Relative Link Paths for InDesign
At this company we work in teams on many project simultaneously along with a massive server of shared assets. Talking to my colleagues in other companies this is quite a common thing these days. We mostly work off of InDesign for the majority of our projects. As InDesign uses linked files for composition/layout, we keep our server organized. All IDD files are worked from directly off of our server, no files are stored on any person's computer locally.
We don't need to package everything (only rarely, for sharing to external entities) because all of the content already exists on the server.
The problem we're seeing continually is this: the absolute file path on the server starts off with a person's login to the server, then the file path itself. When someone else opens up the same InDesign file, links are broken because their login to the server is different from the other persons, yet the files have not moved at all.
Relative file paths would solve this since our file organization does not change.
Since this type of work environment is happening across major companies that use your app, we believe this isn't an isolated request. It needs to happen ASAP.
It can be as simple as a setting under general preferences so a person can choose to set up a file with relative or absolute link paths.
Paul Nylander commented
That is exactly what InDesign should do—but on command, instead of having to futz around with renaming things.
I have this "lack of relative links" problem all the time when I archive a project, and then later restore it to a different path name. Although the relative positions of all linked files are the same, for some reason InDesign still retains the old absolute paths, forcing a relink step.
If I'm doing a simple document, where all links are in a single subfolder, this is fairly easy—relink one, InDesign finds all other missing files from the same folder. But doing this across a multi-part Book document is a nightmare.
Rhiannon Miller commented
We have the same issue. We store files on a central server and copy them to local machines to work on. Each project is kept in an individual folder which is copied wholesale, so the relative path from the InDesign document to the linked image doesn't change. But because the paths are stored in absolute form, they must be relinked each time. If we have multiple versions of an image in different directories, it becomes hard to work out which version to link to, and time-consuming to do it.
I have a simular issue.
we are sharing indesign files between companies - one works with windows one works with mac os
. both are using the same image server over vpn. the windows path begins with a drive letter (let's say s:). the mac path with /volumes/..., the rest of the file path is identical. if a mac user opens the shared indesign file, all image links are broken. I think, relative link paths would solve the problem. Or please implement a feature to change the absulute link path for external files.
I have a similar issue regarding hyperlinks created in InDesign.
I've created a 280 page document in InDesign CC (2017.1 release) and it has 1000 hyperlinks to supporting PDFs in separate sub-folders within the same folder as my InDesign document, and its resulting interactive PDF.
But all the links are absolute, not relative. I need to distribute this document along with all the supporting evidence but the file hyperlinks in the final PDF are non-functioning because they aren't relative.
Anyone know a way around that?
I'm under the impression that mac creates relative links, and windows absolute.
Any thoughts on that?
Michael Prescott commented
This is a baffling limitation. There are two problems:
1. Collaborators are sharing a file, but the absolute path is different. This is common via DropBox, if the InDesign file on a network drive mounted differently, if it's stored in a revision control system.
2. It's hard to isolate copies of a document with their assets. If I copy an INDD file (plus its images) to another folder, now I have all these undesired links back to the original working folder. I can't easily create isolated copies. This makes unplanned changes (e.g. if I change the content of images in the original working folder) impossible to prevent, unless I manually prune
3. If I'm zipping up a set of folders that contain INDD files and linked images, I can't tell if I have zipped up everything.
If I could CHOOSE whether I wanted an absolute or a relative link for each file, then I wouldn't have this problem. :)
I have exactly the same issue. We are a Team of 5, working on different places, synchronising our files through Dropbox business. Everytime we are opening an Indd file that another team member had worked on, all the links to images are broken, although they are just in the subfolder of the main file. I can see in the path that yes, the absolute path always starts with the team members harddrive, so of course the link is not working anymore. BUT why is Indd so stupid to at least just look in the subfolder around, if by chance ALL the linked files are there?????????? This sucks biggest time.
It drives us crazy and we are losing time and nerves.
Miguel Del Moral commented
I do agree with Alex.
We extract documents with images from the database in a zip package.
We work with the documents in our desktop computer and when we finish the job we move them to a server. If someone else opens the documents will have broken links, but all the images are in a folder at the same level of the documents. With relative paths won't be broken links to fix.
Please, implement that.
Andy W commented
I don't think this would be an indesign issue.
I have worked at many companies where all indesign files and links are kept on a shared server where multiple people edit these files. I have never experienced an issue with broken links due to shared files (unless someone link images from their desktop). My current workplace has individual logins for each computer (Macs) and those logins are used to connect to the server (Windows) and files are shared constantly.
The links in our indesign files starts with the top level server folder (i.e. DATA/Design/Job/Links) however if I do a file info from Apple Finder the complete file path is indicated (i.e. afp://123.456.78.90/DATA/Design/Job/Links).
Your described situation would drive me insane! I think you may need to liaise with your IT people to resolve this.
Kelly Vaughn commented
I have a similar issue> this may help: http://documentgeek.blogspot.com/2011/01/indesign-absolute-vs-relative-links.html