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I am using a template supplied by the service bureau. After adding 200+ pages of body text, I returned to the table of contents, and updated it. The red box (overset text) appeared. The next page was blank, containing only a blue hidden crosshatch (#) character. I clicked on the red box, got a loaded arrow, and clicked on the page with the blue crosshatch. The ToC updated properly. I went through the document where there were a few unneeded blank pages and deleted them. Now when I update the Table of Contents, all the text in the entire document disappears. If I undo that action, the ToC and the rest of the document's pages reappear, but the ToC isn't updated and contains entries with incorrect page numbers. How can I fix this?

Update: Apparently a ToC has to be within its own "story" in an InDesign file. I think, though I'm not sure, that the "story" was demarcated by the blue crosshatch character(#). In the version of the file that's giving me problems, now there is only one blue crosshatch at the end of the file. If there was a way to insert the blue crosshatch at the end of the ToC this might solve the problem but I have no idea as to how to do do this.

  • Does the copy get deleted or did it somehow get shoved into a hidden box? If you search for a text string you know exists in the copy, what happens? – Lauren Ipsum Jun 22 '15 at 17:15
  • The body text is deleted. Searching for a word contained only in the body text yields, "No Match" under search. – a user Jun 22 '15 at 19:22
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It's well late, but maybe this might help someone else. Your TOC was probably threaded to connect to the rest of the document, it needs to be in a separate story to the rest of your document.

Updating the TOC has the effect of starting from the top of the text frame containing the TOC, and overwriting everything in that thread with the new TOC. If your TOC is followed by some empty spaces, you probably won't see it's been deleted. If your TOC is followed by 200+ pages of body text, well, that's something you'd notice being gone.

TL;DNR

Make the TOC in a separate text frame, and don't thread it to anything else.

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