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How do I stop Anchors being automatically created in Publisher?

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Publisher on Windows 10.

I’ve just had to manually delete hundreds of anchors from a document which I didn’t add myself.
Most of them had bad names or were duplicates - can't trust them either way - so I wanted to wipe them all and start from scratch manually.
I had to delete them one-by-one as I couldn’t find a way to select them all and delete.

Hence my question in the post title: How can I stop this happening again?

They look like they were created via Paragraph Styles but I couldn't see anything in the Paragraph Style formatting about anchors.

These three threads are about other problems with anchors but none, that I can see, are about stopping them being created in the first place:

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10 minutes ago, GarryP said:

I had to delete them one-by-one as I couldn’t find a way to select them all and delete.

There are not many locations in the Affinities where you can select multiple "items" and delete them in one go.

Option 1: Make a keyboard shortcut for Delete Anchor, mark the text in the text frame and hit the keyboard shortcut over and over again.

Option 2: Export as PDF with no bookmarks and open the PDF in APu.

Nothing really helpful for you I fear.

Windows 10 | i5-8500 CPU | Intel UHD 630 Graphics | 32 GB RAM | Latest Retail and Beta versions of complete Affinity range installed

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Thanks for the advice but I was deleting them via the Anchors Panel not in the text frames.

As it happens I’m just going to ignore them altogether as they are a complete pain and the functionality isn’t working at all well for me.
I’ve just been through and manually added the dozens of anchors that I wanted, which was more time-consuming and awkward than I would have liked:

  • list cannot be ordered by document placement, only alphabetically (sometimes, see below);
  • list gets fully-expanded each time you add a new anchor (disorientating with a long list);
  • list is re-ordered unexpectedly after adding a new anchor (items move around a bit sometimes when they shouldn’t be affected by what has happened);
  • list doesn’t auto-scroll when dragging an anchor outside of the visible list (have to drag it part-way, then drop, then drag again);
  • renamed anchors inside other anchors get moved out a level and their ‘PDF marker’ is greyed-out.

Once I got everything as I wanted it I exported the document and my nicely-ordered list has gone haywire and everything in the PDF bookmarks is out-of-place, not at all organised as it was.
Going back into the document and the Anchors Panel shows me that the list has been re-ordered in there too – hardly anything is as it was before I exported.

I don’t often moan about the Affinity applications but my experience of this functionality is decidedly sub-optimal.
There’s a chance that I’m not doing it right but there’s not much functionality there for me to be doing it wrong (and the Help is remarkably ‘scant’).

Readers of my document will just have to use the contents hyperlinks instead.

Not a happy bunny at the moment.

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1 minute ago, GarryP said:

Thanks for the advice but I was deleting them via the Anchors Panel not in the text frames.

Maybe I was unclear. Having the text completely marked and using the keyboard shortcut repeatedly, one anchor after the other is deleted without further interaction. And for the rest ... glad I do not use bookmarks / hyperlinks often in my documents.

Windows 10 | i5-8500 CPU | Intel UHD 630 Graphics | 32 GB RAM | Latest Retail and Beta versions of complete Affinity range installed

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Discombobulation - I had to search for this. Not a frequently used word I guess? :D


Windows 10 | i5-8500 CPU | Intel UHD 630 Graphics | 32 GB RAM | Latest Retail and Beta versions of complete Affinity range installed

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4 minutes ago, GarryP said:

Not a frequently-used word no, but a nice one I think. It just sounds so silly.

<Simpson's reference on> I think it is a perfectly cromulent word. <Simpson's reference off>

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.6 
Affinity Designer 2.1.0 | Affinity Photo 2.1.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.1.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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I think I’ve figured out where these anchors come from.
The Table Of Contents Panel has an option for “Include as PDF bookmarks” and, if that is checked, the anchors are created when you update the TOC.
Unfortunately, however, the text in the anchors isn’t updated when you change the text that has been anchored when you update the TOC, so the anchors can become out-of-date referring to text that isn’t there any more.
This means that if you use this option, you need to either keep the anchors updated manually – a laborious chore and prone to error – or you have to hold-off creating the TOC until the very end of the production process which isn’t very convenient, for various reasons.
I manually added the anchors I wanted but, after a TOC update, I now have lots of anchors I don’t want (again) and will have to delete most of them manually one-by-one (again) and hope I don’t accidentally delete the ones I actually want in the process.
This functionality really needs looking at properly as it could be great if it worked much, much better.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Staff

@GarryPthe TOC creates additional anchors if the text has changed. It simply uses the associated text style text at that point in time so in principle is operating the same as adding a manual anchor. There could be a case for maybe being able to remove unreferenced anchors but that would be more of a feature request at this point. Are you adding other manually created anchors as well or just trying to control the TOC entries?

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Thanks for getting in touch Pauls.
I can’t remember exactly what I was doing at the time but I’m pretty sure I have the original document so I can try some more experiments and see what happens – just so I know what I’m talking about and reporting what’s actually happening.
I don’t think I had any manually-added anchors the first time I looked at the bookmarks, but I could be wrong.
I’ll try and look at the document soon and see what’s what.
Then I can report things in a more calm and reasoned manner – I was having a fairly bad day, though quite possibly partly of my own making.

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I did a bit more experimentation and I think what I did wrong originally was to not set the Indent Level for some of the Styles in the TOC Panel – possibly because they are not immediately obvious.
I had the original Styles checked and I added some more styles later but I didn’t know that I had to also give them specific Indent Levels, so every anchor/bookmark was created at level 0. That’s probably where that specific problem came from.

I’ve looked at the Help and can’t find any reference to needing to manually modify the Indent Level but I might have missed it. I can only find reference to Indent Levels in one place – Table of Contents Panel – and it just says that they can be specified, not what they do or why they should be set. Some extra documentation there may help.

Anyway, I think that one specific problem was probably caused by me but I’m fairly sure that the rest – those in my second post in this thread – are still ‘active’.

If you would like the document to experiment with then I can pop it into a drop-box if you supply one.
You can keep the document if you would like to use it for future testing and experimentation.
It’s not particularly complex but it’s 64 pages of real-world stuff, and it’s been made by an amateur so it might be useful for testing ‘that silly stuff that users sometimes do’.

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