How to Remove Broken Links from InDesign's Links Panel

Explorer ,
Apr 01, 2016

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I'm reusing an InDesign (2015) document that had many images linked. Those images are gone forever, but the missing links are still in the Links panel. I just want to remove those linked images from the Links panel.

The images or the linked images do not exist in the document structure. There must be a way to remove these useless orphaned linked images from the Links panel.

Thanks!

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Apr 04, 2016
rob day Adobe Community Professional , Apr 04, 2016
Unless there is something wrong with the document you should be able to delete the parent of all the missing links via a script. The parent, which could be hidden somehow, would exist whether the link is missing or not. So this AppleScript works for me—deleting the parent graphic removes the link reference in the Links panel:tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2014"    delete (parent of every link of active document whose status is link missing)end tell

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 01, 2016

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Try saving the file as an IDML (File > Save As > InDesign CS4 or later). That generally gets rid of phantom links and fonts.

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Explorer ,
Apr 04, 2016

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Nope, that didn't work.

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New Here ,
May 06, 2017

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Thanks Steve Werner, saving in IDML corrected the problem after years trying to get rid of it:O)))))))))))

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2016

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I think the best way is to actually delete those individual unlinked images in the Document itself and then automatically the missing links will get removed from your links panel.

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Explorer ,
Apr 04, 2016

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I deleted all the pages where these graphics once lived, so they are no longer in the document. All I can do is find and relink. Not sure why Adobe doesn't have some feature to just remove the link.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2016

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Hi Paul,

can you upload a sample document containing the "phantom" links to a Dropbox account and post the link for downloading?
Could be an empty document saved with "Save As…".

I'd like to see into it.
Perhaps I can write a little ExtendScript (JavaScript) to get rid of the "phantoms".
There is no straight way, because a Link Object has no remove() method with ExtendScript.

Regards,

Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2016

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Unless there is something wrong with the document you should be able to delete the parent of all the missing links via a script. The parent, which could be hidden somehow, would exist whether the link is missing or not. So this AppleScript works for me—deleting the parent graphic removes the link reference in the Links panel:

tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2014"

    delete (parent of every link of active document whose status is link missing)

end tell

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Explorer ,
Apr 04, 2016

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Thanks Rob! Worked like a charm.

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Explorer ,
Apr 05, 2016

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Hey Rob - I ran this script on my Mac and it ran perfectly. Do you the Windows version of this script?

It seems simple enough, but it's Windows.

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2016

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Hi Paul,

maybe I misunderstood you. I was under the impression that the "phantom" links did not have any connection to items on a page.

The ExtendScript version of Rob's AppleScript would be something like the snippet below.

The descriptional text for missing links in status is:

"The linked file has been moved, renamed, or deleted."

If that will fit your situation, then run the snippet:

var doc = app.documents[0];

var links = doc.links.everyItem().getElements();

var linksLength = links.length;

for(var n=linksLength-1;n>=0;n--)

{

     if(links.status == LinkStatus.LINK_MISSING)

     {

          links.parent.remove(); // That would remove a placed image, but leaves its container alone.

          // OR IF THAT WOULD FAIL REMOVE THAT LINE AND USE THE FOLLOWING ONE (just remove the two // from the beginning of the line):

          // links.parent.parent.remove(); // That would remove the container of the placed image plus the placed image

     }

}

This snippet is not tested.

Uwe

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Explorer ,
Apr 05, 2016

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The links were associated to images on pages that were deleted. When the pages were deleted, the links remained in the links panel.

This may have been a result of upgrading an older existing document to a newer version of InDesign (2015).

I did a quick test, creating a multi-page document and placed a few images on pages.I then saved and closed the document.

I then opened the document, deleted the pages containing the images, saved and closed.

Reopened the document and InDesign didn't complain about missing images. So when I deleted the pages, it must have remove the links. The links panel was empty.

So again, I think my issue was directly related to upgrading an older InDesign document with a new version of InDesign (2015). Unfortunately I don't know what version the older document was created in.

~Paul

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2016

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Thank you for that description.
A strange beast of document, I think.
That's why I liked to have a look at it.

