Cross-referencing in InDesign

Category: 2D Graphics, InDesign Tutorials 2,532 0

A feature that you will not find in older InDesign tutorials (InDesign CS3 and older) is the cross referencing feature that makes the job of a designer so much easier. This feature is relatively new, added in InDesign CS4, and it has saved many who work with InDesign the trouble of having to use another program to get their cross referencing done. Now the process only take a moment, is extremely easy to learn, and best of all is a great deal more automated and updated by InDesign.

Adding a Cross Reference

When you see anywhere on a page the words “see page x” or “go to section x to learn more”, these are probably cross references. In a digital file you don’t have to scroll through pages to come to the section if there is a link added, which is exactly what this InDesign tutorial aims to show you how to do in a very simple and straightforward way.

1. First things first, create a document with a few pages. On the first page, add a small text box with only the word “See” added. On the second page, create a larger text box and fill it with placeholder text.

1 - Cross-referencing in InDesign

2 - Cross-referencing in InDesign2. Make sure the first text box is selected and ready for editing. Now go to Type>Hyperlinks and Cross References > Insert Cross Reference to open a dialog where you can add and edit your cross reference.

3 - Cross-referencing in InDesign3. Here you can see the many options available for adding cross references. First select the paragraph style of the paragraph you want to cross reference to, and a range of available paragraphs in that style will appear in the column to the right. Now select the first one that appears, as it will be the first paragraph added and therefore the one we want to link to.

4 - Cross-referencing in InDesign4. You’ll notice that now the first text box says “See Bo. Nequiodisetc” instead of just “See”. InDesign has placed the cross reference for us.

5 - Cross-referencing in InDesign5. We don’t want the text box to say that, though. Rather we want it to say “See Page 2.” To change that is very easy. Simply change the option selected in Cross Reference Format from whatever it is to the option Page Number. InDesign will automatically change it to say what we want.

6 - Cross-referencing in InDesignUpdating and Formatting

6. If you change the text of the cross reference (for instance, changing “See Page 2” to “See Page 3”), you can easily update the link to change it back to what it should be. Click the Update option in the Cross Referencing palette to do so.

7. The Cross Referencing palette allows you to change many things about the format and appearance of your cross references. Double click on an existing cross reference to do things like make a bow around the cross reference, change the color, and much more.

7 - Cross-referencing in InDesignCross referencing in InDesign like this InDesign tutorial has demonstrated can be a huge time saver and a great way to make reading and navigating easier for users.


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