Missing / Modified
Links tutorial

Below is a detailed explanation of Links used in InDesign, along with a step by step tutorial showing how to fix missing links in an InDesign document.

When you open an InDesign document that contains missing links, you will get a warning that looks similar to this.

Missing Links:

If you get a warning that tells you there are missing links in your document, this means that InDesign can no longer locate graphics used in the document on your computer. The graphic is no longer in the location from which it was imported, although it may still exist somewhere. This can happen if someone moves the original file to a different folder or server after it’s been imported into an InDesign document. You can’t know whether a missing file is up to date until its original is located. If this warning is given, we can not properly print your yearbook, all the images will come out blurry, distorted or not print at all.


About Links:

When you import or place an image or a graphic InDesign creates a link in your document. A link displays a graphic on your layout without actually copying the entire graphics file into the InDesign document. This helps keep the page size smaller thus keeping InDesign from lagging and straining over large images. It's a bit like viewing an image on your digital camera. When you view a picture on your digital camera, it appears to be only about an inch to an inch and a half. But when you print out the picture (or view it on your computer), you see that it is a lot larger. Your digital camera creates a smaller preview of your large picture. InDesign also creates a smaller preview of your large picture, and the way that it locates that picture on your computer is by linking to it.

When the warning pops up, it will tell you that there are either missing links, or modified links. Modified links just mean that the links need to be updated. Modified links are a lot easier to fix than missing links.


I - To Fix "Modified Links":

If your problem is with modified links, the warning will look like this:

**The "6 - Modified Links" will not be highlighted, I highlighted it to show you what you are looking at.**

To correct this problem, simply click "Fix Links Automatically..." and everything should update and you are ready to go.


II - To Fix Missing Links:

If your problem is with missing links, the warning will look like this:

**The "5 - Missing Links" will not be highlighted, I highlighted it to show you what you are looking at.**

To correct this problem, click "Fix Links Automatically...". If you are lucky, this is the only step you will need to do, and InDesign will find the links on it's own and the document will load. 80% of the time this does not happen and further steps need to be taken. If a window pops up looking similar to this one

then that means InDesign needs your help relockating the files. Click the "Browse..." button in the window, and look for the graphic located on your computer. [can't locate the graphic?] Once you locate the graphic or image, select it, click open and then click OK. You might have to do this several times or only one time, depending on how many links are missing. Repeat the "Browse, locate, open & OK" step until the window closes and your InDesign document pops up.


iii - Verify that the links were fixed

Your next step is to verify that the links were all fixed. To do this, you will need to open your links panel. It should be open on the right side of the screen, it looks similar to this:

find the icon that looks like a chain link. If you do not see this on the side panel, go to the "Windows" menu, and scroll down to "Links"

and it should pop up.
If you scroll through that panel, you should see just the file names and the page numbers. If there are little icons next to the name, either "!" or "?" then that means the links were not entirely fixed.
If you see a yellow "!" that looks like this

then that means the link has not been updated. To update it, select the link in the panel, and click the "update icon".

*the icon that appears in color*

Do this for all links that have the yellow "!". That should fix your problem.

If you see a red "?" that looks like this

the that means the link is still missing. Try relinking it again by click on the "relink" button

*the icon that appears in color*

and repeat the steps I specified in section II ("browse, locate, open, OK").



iv - After all links have been fixed:

- Save the document! "File > Save"
- Package the document to send to us. Go to "File > Package..."

abd then follow the step by step instructions InDesign gives you. If you have any problems with this step, contact us and we will gladly help you through it.
-The folder created by "Package..." process is what we need from you. That gives us a nice and neat folder with everything we need from you in it.




v - How to avoid this problem in the future:

Before you begin creating the InDesign document, make sure that all the pictures on your computer are in a place where they will not be in the way and keep them there. Do no move the files after you have imported or placed them into your document. Moving them breaks the link.


If you followed the steps covered in this tutorial, and still have not fixed your problem, please contact us via email and we will help you. Please try to be as specific with your problem as possible.