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Understanding the Unresolved Cross-References Window in FrameMaker

📄 Contents

  1. Understanding the Unresolved Cross-References Window
  2. About this Article
New Riders author and FrameMaker expert Lisa Jahred shows you how to overcome the challenges of unresolved cross-references by using FrameMaker’s Update Unresolved Cross-References window.
This article was excerpted from Framemaker 6: Beyond the Basics, by Lisa Jahred.
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If you have never come across the Unresolved Cross-References window, consider yourself lucky. If you have, you know that trying to fix cross-references that have come undone for one reason or another is a challenge.

This article explores the "why"s and investigates the ways to solve unresolved cross-references that occur for the following reasons:

  • The name of the source file has changed.

  • The location (path) of the source file has changed.

This article does not discuss fixing unresolved cross-references that occur for these reasons:

  • A cross-reference marker was deleted from the source information.

  • The source information is part of conditional text that is hidden.

Using the Unresolved Cross-References Window

When you open a file with cross-references or update references some other way, and unresolved cross-references occur, you see the Update Unresolved Cross-References window. This window is not very intuitive, but it does serve a useful purpose: To show you which files contain source information that is no longer recognized by the current document's cross-references (for one reason or another). This window also points out how many total unresolved cross-references are contained in the current document, and how many of those are referenced in each of the individual source files.

You can resolve some unresolved cross-references right from this window. You cannot use this window to solve unresolved cross-references caused by deleted cross-reference markers.


If a file is closed and has unavailable fonts, open the file before you use the Update Unresolved Cross References window.

Here is an example in which unresolved cross-references in a file were caused in the following manner:

  • A directory called tech101 contained three files:,, and

  • The file contained two cross-references: one to and one to These cross-references worked fine.

  • The files were then saved and closed.

  • The name of was changed to

  • The file was moved outside the tech101 directory.

Here is how to use the Update Unresolved Cross-References window to fix the cross-reference problems that appear when is reopened:

  1. Open a file (, in this example) that contains unresolved cross-references (or use Edit > Update References). The Update Unresolved Cross-References window appears, as shown in Figure 1. The top portion of the window provides information about how many total unresolved cross-references are located in the file just opened; in this case, there are two total. Current is selected in the Files Named list. Look below the list to see there are no unresolved cross-references in the Current file. That is, none of the unresolved cross-references has a source within the current file.

  2. Figure 1 The Update Unresolved Cross-References window.

  3. Click once on the second file in the list, There is one unresolved cross-reference to source file, as displayed below the Files Named list (see A in Figure 2a)

  4. Click once on the third file in the list, There is one unresolved cross-reference to source file, as displayed below the Files Named list (see B in Figure 2b).

Figure 2 The unresolved cross-reference information, per file.

Now that you determined which files contain the unresolved cross-reference source information, it's time to solve each one:

  1. Click on in the Files Named list. This is the first file for which you will resolve cross-references. Why is the cross-reference to this file unresolved? Recall that both the current file ( and were in the tech101 directory when the cross-references were created. Now has been moved outside the tech101 directory whereas has not, so the cross-references in can no longer find

  2. Using the file display in the bottom part (For Cross-References to Selected File, Look In:) of the Update Unresolved Cross-References window, navigate to the correct directory, tech101, and click once on the correct file, (see Figure 3).

  3. After you finish, click on the Open button. As a result, the Current file will now find its cross-references to this source document using the new path.

  4. Click on in the Files Named list. This is the next file for which you will resolve cross-references. Recall that not only was the current file,, moved outside the directory that contained the source file; itself was renamed to So the current file cannot find its cross-reference source.

  5. Navigate to the correct directory, tech101, and click once on the new correct filename, (see Figure 4). After you finish, click on the Open button. The Current file will now find its cross-references to this source document by using the new path and the new filename.

Figure 3 The cross-references to file are resolved.

Figure 4 You can resolve the cross-references to file by clicking on the correct filename.

Fixing unresolved cross-references for files that have changed locations, names, or both, is an easy task. After the previous steps for unresolved cross-references are completed, the Update Unresolved Cross-References window will look like the one shown in Figure 5. Notice that there are now no unresolved cross-references in the Current open file.

Figure 5 The result of resolving all the unresolved cross-references.

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