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InDesign Backwards Compatibility in CS5 an MAJOR issue

May 18, 2010 7:01 AM

  Latest reply: Harbs., May 29, 2011 6:13 AM
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 7:26 AM   in reply to Mr. Met
     
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    May 19, 2010 9:02 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    Well said. Despite the condescending suggestions otherwise, many of us can't anticipate when there will be a need to save back a couple of versions. I just did two step-conversion back to inx from CS5 via CS4 and it's safe to say that's a workflow that should be reserved for emergencies.

     

    I personally believe the file incompatibility treadmill is a barrier for many corporate users and upgrade sales suffer as a result. There's no "must have" feature in InDesign CS5 (or CS4, for that matter). My clients who are producing product manuals with my design and art direction have a big disincentive to upgrading from CS3. There's not only the license and implementation costs to consider, there's the issue of documentation standards and even production vendor support for the latest version of Adobe software. In this economy especially, there's no way I'd have the gall to suggest that my clients upgrade to CS5 when there's no tangible benefit to them besides maintaining compatibility with me. And if I'm defaulting to CS3 often to aviod back saving issues, I'm not going to explore the wonders of CS5 very much.

     

    I'm not sure why InDesign gets a pass from the evangelist herd. Illustrator has deep back save format options for AI, EPS and PDF. Photoshop doesn't suffer from the compatibility crunch. Flash lets you work in earlier version compatible modes (that's what I think InDesign should offer).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 9:15 AM   in reply to BJN3

    Really, and then what? So you've used all the new features in CS5 and because you can save back as far as you want you save a file to CS2 and simply assume it's going to be fine. Off it goes and the client blows a gasket because it doesn't look anything like the PDF you sent.

     

    Additionally, what new feature would you have sacrified for this? Afterall it's a new feature and that means something else gets left out. So perhaps we give up balanced columns? Splt/Span Columns? Multiple page sizes?

     

    Of course you've already said:

     

    There's no "must have" feature in InDesign CS5 (or CS4, for that matter)

     

    So why did you bother upgrading to begin with?

     

    And stop comparing Illy with ID. Quark would be a far better comparison and it's got the same issues.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 9:52 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Well said, Bob!

     

    If I ever get into a debate on software, I pray that you're on my side.

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 10:11 AM   in reply to BJN3

    I'm the guy who usually disagrees with Bob about relying on backsaving in any given workflow, and in this case he is completely right.

     

    If you want to know exactly how I manage to keep reliable workflows running in a nonprofit using four different versions of ID (five any day now, I'm sure), I can tell you all about it. The first rule is, "Keep all versions of ID installed at all times," and the second rule is "Start saving money for the next CS six to nine months before you think it will come out."

     
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    May 19, 2010 12:25 PM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    Good for you, Cynthia and the best of luck in growing your business!

     

    Bob

     
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    May 19, 2010 12:29 PM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    One more thing: You might want look at this:

     

    http://www.rorohiko.com/wordpress/downloads/lightning-brain-soxy/

     

    It's a terrific little application that forces the O/S to open the files in the correct version.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 12:35 PM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    Better identify your documents w/version in name (2,3,4,5) so you'll 

    know which InD app to use; otherwise docs will default to v5 on 

    opening  and you'll be wasting time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 12:36 PM   in reply to peterpica

    Praying won't help, Peter. Cash on the other hand...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 12:39 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Sorry; O'bama already has my pension funds earmarked.

     

    ;-(

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 12:44 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    thanks for tip Bob!

     

    CS5 compatible?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 12:57 PM   in reply to peterpica

    According to the revision notes, yes.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 1:04 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Thanks B.

     

    just got trial beta and it's for CS5

     

    great forum today! Wish I could remember what I learned tomorrow.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 1:12 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Doesn't work for me (Mac Intel)... still defaults to CS5 InD

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 5:09 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    I can't understand it why it should not be compatible.

     

    I am a student and must look to remain compatible with other students, because we have to co-operate in many projects. And not every student can buy a new version to himself.

     

    A file format can be extended and be compatible to basic functions. Why does Adobe not do this?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 5:17 AM   in reply to moo1212

    Did you not bother to read this entire thread? It's all in there.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 5:44 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Pity Adobe hasn't done that already.

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 5:52 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    Trust me, Eugene....they know all about it.

     

    But as I've said before, with limited resources, I'd rather see them concentrate on new features and enhancement rather than supporting older versions.

     

    Here'a a choice for you: Better footnote capability or backward saving to CS3?

