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  • Staff

Apps: Affinity Publisher
Platforms: All

The ability to insert cross-references from one part of a document to another—for example, "For more information, see page 24"—has been added to Affinity Publisher.

Cross-references are managed on the Cross-References Panel (Window > References > Cross-References).

image.png

To insert a cross-reference, create an insertion point in a text object, and then click 'Insert Cross-Reference' (the circled plus symbol) at the lower-right of the panel. Inserting a cross-reference is also available from the right click menu when you are editing text. On the resulting dialog:

- Select the cross-reference's target, which can be an existing anchor, paragraph or index marker.
- Specify the text to be displayed by the cross-reference.
- Optionally, apply formatting and limit the amount of quoted text displayed by any field you've inserted into the display text.

image.png

Selecting a target
Use the upper part of the dialog to select a target. Choose the target's type (Anchor, Paragraph, or Index Marker) and then select the required target in the list below.

If too many targets are listed, use the Filter text and Filter style options to limit what's listed based on target text and/or paragraph style.

Specifying what a cross-reference displays
The Text option specifies what your cross-reference will display This can be a simple attribute of the target, such as its page number or quoted text, or you can enter complete phrasing into the box, e.g. "For further information, see 'Deciduous varieties' on page 264".

Click the downward-pointing arrow at the field's upper-left corner to insert an attribute of the target or a commonly used special character.

image.png

Using presets
Phrases can be saved as presets for use across all your documents. Presets also ensure your cross-references adhere to a publication's style guides.

Fields in cross-references are automatically hyperlinked to their target when you export to PDF.

Limiting quoted text
Character style and other formatting options in the lower part of the dialog become available when the insertion point is immediately before or after a field, or when a text selection encompasses a field. (If more than one field is selected, the formatting options affect only the first one.)

The Page Number, Above/Below and List/Note Number fields display the corresponding attribute's value in full. All other fields display text that might be lengthy, such as a full paragraph. Use the 'Limit displayed length' option to restrict them to a sensible amount of text.

Quoted text can be limited to a number of words or the first instance of an 'end character', whichever occurs soonest. You can also choose whether to include an ellipsis or encountered end character in your cross-reference.

More about the Cross-References panel
When you insert a cross-reference to a paragraph, Affinity Publisher creates an anchor at the paragraph's start and uses that as the target. You can rename the anchor, if you wish, via the Anchors Panel.

The Source Spread option allows you to narrow the scope of cross-references listed on the panel, e.g. to the current spread or a specific spread.

With the insertion point at a cross-reference or target in document text, options at the foot of the panel allow you to instantly focus the document view on its counterpart.

Finally, changes to a document may result in out-of-date values in cross-references. For example, changing pagination, section names, or paragraph text at a target. The foot of the panel also includes options to update them individually or all at once.

We would love you to try out this new feature. Let us know what you think of it, or if you encounter any bugs or unexpected results.

Managing Director

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Staff

If you use a custom numbering format as shown here it should be possible to fashion this if you use the list number field in the cross reference. image.png

 

You do have to have some other text than what is in the list number to get them listed so scope for an improvement there

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2 hours ago, Pauls said:

in a book format you will be able to filter to chapters within the book

I'm trying to make work the following Cross-Reference format: pages 56-58, but no matter what I do the saved preference remembers only the last page number 58-58.

For the first number I would target a Paragraph style and add Page to the preset field then for the second page number I would target another Paragraph style that would be a few pages beyond the initial page and then add it to the preset field and save the preset.

However, like I said above, the preset only remembers the last page. 

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53 minutes ago, Seneca said:

I'm trying to make work the following Cross-Reference format: pages 56-58, but no matter what I do the saved preference remembers only the last page number 58-58.

Something like this? It's constructed with 2 anchors, and a reference to each.

 

references1.afpub

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
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24 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Something like this? It's constructed with 2 anchors, and a reference to each.

Thanks @walt.farrell,

that works because each field is separately accessing each page independently, which I have had that working initially.

I was hoping that I would be able to combine that into one preset like the one below.

references2.afpub

but I don't think this is possible at the moment.

What the Affinity Team might consider is to allow combining saved presets into more complicated presets.

For example having saved presets below: 

Begin Span

End Span

We could then combine them like:

Begin SpanEnd Span.

But ideally, we should be able to do it all in one preset.

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Is there a way to use this for the end of a text block frame that would automatically add "Continued to page 3" with the linked block on page three starting with "Continued from Page 1"? This way page numbers would be fluid and update depending on where you put them?

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1. For the filter text box, I think it would be an improvement to add a magnifying glass icon at the left or filter icon to the right, so people know you can type in the box to search/ filter.

2. When I create my cross-reference, I only get to see a preview when I hit OK. Could there be a live preview so I can verify whether the cross-reference does what I think it should and that it appears correctly in my text?

3. When I change the style of my existing cross-reference, I get a cross-reference not updated. This together with the lack of a live preview makes it difficult to do live edits and requires to go back-and-forth quite a lot.  

