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Old 01-18-2009, 11:01 AM   #1
Howard Allen
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Default InDesign figure numbering

InDesign CS3, Mac

I think I already know the answer to this one, but...

I don't suppose there's an automatic way of tracking figure numbers in InDesign?

I have a book with some 140 illustrations ("figures"), each numbered "Figure 1...Figure 140" along with various references to them in the text ("See Figure 87"). If I need to insert an illustration, say--between Fig. 87 and Fig. 88--I have to manually change all the figure numbers from Fig. 89 onward, then search and increment all references to those numbers in the text.

Seems to me InDesign badly needs a "serial number variable" that could be inserted anywhere and automatically update all consecutive instances.

Any ideas? Suggestions? Scorn?

Thanks in advance!

   
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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No scorn. I will be interested in seeing if there is a way — there ought to be.

   
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:45 PM   #3
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What you're after is cross-references, I think, and for those you need CS4.

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Old 01-19-2009, 12:47 AM   #4
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I don't know if this might be any help

http://indesignsecrets.com/how-to-do...n-indesign.php

Figure numbers themselves could be automated by declaring the caption as a numbered list paragraph style and maybe defining a named list. I've never done it nor have I looked at de Jong's script but the answer might be in there somewhere.

   
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:21 AM   #5
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I'll definitely check it out, Mike--thanks for finding the link.

Of course, there are ways we could have avoided or mitigated this situation (better planning would be one) Another would have been to number the figures within chapters (Figure 7-6, Figure 7-7...) rather than globally. Then, renumbering would only have to be done from the new figure to the end of the chapter.

Cheers,

   
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:31 AM   #6
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My experience when I used to set textbooks was that author's would always want to insert or change the order of illustrations at the very last minute. Fortunately in those days I used to use Framemaker - these days I generally just set novels, which is much easier.

   
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:11 AM   #7
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Mike:

Quote:
I used to use Framemaker
That is no longer possible using the Mac OS. Word, in whose format(s) most books start their life, can cope with numbering sequentially 'as is' and taking care of the cross-references, has usually been abandoned by the time the type is finally set.

   
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Stanley View Post
What you're after is cross-references, I think, and for those you need CS4.
I was afraid you were going to say that!

Thanks, Shane.

Cheers,

   
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