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 5:56 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    John,

     

    Under certain circumstances it is possible to get a downgrade for collaberative work with those still using older versions.

     

    You can't do it with a boxed version, and you need to buy it from someone who knows what they are doing (either a knowledgeable person at Adobe, or a knowledgeable reseller). I've gotten downgrades for clients using the ME version, and I don't see a reason why I couldn't get them for the regular version as well. If anyone needs help with this, they can send me a PM, and I can see what I can do...

     

    Harbs

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 6:07 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    I did, but I can not understand it.

    Once is okay,

    twice is okay,

    but each version is not compatible. This is a very, very bad habit and frustrated every customer.

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 6:09 AM   in reply to moo1212

    If it was every customer, these forums would be flooded with complaints. While I understand the frustration, the evidence points to a very small number of people that have been horribly inconvenienced.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 6:39 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Why do I have to choose between the two?

     

    I would like my CS3 documents to open in CS3 not CS4 or CS5. I appreciate the Soxy solution; but at the same time one might have expected Adobe to have solved this problem a long long time ago. It doesn't solve the backward compatibility issue, but it does offer something.

     

    How about the CS5 application tells you that it's a CS3 document and only enables menu commands that are available in CS3 (ok this is not very well thought out but I'm not worried about my plot holes here). So you still edit in CS5 then you can do a backward save if you had the option. The problem is though there is no way go from CS5 to CS3 without having CS4. And I don't have CS4 and I've to get started with work in CS5 pretty soon, meaning if I find any problem that affects the workflow I have no other option.

     

    The only thing that stopped me updating to CS4 was the fact that the text style importer had a serious flaw. And it took Adobe a year to fix it.  So not only could i not upgrade to CS4 because of this error, when they did fix it it was only 6 months to the next release, great I'll wait. Then when CS5 comes out they do it by removing the INX export.

     

    At this stage with so many versions of InDesign available I expect a reasonable backsave option. I don't care how Adobe implement it or how they handle spanned columns or ballanced columns. I couldn't care less how they implement it. I just want it. And evidently other people want it too.

     

    As for footnotes - don't get me started

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 6:47 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    But that should not be a reason not to be compatible!

     

    I think there are many, many more which frustrated.

    Not everyone writing in a forum, or register here.

     

    I have CS5 since one day and am shocked that it is not compatible.

    Other companies manage it well. So why not Adobe.

     

    I like the products very much, but I do not know how to solve my problem without buying at least two versions.

    Many of the students I work with have CS3, CS4 or CS5.

     

    Sorry, I am a student and not a millionaire.

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 7:06 AM   in reply to moo1212

    Most InDesign users must be millionaires, because most seem not to have a problem with this. I'll make a note to check my bank account.

     

    1. It has never been said ID is not backwards compatible. ID can save one version down.

     

    2. Adobe has a student discount program. Especially for the non-millionaires.

     

    3. Any collaborative project, using one version, is going to be difficult. You need to make totally sure everyone has his/hers files up to date. Throwing in different versions makes it even harder.

    Let me try an analogy. This project ... does it use more than one font? Are you only using Windows fonts? What if one of you has a Mac? DId you all license every font that did not came for free with the computer?

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 7:26 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    Sorry, Eugene...thought you were referring to backsaving. Yeah..why not just change the file extension? Never understood that.

     

    Bob

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 8:27 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    So perhaps a useful solution would be that if yo did open a CS2 CS3 or CS4 file in CS5 then you get a "warning" that CS5 menus will be disabled as it's a prior version. You would get an option to enable the CS5 menus but a "warning" that you will no longer be able to use this file in the prior versions.

     

    But once you choose to work in CS5 with the CS5 menus disabled for whatever prior version file you're working on, it could save it so it can be opened back in that version.

     

    This would mean that if a client came to me and said they wanted me to do the file but only has CS3 and I, for example, have only CS5. I could then create a new document only using CS3 features and be able to save to that version of InDesign for the client.

     

    I feel it's unreasonable to ask a client to upgrade, I don't believe a right to tell them how to spend moeny etc. But in me having CS5 shouldn't be a hindrance to a working relationship with a client who has CS3 or CS2 etc.

     

    Is that unreasonable or too hard to do? I ask honestly, as I have no idea about programming. I just think it's a doable solution.

     

     

    And yes - good idea Bob, just have different extensions for different versions of the software.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 8:41 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    The very fact that these files open as Re: InDesign Backwards Compatibility in CS5 an MAJOR issue should be warning enough. And you're right...it's unreasonable to ask a client to upgrade, which is why I have CS3, CS4, and CS5 just in case. So having CS5 is not a hindrance at all.