 

4. I would like to have the option to change an existing style from within the panel, because you cannot edit a style in the text styles panel when the cross-references panel is open. For instance, when I have previously created a new style for Cross-references and decide it wasn't the way I wanted it to be, I would want an edit button (pencil) alongside the style in the drop down so I can edit the style override on the fly.

5. Will there be text formatting inside the Text box? The reason is I could then, for instance, copy the source formatting you see in my video. For example do something like this "[2] Prince Charles" I think that would be very convenient and something Indesign can only do using Grep, so it's also very userfriendly if all the text editing tools for underscore, italics, bold, superscript, etc. could be applied to portions of the reference.

image.png.af27a7e59b7dc3eb4c75ba9c21f1482e.png

6. Am I missing the option to go for paragraph numbers (not listnumbers)? Or even to take the number from a numbered list (I made the sources based on a numbered list here, so if I were to reference to any using [1], [2], [3], etc. formatting, I can use listnumber, but I can't use paragraph numbers only (numbered paragraph adds the text as well).

7. Could there be a (X) button inside the text field for any of the preset types like <Numbered Paragraph (X)> ? That way, I can easily click the delete button to get rid of such an entry.

8. Is the idea that you can update a cross-reference preset and have it affect the existing cross references? Because if you make changes to the style of a cross-reference, you would now have to manually edit all of the cross-references. In Indesign, the preset you create can be modified and thereby affect all cross-references of the given style in the entire document, which is really the only way I would go about editing them. You should be able to make design changes more easily.

Sidenotes

Will the work on sidenotes be expanded? I would like to add sidenotes in a single text frame adjacent to my main text column.
Like so:

image.thumb.png.d73751f71a0d667ee38764fac90765d4.pngIn Indesign, I use Cross-references for this (butchered one such page for this example) and it appears that that's also now the case for Publisher. Footnotes are always at the bottom, Sidenotes line out with their position in the text, so they cannot be in the same text frame in a fixed position alongside the text on the same page. Endnotes are also not the solution, because these notes will be reoccurring on almost every page.
I know it's stretching it to use two types of references within the same frame, but would it atleast be possible to use sidenotes for the 'sources'? And add the 'notes' manually at the bottom of the sidenotes text frame using cross references or add another sidenotes field below the sources field?

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Now, when we have cross references, can we expect page numbers in TOC to be automatically cross referenced when Publisher creates TOC styles (something like MS Word) so we have auto page renumbering in TOC when text is changed?

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  • Staff

@Intuos5 Thanks for the feedback - points 4 and 5 along with a live preview sound good and something we should definitely look into. The field formats are treated as single glyphs and can be moved deleted as such so I dont think there's a great need for the X button. For point 8 we have an "Update all Cross References" button in the cross references panel - does that suffice?

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19 minutes ago, Pauls said:

The field formats are treated as single glyphs and can be moved deleted as such so I dont think there's a great need for the X button.

@Pauls Yes I am aware. The reason I pointed to the (X) mark in the corner was because you do most of the work in this panel with the mouse. Like picking preset field formats, styles, etc. So if you can also click to remove the field formats, you won't have to reach for the keyboard. It's just for convenience really.

19 minutes ago, Pauls said:

For point 8 we have an "Update all Cross References" button in the cross references panel - does that suffice?

Well, that doesn't affect presets. See this example:

It is either that the other cross-references lose their link to the preset or that saving the preset again effectively changes it into a new preset. The point is, I want to modify a preset and thereby affect all cross-references to which it is applied.

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7 hours ago, Intuos5 said:

Will the work on sidenotes be expanded? I would like to add sidenotes in a single text frame adjacent to my main text column.

 

7 hours ago, Intuos5 said:

In Indesign, I use Cross-references for this (butchered one such page for this example) and it appears that that's also now the case for Publisher.

First, I'm not sure why you don't just make the text frame narrower, and let the sidenote exist on the same line as the referenced text, but outside the frame. That's what I've always done in my experiments in Publisher.

Next, I'm not sure what you mean by "that's also the case for Publisher." I don't see any relation between Sidenotes and Cross-References in Publisher, nor any changes to how Sidenotes work in the beta, but perhaps I'm just not understanding what you mean.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

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7 hours ago, Intuos5 said:

[...]

6. Am I missing the option to go for paragraph numbers? Or even to take the number from a numbered list (I made the sources based on a numbered list here, so if I were to reference to any using [1], [2], [3], etc. formatting, I can use listnumber, but I can't use paragraph numbers only (numbered paragraph adds the text as well).

[...]

8. Is the idea that you can update a cross-reference preset and have it affect the existing cross references? Because if you make changes to the style of a cross-reference, you would now have to manually edit all of the cross-references. In Indesign, the preset you create can be modified and thereby affect all cross-references of the given style in the entire document, which is really the only way I would go about editing them. You should be able to make design changes more easily.

[...]

You can take the number from a numbered list by using the <List Number> field.