Uwe

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LEGEND ,
Apr 05, 2016

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Paul_Miller wrote:

So again, I think my issue was directly related to upgrading an older InDesign document with a new version of InDesign (2015). Unfortunately I don't know what version the older document was created in.

That sort of weirdness happens a lot, and the bigger the version gap the more likely you are to have problems, and many of them don't show up right away. Much safer, in my opinion, to do conversions through either IDML or .inx (if the file is old enough) when you still have the creating app available, else the next best thing is to always export to IDML and work from that after the conversion.

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New Here ,
Dec 20, 2018

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Worthless to me, I delete all graphics, create new ones with different names and the links show up again. I never plan on using links again. I have no idea where the script is and how do I remove links that are linked. I do not want any of them.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018

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Hi Phil,

what kind of graphics did you place?

Perhaps InDesign pages?

Rob posted the code for an AppleScript that can be executed with InDesign on Mac OS X only.

My version of that code is in a different language, ExtendScript, that can be executed both with InDesign on Windows and Mac OS X.

See my code in reply 10, also read my comments in the code. Also see my reply 23 to understand how to save and run my ExtendScript code.

Regards,
Uwe

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New Here ,
Dec 20, 2018

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Screen shot from SnagIt.

Sent from my iPad

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018

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Hi Phil,

I assume you answered by mail.

Unfortunately the forum system cannot transport attached screenshots this way.

You have to use the forum editor to insert images.

Regards,
Uwe

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New Here ,
Dec 20, 2018

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Ok, I’m busy right now and building a totally new file with links. I’ll get back when I have time.

You know it would be really nice if developers and book writers would create real help. Documents. Books and online always tell stories about the product which is truly not a help system. I’n been in a lot of software since 1985 and to have a book or online system that works from a really good index. The user would have specific items and be able to find it in the index go to the page and read information specifically about how to find it, how it functions, and how to use it. That’s it, don’t carry on another discussion of unrelated information. All these years books really do not do it.

I a retired corporate pilot and read many aircraft manuals. This concept might be extreme but they have good fundamentals. I’m at the end of the development of a cloud-based Safety Management System and creating a help system that explains the process. I big on visual communications which is why the screen shots

Thanks for your help and have a great holiday.

Phil Fountain

Sent from my iPad

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018

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You know it would be really nice if developers and book writers would create real help.

Google a topic and look for Adobe helpx in the results. This is the helpx page for “InDesign links”

Manage linked or embedded graphics in Adobe InDesign

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 04, 2016

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‌Maybe present on a older unused Master Page somewhere? Or on the Pasteboard somewhere?

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2016

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Don't forget to check (or delete) Master pages. Sometimes, these links exist because of some content on the Master pages that you won't see on pages if the Master's aren't applied somewhere within the document. When you delete unused Master Pages that contain these "linked" graphics, the unwanted link list will update also.

Ask me how I know this...

It's easy to forget.

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New Here ,
Jan 17, 2018

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I know I'm a little late but I ran into the same issue as described above with editing an older document and found a solution to delete those links without using a script or saving the file as a different name. If you click on the Window tab located at the top of the screen and click on "Layers" (F7 is the hot key) you will notice all of the layers currently used in the document.  Next look to the left of the desired link that you want to delete and make sure it doesn't have a lock symbol associated with it. If it does, this is why you can't delete that particular link from your file.  Once you unlock that link, you should be able to select it and delete it from your project while still inside of the layers tab.  I hope this helps others in the future.

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Contributor ,
Nov 14, 2018

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Hello--jumping in here because I've got the same issue.

to complicate matters, when I go to the page where the missing links supposedly are, and I remove the photos I've used for this document, there's nothing but extra photo frames.

this may be because the library I'm using has photos in the various elements.

There aren't any lock symbols on the links, and I am working in Windows, not Mac, so an Apple script won't work. I'm working in CS5.5.

Besides fixing my document, can I fix my library somehow?

Can anyone help? Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 14, 2018

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Hi ladyinblack1964 ,

perhaps a screenshot of your Links panel would help.

Select one of the links you cannot remove and show the info about it.

Thanks,
Uwe

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