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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
Cross-references have been a feature in InDesign for a few versions now, but I find that a lot of people are intimated by the cross- reference dialog box and very seldom delve any deeper to customize them and out of the box, they are kind of clunky in all those quote marks surrounding everything. I want to spend a few minutes giving you some of my favorite tips to use when you're working with cross-references, especially how to apply custom cross-reference formats. In our first example, we are going to look at this trade book called History of Art.
And it is very small here, but let's say that we are in Chapter 1 and we want to make a reference to Chapter 2. So now if I scroll down here and to go to Chapter 2, here's the beginning of the chapter. Now your first tip is before you even begin to create your cross-reference, make sure that you go to the destination of where you want to cross-reference to go, in this case Chapter 2, and jot down or memorize the paragraph style used, because you are going to need to know that once you get into the Cross Reference dialog box.
So I click here inside Chapter 2 and open up my Paragraph Styles panel, it's chapter number. Well, that makes a lot of sense. Okay, let's scroll back to Chapter 1, and I'll zoom in a bit. You can see I've already added a reference manually and of course it's wrong, it says it's on Page 5 and it's not, it's on page 11. So this is a great reason to use a cross- reference because then you know the page numbers will always be right, as part of what cross-references do for you. Another tip that I want to add is that it's very useful to create a Character Style for your cross-references before you get into the dialog box because you're going to have the opportunity to automatically apply a character style, but it won't let you build one on the fly for some reason.
You have to have it created first, it's not like in other parts of the InDesign where they give you a chance to create a new style on the fly. You can't do it with cross-references. I have already done that for this document. Here's my third tip is to create two cross-reference formats. The first one, print, let's just select a word and apply that, character style, cross-reference-print, it does nothing, it's just a character style that looks exactly like the body style and if we look at the settings, it does nothing. All it does is tag this text with this character style which is very useful, because this way it works for print and I can't tell the difference between this text and the body text except that in production we know that the page numbers will always be kept current, any text that we are including in the cross-reference, will always be kept current with the destination because it is a cross-reference.
But if I want people to be able to click on these as links in a PDF or in an ePub, then I might want to color it differently than the rest of the text. I would just use Find/Change to find everything formatted with cross-reference-print and replace it with cross-reference-digital which looks like this, that's all, just blue. So we are going to say None for now. To get your Character Styles done, make sure that you have memorized the Paragraph Style for the destination, do those two things. Then we are going to do replace this with a cross-reference, I am going to select it and open up the Cross-Reference panel.
Come up here to Window, down to Type & Tables, choose Cross-References and the Cross-Reference icon is of course the crossed swords things looking here, I am going to close that, not the link, so we are going to create a new cross-reference. Now taken the third or fourth tip, which tip are we now? Under Document, you want to make sure that the current document is highlighted. I found that if we have more than one document open like I have here, it sometimes enlist the wrong document and it will show you the Paragraph Styles from a document that's not active, which can be useful if you're trying to make a cross-reference to another document, but here we are just doing a cross- reference within the same document.
So, yes, we are in the correct document. Now we find Chapter number and we want Chapter 2. So there we go, it is on Page 11, and I see a few things wrong here. I don't want the quote marks, I would like the Character Style applied, and I don't like that two, I want it to change to 2, so how do we change on that? Well, the quote marks and the styling are coming from the crossed-reference format. And I think that's one of most common reasons people will edit a cross-reference format is to get rid of the quote marks.
To edit a cross-reference format, you click the Pencil icon to the right of the name of the format and here are the dastardly quote marks. So if we just delete these that will fix the problem right up, that's all. And this is saying the Full Paragraph and then Page Number. So these things in brackets are automatically incremented or tracked within the document and then in between there is just straight text and you can edit this as you see fit. Let's go ahead and turn on the Character Style for Cross-Reference, let's choose digital for now so we can see it being applied and then click OK, and that looks much better.
Now, we can't change the number 2 because that's actually being pulled from the destination. So you would have to actually go down to page 11 here and change this Roman numeral two to a 2. And then you will see that this says it has to update, so let's go back to the source and we will go ahead and click the Update icon and there it says 2. If you want to further refine the Cross- Reference format, just double-click on it here and then click on the Pencil icon again.
You can edit these existing ones or you can easily create a new one and then build one on your own. So I might call it something like History book and then I would add my own settings here. There are a lot of things that you can choose from, and if you go to the Plus symbol menu here, you can insert any of these and what I like to do is you know there is nothing wrong with just adding a Return here and seeing what they are, so what is Paragraph Number look like, okay, that's pretty obvious. What does Text Anchor Name? So if you inserted a Text Anchor, you could all automatically add the text anchor name there and then it would include that in the cross-reference and so on, File Name, Character Style.
So, let's take a look at how we might use some of these in another document, but I also want to mention that there is another flyout right here and this flyout lets you insert other things. So if you need to insert a special kind of Em Dash within the cross-reference or you want to insert a non-breaking space so the cross-references doesn't break lines, you can do that as well. So it's kind of like Find/Change. If you're familiar with the Find/Change symbols, this should be pretty familiar to you. And if you are doing a lot of formatting, you should definitely create a new cross-reference format and then save it with the document.
