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  • Staff

Apps: Affinity Publisher
Platforms: Windows and macOS

Cross-references are a field inserted into text that refers to another object or piece of text. If the current document is a chapter of a book, cross-references can refer to objects or text from other chapters.

You can insert a cross-reference by using Text > Cross References > Insert Cross-Reference, or by using the right-click menu on text. If a cross-reference is already selected, these options change to Edit Cross-Reference instead. Either way brings up a panel to set the cross-reference properties. The first group of properties are about the target of the cross-reference. This can either be an existing anchor, or a text paragraph. (If you cross-reference to a paragraph, it will automatically create an anchor at the start of the paragraph.) The second group of properties are about how the cross-reference will be displayed. These include as the target page number, section name, and the content of paragraphs. By using several cross-reference fields you can build up text like, “See footnote 2 on page 12, below”.

The Window > References > Cross-References menu option will display a Studio panel that lists the cross-references from the current document. From here you can go to the cross-reference itself, or its target. (This will open other book chapters if necessary.) You can also update cross-reference text from here — they don’t update automatically.

Settings > Cross-References has options for controlling the text used for showing relative positions “above” and “below” (these will use the language of the text they are in rather than the UI, for support of bilingual documents).

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  • Staff

Known Issues

  • AFB-7410 - Cross Reference filter text box is black in Dark UI
  • AFB-7412 - Cross Reference targets can be multi selected
  • AFB-7416 - Clicking "Page" in Cross References dialog doesn't sort
  • AFB-7417 - Crash double clicking cross reference if there is no text selection
  • AFB-7418 - iPad - Crash Changing an existing anchor type
  • AFB-7419 - Filter by [No Style] currently filters by all styles
  • AFB-7426 - Cross references displayed as paragraph numbers may unexpectedly display 0
  • AFB-7429 - Cross reference to a non numbered paragraph in seperate chapter does not create a cross ref
  • AFB-7503 - Cross-References do not use Endnote number as Note Number value, instead shows 0

Further known issues will be added to this list as they are reported to us by customers in this thread.

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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Cross-references is the feature I have been waiting for.

Will it be possible to set up cross-reference formats, so that you can have a cross reference that also generates prefix, infix and postfix text? In other words, can you create a cross reference that looks like this:

See Section 3.2 Task-Switching Penalties on page 47.

...or, are the references limited to just page numbers?

Will it be possible to automatically format cross-references differently depending on output format? For example:

PDF for print: See Section 3.2 Task-Switching Penalties on page 47.

eBook/HTML: See 3.2 Task-Switching Penalties.

 

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18 minutes ago, HenrikM said:

Will it be possible to set up cross-reference formats, so that you can have a cross reference that also generates prefix, infix and postfix text? In other words, can you create a cross reference that looks like this:

Hello @HenrikM,

I was thinking about the same thing. It would be great to be able to create your own versions of cross-references by combining various fields in the panel and being able to save it for future use.

2017 27” iMac 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 • Radeon Pr 580 8GB • 64GB • Ventura 13.6.4.

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A couple of suggestions regarding the Cross-Reference functionality:

1. Allow sorting either by Target Name or by Page by clicking on the appropriate column names in the Insert Cross-Reference Panel

2. Add character styles to the Filter style so that we can also filter by character styles.

2017 27” iMac 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 • Radeon Pr 580 8GB • 64GB • Ventura 13.6.4.

iPad Pro (10.5-inch) • 256GB • Version 16.4

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Quote

Allow sorting either by Target Name or by Page by clicking on the appropriate column names in the Insert Cross-Reference Panel

This was actually already logged, I just missed it on the known issues. It actually does sort, but you need to refresh the table to see the sort (which can be done by changing the target type between anchors/paragraph). Should hopefully be fixed in the next beta

Quote

Add character styles to the Filter style so that we can also filer by character styles.

I'll look at getting this added as an improvement

Serif Europe Ltd. - www.serif.com

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11 hours ago, Ash said:

the text used for showing relative positions “above” and “below” (these will use the language of the text they are in rather than the UI, for support of bilingual documents)

I am seeing the English word “above” in a text with the language set to Français. Should I assume that strings these have not yet been localized?

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Again thank you for cross references, I needed this.

Use Index Marks as targets: One feature ID lacks is Target Type = Index Mark. For some books everything you might ever want to cross reference will have an accompanying index mark so being able to target an index mark would save time and be a nice feature. For example, in a book of biographies you might write "See John Doe on page 123" and John Doe would be in your index. In a cookbook you might write "See the recipe for Lemon Icing on page 123" and Lemon Icing would be in your index.

Anchor generation: Using a paragraph as the target generates an anchor at the start of the paragraph which makes sense but its name is a truncated version of the first words of the paragraph with an appended number for duplicate names, which leads to an anchor list full of things like "Less than", "Less than 2", "Four of", "Their son", "Robert's", and "William". Perhaps the dialog could offer an optional field to name the anchors to save a step?

