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Generating links within a Publisher document

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I’ve been tearing my hair out for the last few days trying to do something in Publisher, and I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s just not possible. I really hope someone can prove me wrong…

Objective: I’m generating a document with data merge. Within it, I want, for example, page 3 to include a bookmark (document link) to page 53, page 4 to include a bookmark to page 54, and so on. Equally, I want page 53 to link back to page 3, page 54 to link back to page 4, etc. It seems like it should be a fairly simple thing to do…

My first attempt was simply to include links in the data merge file, but from what I’ve discovered there’s no way to populate links or bookmarks with merge fields.

Then I tried creating a bookmark manually within the data merge layout, hoping that when I generated the merge it would update it on every subsequent page. Alas it just copied the same link to every newly generated page rather than making a ‘relative’ copy. In other words all my pages linked to the exact same page.

Finally I turned to trying the Table of Contents. That looked promising, placing a TOC on a master page in a 1-line high text box so that it only shows one entry per page. But alas it doesn’t work. Every page shows just the first entry (unless you edit the TOC on each page manually, in which case, inexplicably, it creates a new TOC and starts over from that page, but only for that page).

I don’t know if Cross References will be able to do this in the future? Right now they’re not included in the current beta, so I can’t it that as a solution.

What am I missing? I suspect there must be a very simple solution that I’ve completely overlooked. Anyone have any ideas?


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That is not the kind of function that Data Merge supports, and I think it's unlikely to support it any time soon (if ever). So I think that while cross-references (targeted for 2.2, currently) will probably help, you will have to do it all manually after the Data Merge process.

-- Walt
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That's what I was afraid of. Manually is not an option though - literally thousands of pages to do, and too much scope for error apart from anything else. I fear I will have to investigate alternative software solutions.

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  • 1 month later...

Just updating this thread for completeness...I tried cross references in the 2.2 beta and unfortunately it doesn't resolve this particular issue (which admittedly is probably quite a niche requirement!) The extra data merge features in that beta almost do it, but as it doesn't seem possible to add anchors with data merge, it doesn't quite get me there either. I think I'll have to resort to a custom post-processing script or something.

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