But even if all you did was to tell it to use a Character Style, even that would go further than what I see a lot of people doing. So it's unfortunate that you actually have to click the Pencil icon to turn on the Character Style I think, I think it should be right here by appearance that which Character Style you want to use, I don't know why they hid it there. Let me show you a couple more advanced tricks here under the Roux catalog. In this document, is a Roux catalog for the Academy of Art called Roux. And oops! I must have pressed the keyboard shortcut to close the Hyperlinks panel.
Let me get that back, Cross-References. There we go, over here. In this catalog--let's zoom out a bit--we want to include a reference to the application which is at the end of the document, right here, Application for Courses, and of course we are going to check the Paragraph Style which is Table Head, let's memorize that, Table Head. And then go back up here to page 2 and zoom in a bit.
Right here it says Fill out application on page 2, we know that's wrong, it should be page 7, this is prima reason why we would want to use this. I have already created the Character Styles in this document as well, in case you are wondering, so we are going to select what we want to replace with the cross-reference and click the new Cross-Reference icon, double check the document. See? It's remembering History of Art. We wanted to go to Roux catalog and the style was-- what was the class? That's right, Table Head, right here.
The default format for Full Paragraph & Page Number is to pull all the text and put it in quotes from that paragraph. Now let me show you a couple of cool tricks that you can use to customize this cross-reference format. First, clicking this Pencil icon, I obviously want to get rid of the quote marks. I hate those quote marks, I don't know why they are there. I do like the Character Style for Cross-reference-digital. I wish that we had a Preview button here, we do not, but I think we can just say OK and then we would see it and then we come back to keep working.
Now one problem that I see is that I don't want to include the entire paragraph. I just want to include some of the paragraph. So how can you include just a few words from the paragraph rather than the entire full paragraph? There is a wonderful little utility here called partial paragraph. If you select that, you will see it says full paragraph and then a delimiter and then whether or not you are supposed to include the delimiter. So I am going to select this whole thing including the less than and greater than symbol, cut it to the clipboard with Command+X or Ctrl+X, and replace full paragraph with that.
Now, I need to figure out what is the delimiter. Where should it stop pulling text from this paragraph? So unfortunately, we have to click OK here and OK here and then jump to page 7 and add a delimiter. So up here, we just wanted to say Application, not Application for Courses and so on. So after the word Application, I'm going to insert a delimiter. I will go to Special Character and I'll go to my old friend, End Nested Style Here, which doesn't add any whitespace, that's why I like it.
And then we will jump back, here is a fast way to navigate your document with cross-references, just choose Go to source and it will jump you back. Now we will update this by clicking on the Pencil icon and it's not remembering our setting from before, so we want--let's see. And I am going to just choose Partial Paragraph. I added it on another line just because I think it's easier that way, and then we want to move that, here we go, and then the delimiter. I have to click right inside the quote marks, kind of hard to see, but you just have to get your cursor in between the double quote marks.
And now is when you choose what is the delimiter and I am going to choose it right from here, End Nested Style, could have been a tab, we could say everything, you could do any of these, or you could even insert an actual character. So it's kind of like a nested style, you could say stop when I get to a colon or something like that and it will stop pulling text and do you want to include that, just like in nested style, do you want to include that colon, do you want to include that End Nested Style or colon or whatever, and I actually don't want to include that. On the page, that's it, Character Style for Cross-Reference, okay.
And let's see how it did, wonderful! I forgot to add a space there, but see how it just pulled word Application. So let's come back here and edit this, and I need to add a space. Now there is one other thing that I want to do, take a look. Did you see how the entire thing is blue? I would like the word Application to have a different Character Style than the rest of this. So you can actually include different character styles or have InDesign apply different character styles to sections of your text within a cross-reference.
Yes, so let's try that. I am going to double click here and edit this style again. And the way that I usually do it is I just choose the one that I want from here and its Character Style. So, what it is saying is everything in between these Character Style tags will have a different character style applied to it. And what I want to have a different character style applied is the word Application, so I'm going to cut that and move it right before where it pulls the text, the word Application, right.
And then I want to stop applying that Character Style after that, so I will click right here and paste. Now, don't forget, you have to include the name of the Character Style. What is name of the Character Style? And again, you can't go back to the Character Style panel, but we do have this wonderful little cheat sheet right here that lists all of your character styles. You have to get it exactly right. So let's say that I want italic, all right. So I want to the make the word Application be italic and if I type ital, you see how it says, does not exist, you have to keep on going until you hit one and that warning goes away.
And now I will click Save, OK, OK, look at that. That is an automatic Cross-reference that's using two different character styles. If I come back to our front on page 7, and change the word Application to, I don't know what, Request, and then I will update the Cross-reference and jump, there we go, Request on page 7 today! So there are a whole slew of tips on how to use cross-reference's customization options to your advantage.
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