Target Type = Target Chapter: I think it should list the chapters as names and not as numbers. Most books have front matter so what Publisher considers to be chapter 2 will almost always be chapter 1.

Books and chapters: While Section Name is offered, Chapter Name isn't so I'm unsure how we'd generate "See Apples in <Chapter 7>".

Minor stuff:

  • Deleting cross references: Shouldn't there be a Delete option in the panel? I know you can delete one by selecting it with the Text tool and pressing Delete but similar panels have Delete icons.
  • Filter Text and Style: Shouldn't these be disabled when Target Type = Anchor?
  • Panel size and position: The panel's default height and position could use some improvement. Maybe default to docking at the bottom of the left studio?
  • Name column in panel: You can't click a name to edit it inline as you can with similar panel lists.
  • Display As > Above Below: Will these be localized in a future beta? Yes with Settings
  • Chapters: The "Ch." column should be named Chapter and as with the dialog the values should be names instead of numbers.
  • Control alignment: The controls at the top and bottom of the panel aren't vertically aligned in their spaces.
  • [added more]
  • Paragraphs: The list of paragraphs shouldn't include index or TOC text or else people might accidentally create cross references to text that will soon be replaced, losing the anchors.
  • End characters list: It looks like there's a separator at the top of the list, as if there was supposed to be another option above it.
  • Menu grouping: Cross references and Anchors fit together just as well as Anchors and Hyperlinks fit together, but Anchors are grouped with Hyperlinks. I don't use Hyperlinks but I will use Cross References so I will now also be using Anchors. Perhaps group all three together in the menu? 
  • Display As > Anchor Name: There's no way to insert an anchor's name as the Display As format which isn't that important for print documents but is for interactive PDFs. e.g., if I've named an anchor "Boiling the Ocean" then I could use that name when I insert a cross reference to it. e.g, "See Boiling the Ocean
  • Settings > Cross References:
    • Is Settings the right place for this? The values shown in the fields are the current document's defaults and nothing else in Settings shows document defaults. Perhaps this should be in a standalone dialog accessible from Text > Cross References or from the panel's menu?
    • Changing any English language option except for "English" (US) will change all English language options except for "English" (US). Changing English (US) will change only it. Is this intentional?

I had one crash while editing a cross reference but I couldn't duplicate it so this likely isn't useful. I'll keep an eye on this but the steps were roughly delete the generated anchor, edit CR, target=paragraph, pick a new paragraph, click OK and then it crashed.

Affinity Publisher 2 Beta-2023-03-01-132035.ips

Edited by MikeTO
Added text in red.

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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40 minutes ago, MikeTO said:

I had one crash while editing a cross reference but I couldn't duplicate it so this likely isn't useful.

I had a similar crash as well.

Another thing that I am not sure about is the Before and After options.

They seem to be specific and will be wrong if the text moves and what was before becomes after.

I may be misunderstanding the intended use of this but the software itself should be responsible for inserting these words according to the real position of the text pointed to by the cross-reference.

2017 27” iMac 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 • Radeon Pr 580 8GB • 64GB • Ventura 13.6.4.

iPad Pro (10.5-inch) • 256GB • Version 16.4

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18 minutes ago, Seneca said:

Another thing that I am not sure about is the Before and After options.

They seem to be specific and will be wrong if the text moves and what was before becomes after.

I may be misunderstanding the intended use of this but the software itself should be responsible for inserting these words according to the real position of the text pointed to by the cross-reference.

That's what the feature does. If the cross reference anchor is after the cross reference, then the field value will equal after below, otherwise it will equal before above. It's pretty nifty. If you move the anchor and then update your CRs then the word will change.

Edited by MikeTO

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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Just now, MikeTO said:

If you move the anchor and then update your CRs then the word will change.

Thanks. I haven't tested that but if the field flips according to the position in the text we only need one field - "Position in the Text" or something like that. What do you think?

2017 27” iMac 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 • Radeon Pr 580 8GB • 64GB • Ventura 13.6.4.

iPad Pro (10.5-inch) • 256GB • Version 16.4

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Some more minor feedback which I will also add to my post above to keep it all together.

  • Paragraphs: The list of paragraphs shouldn't include index or TOC text or else people might accidentally create cross references to text that will soon be replaced, losing the anchors.
  • End characters list: It looks like there's a separator at the top of the list, as if there was supposed to be another option above it.
  • Menu grouping: Cross references and Anchors fit together just as well as Anchors and Hyperlinks fit together, but Anchors are grouped with Hyperlinks. I don't use Hyperlinks but I will use Cross References so I will now also be using Anchors. Perhaps group all three together in the menu? 
Just now, Seneca said:

Thanks. I haven't tested that but if the field flips according to the position in the text we only need one field - "Position in the Text" or something like that. What do you think?

There is only one option (Above Below) so I'm unsure what you mean. It shows Above or Below depending on the position of the anchor relative to the cross reference.

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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1 hour ago, MikeTO said:

There is only one option (Above Below) so I'm unsure what you mean.

