How can I get Indesign CS3 to search multiple subdirectories for missing links?
January 11, 2008 2:27 PM   Subscribe

My goodness! All the linked files in these InDesign CS3 layouts are scattered all over creation. How can my users relink them quickly?

First AskMefi question. I'm a little nervous. Please don't point at my jittery hands.

So the graphic design workflow software I administer at work has a rather unfortunate way of archiving layouts.

When files go to the backup disks, they lose all their links. The graphics are reorganized into numbered folders... no less than 99 different said folders, for cryin' out loud. I can't do anything about this system. There's a sensible reason for it to work this way. Usually.

Now, this problem is easy enough to work around for a certain amount of graphics. You just find the links manually. However, for larger layouts of multiple page publications - what a pain!

The question: I was wondering if anyone had run across a way to tell InDesign CS3 to start at a directory and search subdirectories for missing links. The files would be located like this: /Links/01/Picture.psd, or /Links/47/picture.psd. So if I can just get the software to start at /Links/ and dig, it would fix me right up.

I've found a few plugins (Picture Wrangler and PictureXTracker) that propose to do this type of thing, but they're expensive and my company wouldn't really consider this to be worth spending money to fix. The designers are kind of low on the totem pole. I try to help them out with these annoyances where I can by coming up with workarounds.

Anyway, my google-fu is not up to the task, so I'm hoping the hive mind can help where I have failed. In advance... much love.
posted by dosterm to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This isn't what you asked, so feel free to flag this comment as noise, but you should seriously consider "packaging" files before archiving them. It will end this problem. It's an extra step, true, and it will end up creating redundant instances of some files in your backup, but you'll never misplace graphics or fonts. When you archive the finished job all of the necessary files will be included with it. I have to manage the backup and retrieval for the printing company I work for, and after years of struggling with missing links I started collecting the finished files. I've never looked back.
posted by lekvar at 2:37 PM on January 11, 2008

Response by poster: Nah, it's not noise at all. It was my first idea but I'm running into issues with that idea... the issues are boring and I'll explain if you want, but suffice it for now to say I appreciate the suggestion.
posted by dosterm at 2:47 PM on January 11, 2008

These images...are they unique to each design? Or are they shared across multiple layouts? The reason I ask is, it would very easy to keep both the ID file and the pertinent images together in a unique folder. As long as the images are in the same directory as the ID file, ID will always be able to find them.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:16 PM on January 11, 2008

I've got a hack that might work if you're all running Macs with Tiger or later.

Try creating a smart folder on each computer that matches all images on the server. Open InDesign, relink the image and point it to that folder. The final link path will be the actual path (/Server/Links/etc.), not the smart folder path.

I'm not sure if it will be able to figure out all the links automatically, but you won't have to go searching for each file, they'll all be in the one directory.

I did a mini test that seemed to go well. Let me know if it works!
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:53 PM on January 11, 2008 [3 favorites]

That is a crazy and brilliant idea that I just might have to play with. I'm usually rather proud of my disk organization skills, but Indesign links and I often get into all kinds of fights. Thanks!
posted by Plug Dub In at 10:20 PM on January 11, 2008

Response by poster: What a cool idea. I'll try it out. Thanks!!
posted by dosterm at 10:08 AM on January 12, 2008

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