Some of us LOVE InDesign and therefor use it as much as possible. But we’ve all been in that moment where we’re updating a file (ahem…perhaps our portfolio we haven’t touched since graduating) and we get this lovely notification.
Unfortunately, it’s likely you have NO clue where these files may be. But moving forward in your career, we’ve found two great ways to prevent this from happening.
The first option is embedding the files. The photos in most INDD files are low res copies that “link” to the original copy—INDD simply remembers where those files are stored. So if you move files, rename them, or delete them, the link is broken. By imbedding files, they become part of the actual document.
To do this, in the Links Menu (Window>Links) simply select the photo you’d like to embed. In the dropdown menu select “Embed Link” and repeat for all the links necessary.
Embedding links may make things very simple, but it also greatly increases the size of the file and thus, decreases the speed at which you can open, edit, and share the file. So we’ve come up with a very simple solution.
When creating an INDD document, create the file, but also create a folder system. You can set up your folders however you like, but be sure to have a LINKS folder.
When building your INDD file, create a copy of all the photos/files you’ve inserted into the document and paste them into the links file. When sending the files, its likely you don’t need to send the previous 4 revisions of the document, so you shouldn't send the whole document folder. Simply save an additional copy of the document into the Links folder (rename it to projectname_linked). This way, when you re-open a document you haven’t used in a year or send a file to a colleague for editing, ALL the document files are in the same place. Should you move folders around, accidentally clear your desktop, or delete something, you have a copy of the file, and a copy of all the content together. Simply open up the file (the links are probably missing) and relink to the files within the LINKS folder you’ve created.
Problem, wasted time, and massive headache averted.