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Old 02-18-2005, 07:54 AM   #1
Dave Saunders
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Default Cross References for InDesign CS

I'm working on a script to do cross-references within any InDesign CS document. The script is a JavaScript and will work on either platform. I have it working sufficient to my own needs for the project I'm working on, but I'm thinking that this script has potentially broad appeal and applicability, so I'm seeking guidance on some functionality issues that might enhance the script for others to use. Here's a brief statement of what it does:

Cross references have two forms: Raw and Processed.

A Raw cross reference is text only within any story in the active document in a character style named Xref. The text should be the name of a linked graphic (sans extension). For example, in the project I'm working on my client provided me with a raw cross reference that looked like this:

(shown on page fig14-3w)

where " fig14-3w" was in the style Xref.

The client actually made a mistake here. The space should not have been in the style but my script is smart enough to notice that and change the space back to no character style.

A Processed cross reference takes the form of a text frame that replaces the Xref text, sitting inline in the paragraph on the baseline. It contains the page number in the same text style as the paragraph and has the character style Xnum applied to it -- up to you whether or not the Xnum style does anything to the text. [By the way, the script will create that style if it doesn't already exist, in which case it will do nothing to the text. So, the above Raw cross reference becomes:

(show on page 391)

where 391 is actually a text frame. As such, you can select it and when you do, in the Script Label palette you'll see:

Xref = fig14-3w

This allows you to correct mistakes (e.g., the client actually typed Fig14-3w but the case-sensitive name is fig14-3w) or redirect an existing cross reference to some other figure.

Every time the script runs, it converts any Raw cross references to the Processed form and then updates all the Processed ones, so, if you've changed the page numbers or reorganized your document, the reference is corrected.

If a referenced link can't be found, the script puts ??? as the page number in the Xnum style, so you can quickly find and repair any such erroneous references by editing the Script Label. It also alerts you that you need to do this.

So, for those of you who've had the patience to read this far, does this sound useful to other people?

And, more specifically, what should I do about Section Prefixes? Strip them out? Leave them in? Offer a Preferences feature?

I welcome any feedback.

Dave
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