The idea is that you select multiple cross-references in the Cross-References panel, and that updates them all at once. You can sort the panel in different ways to make it easier to select the subset you want.

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45 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

First, I'm not sure why you don't just make the text frame narrower, and let the sidenote exist on the same line as the referenced text, but outside the frame. That's what I've always done in my experiments in Publisher.

Sorry, I am not sure I understand your suggestion.

45 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Next, I'm not sure what you mean by "that's also the case for Publisher." I don't see any relation between Sidenotes and Cross-References in Publisher, nor any changes to how Sidenotes work in the beta, but perhaps I'm just not understanding what you mean.

Well, both cross-references and sidenotes exist so we can reference to other pieces of text, right? Thing is, I see a missing functionality here between both features, where you cannot place notes alongside the text and control their vertical position and grouping. I could go about manage the references manually using cross references placed adjacent to where there has to be a source mentioned, but if I change my text, I would have to go over the cross references and make sure they are still adjacent to the text they belong to.

Now, that's something that the sidenotes are for. But sidenotes don't cover this case, see:

If my notes overlap in position or simply have a bit more text, notes start disappearing.

Or, alternatively, they are next to the text, which messes with the order of the sources. In a multi-column layout, I want to group the sources and list them in order of first appearance. Not like this:

image.thumb.png.d08e1142a21bb44485faddd20fdc8d0e.png

But like this:

image.thumb.png.df0bbc035d53baa9c74e48f6e8503300.png

And footnotes can only be placed at the bottom of the frame, but in this case, maybe the confusion stems from that it's actually a footnote feature request, where I want footnotes at the side of the text (because footnotes have the grouping features, etc.). But they simply lack the placement position that I need. Hope it's clearer now what I need @walt.farrell :)

 

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Dave Harris said:

You can take the number from a numbered list by using the <List Number> field.

Yeah, I found out just after I posted, forgot to make the strikethrough amendment 😅

Indesign also has paragraph numbers, which is what I was looking for. In case you don't have a numbered list, it can be helpful to refer to the paragraph number. So you could say, "look at chapter 3, paragraph 4". Or "this is covered on page 28, paragraph 4". Not a big deal at all, just pointing this out that it seems to be an option that's not there.

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Also, not sure if applicable, but are APA references and the like also something that could be included as part of the Cross-reference feature?

I could think of typing the source information as field formats and then use those as part of the referencing, e.g. format them like this: "Author (DATE)" for intext citations or like this: (Author, DATE) and optional page number input for citations?

End characters can be leveraged for some of the work, but complete reformatting of text is a bridge too far.
In a generic sense, if you could create your own field formats and reference parts of such field formats that could potentially be leveraged for other use cases that I cannot think of right now.

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Hi, thanks for all the improvements to cross references.

1. Missing index names: Thanks for the index mark feature, much appreciated! I can't get it to work though. With my book document, about 75% of the index marks lack a name, there's just a page number shown. I thought it might be the complexity of that document so I created this simple test file with index marks for each of the words shown on the left and all of them are missing a name in the xref dialog. Adding the xref works fine and the name shows up in the panel, it's just that you can't see all the names in the dialog. Once it's working I'll re-cross reference my book with index marks to give it a workout.

xref index.afpub

Screenshot2023-07-04at9_23_38PM.png.10c6c45ad82f48bbea7de965b08bc00c.pngScreenshot2023-07-04at9_22_59PM.png.e8350d1570e1ef8370619add7b29ef9a.png

2. Can't filter: In the 2.1 beta, anchors could be filtered by name but in the 2.1 beta anchors and index marks cannot be filtered by name. The instructions Ash provided imply that you can filter for any of them. Now I was stupid and suggested that Filter Text and Style be disabled for Anchor so this is probably my fault, I should have suggested only disabling Filter Style which applies just to paragraphs, not Filter Text which is really useful for hundreds of Anchors and now Index Marks.

3. No default: In the 2.1 beta which lacked presets, it defaulted to page number, the most common option, which was nice. I was stumped at first using the 2.2 beta wondering how to get the OK button to be enabled so I could click on it. I ignored the presets section because I didn't want to do anything complicated. Perhaps it would be better to default the Text field to pagenumber rather than leaving it blank?

4. Index marks vs. mark: In the Link To list there is Anchor, Paragraph, and Index Marks with an "s". It should be singular to match the others.

5. Panel columns: Thanks for adding the xref source page number column!! It might be nice if the column defaulted wide enough to hold 3-digit page numbers which would work for most books. A lot of my page numbers showed an ellipsis until I scaled it wider.

6. Panel list context menu: There is no context menu when you right click a xref. If you right click an anchor or index mark in those panels you get choices like Edit but the only way to edit a xref is with double click. 

7. Preflight: Thanks for adding xrefs to Preflight!! It might be nice if there was a Fix All button but it's still good. I'll just assign a keyboard shortcut to Update All Cross References.

And thanks for all the other improvements like the Delete button. I haven't tried Presets yet but will play with it soon.

Cheers

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