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InDesign links between PC and Mac Users

Overview

The OpenAsset AssetBar is a great way to insert images into InDesign documents. Since nobody will be moving files or changing file and folder names, dragging OpenAsset images into InDesign allows you to minimize broken links in your documents.

When PC users are accessing InDesign files created by other PC users, there will never be any broken links. Similarly, Mac users will not see any broken image links when accessing InDesign files created by other Mac users. This page details cross-platform linking issues that can occur when PC users open InDesign files created by Mac users and vice versa.

Why do InDesign image links break between Mac and Windows users?

There are two reasons Mac users and Windows users see broken links when opening the same InDesign file:

  1. Mac and Windows machines handle absolute paths differently

  2. InDesign always uses absolute paths, but it does recognize if the .indd file is located on the same share as the image being linked. When this happens, InDesign then resolves the images as if it was a relative path.

Typical absolute image paths will look like this:

  • InDesign File Location: \\mynas\Marketing\InDesign\project_sheet.indd
  • Windows Image Path: \\mynas\OpenAsset\Projects\AXO071\building.jpg
  • Mac Image Path:     /Volumes/OpenAsset/Projects/AXO071/building.jpg

Result: Since the InDesign file and OpenAsset images are on different shares, if a Mac user drops an image into InDesign from OpenAsset, any Windows users opening that file will see a broken image link and vice versa.

Why doesn’t this happen when we link to images on our Marketing drive (not OpenAsset images)?

InDesign recognizes if files and images are stored on the same share. So if your InDesign files and images are all on the Marketing share then InDesign resolves the images as if they were using relative paths. This works for both Windows and Mac users. OpenAsset images are typically not stored on the same share as your InDesign files, thus causing the absolute path issue listed above.  

There are three options for addressing this issue:

  1. If OpenAsset and your InDesign files are currently on the same NAS, then you can create a symbolic link to the OpenAsset image store from the Marketing folder. Since we are not moving the OpenAsset image store, this should NOT break any existing InDesign links to OpenAsset images.  

    1. InDesign File Location: \\mynas\Marketing\InDesign\project_sheet.indd (unchanged)

    2. Windows Image Path (OA): \\mynas\Marketing\OpenAsset\Projects\AXO071\building.jpg

    3. Mac Image Path (OA):     /Volumes/Marketing/OpenAsset/Projects/AXO071/building.jpg

  2. If OpenAsset and your InDesign files are currently not on the same NAS, but you can move them to the same NAS, then, after the move, you can create a symbolic link to the OpenAsset image store within the Marketing folder. This WILL break any existing InDesign links to OpenAsset images.  

  3. If you are using a Windows server, not a NAS, we can move the OpenAsset image store to the same drive as the InDesign files (Marketing share).  This WILL break any existing InDesign links to OpenAsset images.

    1. InDesign File Location: \\Server\Marketing\InDesign\project_sheet.indd (unchanged)

    2. Windows Image Path (OA): \\Server\Marketing\OpenAsset\Projects\AXO071\building.jpg

    3. Mac Image Path (OA):     /Volumes/Marketing/OpenAsset/Projects/AXO071/building.jpg


If you are interested in any of these options, please do NOT move forward without consulting Axomic Support. We are happy to assist.

Last modified
07:25, 20 Mar 2015

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