Yes, sorry. I should not rely on my feeble memory. I somehow remembered it it as 2 separate entries.

2017 27” iMac 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 • Radeon Pr 580 8GB • 64GB • Ventura 13.6.4.

iPad Pro (10.5-inch) • 256GB • Version 16.4

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Some more feedback which I will also add to my post above to keep it all together.

  • Display As > Anchor Name: There's no way to insert an anchor's name as the Display As format which isn't that important for print documents but is for interactive PDFs. e.g., if I've named an anchor "Boiling the Ocean" then I could use that name when I insert a cross reference to it. e.g, "See Boiling the Ocean
  • Settings > Cross References:
    • Is Settings the right place for this? The values shown in the fields are the current document's defaults and nothing else in Settings shows document defaults. Perhaps this should be in a standalone dialog accessible from Text > Cross References or from the panel's menu?
    • Changing any English language option except for "English" (US) will change all English language options except for "English" (US). Changing English (US) will change only it. Is this intentional?

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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On 3/1/2023 at 6:45 PM, garrettm30 said:

I am seeing the English word “above” in a text with the language set to Français. Should I assume that strings these have not yet been localized?

translations should be available in the next beta - the above / below text is set in preferences you will need to modify that for the document language

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On 3/3/2023 at 11:17 AM, Pauls said:

translations should be available in the next beta

So for the moment, I should expect the words to remain in English for the current beta. Do I understand correctly?

On 3/3/2023 at 11:17 AM, Pauls said:

the above / below text is set in preferences you will need to modify that for the document language

I am not sure I follow you, as there is no such thing as document language in Affinity (and that’s a common confusion for users). Do you mean the character language? Surely it is not the UI language, as that would limit the utility of this feature. The original announcement does also clarify that it is not UI language, and there is no other language selection setting in the preferences. The character language setting is what I assumed, and indeed, it would make the most sense, as that allows the greatest flexibility, and besides, language for other features (spelling, hyphenation, replacements, etc.) is based on the character language.

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions. We plan to implement some of these, but it may take a little while.

We didn't provide Show as > Chapter Name because we figured the name of the chapter would normally be a heading somewhere in the chapter, so can be got by using the text paragraph body.

The Settings panel does include some document-specific settings. For example, the custom Filler text content which is also specific to the text language. While you are waiting for translations you can add your own strings. It is the spelling language from the Character panel that it uses. If that language is "English (US)" and that doesn't have a string, it will look for another variant of English instead, and similarly for other languages with regional variations.

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4 hours ago, Dave Harris said:

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. We plan to implement some of these, but it may take a little while.

We didn't provide Show as > Chapter Name because we figured the name of the chapter would normally be a heading somewhere in the chapter, so can be got by using the text paragraph body.

The Settings panel does include some document-specific settings. For example, the custom Filler text content which is also specific to the text language. While you are waiting for translations you can add your own strings. It is the spelling language from the Character panel that it uses. If that language is "English (US)" and that doesn't have a string, it will look for another variant of English instead, and similarly for other languages with regional variations.

Thanks, I can accomplish what I need with what's there, I was just thinking through all the possibilities. However I would definitely use index marks as the cross reference targets if it was available.

Cheers

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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On 3/3/2023 at 6:17 PM, Pauls said:

translations should be available in the next beta - the above / below text is set in preferences you will need to modify that for the document language

Could this be set for document/book, instead of a general preference? Sometimes, the string changes depending on the chosen language style or a book's age.

Paolo

 

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On 3/1/2023 at 8:21 AM, Ash said:

By using several cross-reference fields you can build up text like, “See footnote 2 on page 12, below”.

Can all these fields be a single block, by building a "super-field" including all the possible options? 

On 3/1/2023 at 8:21 AM, Ash said:

You can also update cross-reference text from here — they don’t update automatically.

An update command in the Book would also be useful, to update a complete book with a single command.

Paolo

 

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17 hours ago, PaoloT said:

Could this be set for document/book, instead of a general preference? Sometimes, the string changes depending on the chosen language style or a book's age.

It is saved with the document so it will do what you want. I don't think this screen should actually be in Preferences because it's confusing.

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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17 hours ago, PaoloT said:

Can all these fields be a single block, by building a "super-field" including all the possible options? 

I'm guessing that Serif was trying to avoid the complexity of ID's Cross Reference Formats feature which is very powerful but a bit overwhelming for the average user. However, if you're inserting a lot of these I can see how the Affinity approach would be more work for you.

If Serif adds the ability to script this feature when scripting is available someday then it would be easy for one of us to create a tiny script to do what you want and then you should be able to assign a keyboard shortcut to it. Cross your fingers!

17 hours ago, PaoloT said:

An update command in the Book would also be useful, to update a complete book with a single command.

I didn't test cross references in Books yet, but I think the Update All button in Preferences might update all the chapters in a book so give it a try. If not, then you'd just need to open all the chapters and click Update All and re-save them.

Cheers

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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