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Old 09-19-2013, 05:22 AM   #1
tobias.wantzen
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Cross References: How to Handle the Backlinks of Multiple Links to One Anchor?

Hi,

I have a book with many cross references inside. A one-to-one relationship of anchor and link is simply solved with one backlink to the link (i.e. back to where the reader came from):

Code:
Link to anchor in chapter 5:
blablabl <a id="ref-1579-7-backlink" class="ref-link" href="#ref-1579-7">(see chapter 7)</a> blablabla

Anchor with backlink in chapter 7:
<a id="ref-1579-7" class="ref-anchor" href="#ref-1579-7-backlink">(back to chapter 5)</a> Blablabla
But how would you handle the case of 1 anchor, and many links to it, so the reader understands, where to go?

Code:
Link to anchor in chapter 8:
blablabl <a id="ref-1579-7a-backlink" class="ref-link" href="#ref-1579-7">(see chapter 7)</a>

Link to anchor in chapter 10:
blablabl <a id="ref-1579-7b-backlink" class="ref-link" href="#ref-1579-7">(see chapter 7)</a>

Anchor with backlink in chapter 7:
<a id="ref-1579-7" class="ref-anchor" href="#??????">(?????)</a> Blablabla
I also have footnotes, which are referenced twice ...


What’s a good solution for this?

Regards
Tobias
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:38 AM   #2
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Just add several back links:

(back to chapter 8) (back to chapter 10a) (back to chapter 10b) ....

Or forget about back links, and rely in tho "back" functionality of the reader, and those that don't have it: bad luck.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:43 AM   #3
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Or use chapter endnotes and repeat the information in each chapter's endnotes. That would make it more likely that return links would not so much of a problem. These can also speed up a reader since jumps are made in the same document instead of in and out of it.

My little Sony PRS300 has no back button in the sense Jelby is talking about, but it is a pretty old unit now. But I am not going to give it up until it fails. I got it at a good price including a cover with light and it suits me fine.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Just add several back links:

(back to chapter 8) (back to chapter 10a) (back to chapter 10b) ....

Or forget about back links, and rely in tho "back" functionality of the reader, and those that don't have it: bad luck.
This is basically the only solution. And it's laborious.

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Old 09-24-2013, 11:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobias.wantzen View Post
Hi,

I have a book with many cross references inside. A one-to-one relationship of anchor and link is simply solved with one backlink to the link (i.e. back to where the reader came from):

Code:
Link to anchor in chapter 5:
blablabl <a id="ref-1579-7-backlink" class="ref-link" href="#ref-1579-7">(see chapter 7)</a> blablabla

Anchor with backlink in chapter 7:
<a id="ref-1579-7" class="ref-anchor" href="#ref-1579-7-backlink">(back to chapter 5)</a> Blablabla
But how would you handle the case of 1 anchor, and many links to it, so the reader understands, where to go?

Code:
Link to anchor in chapter 8:
blablabl <a id="ref-1579-7a-backlink" class="ref-link" href="#ref-1579-7">(see chapter 7)</a>

Link to anchor in chapter 10:
blablabl <a id="ref-1579-7b-backlink" class="ref-link" href="#ref-1579-7">(see chapter 7)</a>

Anchor with backlink in chapter 7:
<a id="ref-1579-7" class="ref-anchor" href="#??????">(?????)</a> Blablabla
I also have footnotes, which are referenced twice ...


What’s a good solution for this?

Regards
Tobias


They way I get around this is split them into chapters in the endmatter notes section, e.g.

Chapter 01
blablabl (and have unique back link from here)
Chapter 02
blablabl
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Adjust View Post
They way I get around this is split them into chapters in the endmatter notes section, e.g.

Chapter 01
blablabl (and have unique back link from here)
Chapter 02
blablabl
I've often wondered the same thing but haven't found a good solution so far. Yours will work with a simple reference, but take for instance a very extensive reference where you would like to link all occurrences to a glossary. A simple 'back' function/feature like in Stanza would be perfect if it was possible to include when an e-reader does not have this feature.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:08 PM   #7
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To cover the case of readers with no back button you need to include links back to multiple references. If they are in different chapters the end of chapter notes can be used effectively but not within a chapter or if end notes at the end of the book are used. ePub does not support dynamic links so it is not possible to have a smart back link within the text of a book. Thus the best solution is to provide a back link at the start of the note and if two are needed then there is is no better solution than just providing two backlinks with some text that identifies which one the user should use. It should not be something like link 1 and 2 since the user may not know which link they should follow, since they may not have chosen to follow the first link and would have no idea that they are now at the 2nd one. A chapter indication or a unique text reference from the original should be used. It could be a number but it should be the one that was used in the original reference and must be unique.

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Old 09-25-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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If you are stuck with someone else's structure of the book, it is, as Hitch said, laborious and kind of clunky.

If it is one's own book, it might be time to put on one's thinking cap and see if all the back references are really necessary or this apparently very important material can be developed into a chapter of its own.

If the book is to be used in an academic environment, this latter approach is probably not workable.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mrmikel View Post
If you are stuck with someone else's structure of the book, it is, as Hitch said, laborious and kind of clunky.

If it is one's own book, it might be time to put on one's thinking cap and see if all the back references are really necessary or this apparently very important material can be developed into a chapter of its own.

If the book is to be used in an academic environment, this latter approach is probably not workable.
That's my problem. I have an academic book with some links to same reference. how can I solve this? 'Cause I can't duplicate the bibliographic references.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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That's my problem. I have an academic book with some links to same reference. how can I solve this? 'Cause I can't duplicate the bibliographic references.
Why can't you duplicate them?
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
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In an academic book, one more additional bibliographic reference or two will be lost in the endless forest of citations. You can just copy and paste from the other ones.

As has been stated elsewhere, the aim might be design for epub rather than replicate the original print version. If it must match page for page, epub is probably the worst choice. If it doesn't have to go through one of the big distributors, PDFs are a better choice in this sort of job.
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