. In Addition to What Barb has said, you might want to try moving the pages into a new document. If you get it to work, I would export the working doc to .idml and proceed from there as a belt-and-suspenders approach.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Sounds good! If it doesn't, the offer still stands. 

 

~Barb

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Explorer ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Sadly, it didn't. Reinstall was successful. TOC is still hosed. I saved as an INDD. Same deal. But now I'm coming around to your way of thinking that it's the document, because I did find a document where TOC worked properly. So now it's just this one client's documents, which used to work fine. So I'm going to send you the INDD version, naked (not packaged) and let you have at it. I don't see a private message function here. How do I send you the file privately?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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You can click my name, above my posts, and use the Message button. Or you can email me offline at barb [at] rockymountaintraining.com. 

 

~Barb

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Explorer ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Barb, I did email you the file earlier. If you haven't seen it yet, please check your spam folder. If it's not there, let me know. (dick [at] dmargulis.com

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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Hi Dick:

 

My apologies, it was in my spam folder.

 

So, like you, I was also unable to generate the TOC for no apparent reason. I then selected the entire threaded story and pasted it into a new file and it worked just fine (see left side of spread, below). This leads me to believe there is some sort of corruption in the file.

 

Here is a link on how to approach a damaged document: https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/kb/troubleshoot-file-issues.html.

 

But worst case is you can fairly quickly rebuild the document using the same cut and paste method I did. If you are going to continue working with the file in the future, it will be worth the effort. If this is the final time it will be printed, you may find it quicker to just type up the TOC manually. 

 

~Barb

 

toc.png

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Explorer ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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Thank you, and I'm sorry for the tardy acknowledgment. I have been away from my computer since yesterday afternoon. Thanks for your investigation. Other than whatever correx come back from the proofreader, I'm done with this book, and I already created the TOC manually. But when I start the next book for this client, I'll build it from scratch to avoid importing the corruption from this file. Usually I can work this kind of stuff out on my own. This one had me stumped though. Have a happy holiday season.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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Hi Dick:

 

We are always happy to help. 

 

~Barb

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