     

    A simple question before you start working if you're expected to provide files is all it takes. "What version of InDesign would you like these file provided as?"

     

    On the other side of the coin however, it is NOT at all unreasonable to expect a service provider to upgrade. As a service provider you are expected to have the version the client needs (within reason of course). You are doing no favors to a client by using CS5 and saving back two versions.

     

    I said this earlier, what happens when the file doesn't match the original PDF and the client refuses to pay you? They'd be on pretty firm ground in my opinion.

     

    Bob

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 9:04 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    As I say - I don't have all the answers, but I would expect Adobe to provide the solution, other than buying every version of their software.


    We're going into the "What If's" here which is always shaky ground.

     

    A brief not well thought out example off the top of my head:

    So whatif I switch from Quark to InDesign today. I buy CS5. I get a client who's been using CS3 for years. Hasn't any reason to upgrade. This client starts asking me ot provide layouts for him so they can update.

     

    I have spent €900 on INDesign or worse, I've spent €2000 on the Master Suite. I start making the design, I'm not regular user of InDesign, I've just switched from Quark. I send the client the files, they can't open them. The only options are

     

    Client spends money and upgrades for €240

     

    or

     

    I go to amazon or somewhere to spend another €900 on InDesign CS3.

     

     

    Look, to me that's very unreasonable. I've already bought InDesign. Why do I or the client need to spend even  more money.

     

     

    What I propose is that if I want a file from CS5 to open in CS3, then I should be able to only enable features that work in CS3, then save for CS3. I don't think that that is that unreasonable? And it's a fairer solution, I think.

     

     

    Whatever about the PDF not matching from CS5 to CS3 and the client getting in a hump over it, and rightly so. These are things that need to be worked out in the contract with the client, stipulating that there will be differences from the CS5 to CS3 version.

     

    I've had it before when I sent CS3 files to CS3 clients, and they get overset text and other things due to different versions of the font.

     

     

    All that I'm asking is that a clear warning is given - that "Converting" as it opens the file tells me nothing, or anyone esle. Fair enough I know what it means, but others wouldn't. And that is unreasonable of Adobe, in my opinion.

     

     

    And if I do use CS5 features and I want to save it to CS3, then a warning will come up saying that CS5 features will be stripped from this document. At which point you'll have to go and insert anchored text frames to span headings, balance your own columns, fix anything that doesn't work in CS3 and then save it for CS3.

     

    I'm not asking for a blind save, i think it's reasonable that you can save back to another version, of course there are always risks, but that's up to me to make sure the file is stripped of the CS5 features and looks acceptable before sending to a Cs3 client. At which point I can stipulate that the file may be different due to CS5 to CS3 backsave and stipulate to the client that they have a responsibility to ensure it's correct.

     

    Which is fairly standard in a proofsheet sign-off.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 9:18 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    I'm loving this debate.

     

    Here's my answer. I've been using InDesign since 1999. That gives me a competitive edge over someone who just switched to InDesign and therefore has much less experience.

     

    That's just the way it is. What if I had a prospective customer who is still using Quark? That gives you the competitive edge.

     

    Pretty simple if you ask me and again, I don't want Adobe wasting resources providing backward compatibility. I want NEW features to move forward with.

     

    Since you think otherwise, file the feature request. I think you know where it is.

     

    Bob

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 9:35 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Definitely Bob, it's a good debate.

     

    Whether you have the competive edge is not the point. The point is that not being able to swap files with someone with a prior version of indesign is crazy. People want the abilty. And if I have a client who has CS3 and I only have CS5 I'm not going to tell them to go see Bob, he has all the versions.

     

    There's way more than two sides to this coin. I can use CS5 without using features that are not available in CS3. So if I do that, shoudln't be able to save it to CS3?

     

    I'm not coming here and saying "it's stupid of Adobe" as I understand the problem. But I am trying to offere a reasonable alternative, like the ability to switch to CS3 features (basically turning off features that are new to cS4 and CS5) and putting the option to do that.

     

     

    We can debate until the cows come home on the implications of doing such a saveback,which I understand the reasoning behind not having it. But I also understand the other side of the debate, where people want to be able to save back.

     

    Clearly an option needs to be implemented - else make it absolutely positively clear to any user opeining a prior version of a file in a newer version of InDesign will not be able to save back more than one version. Because at the moment it's not clear.

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 9:44 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    I've been trying not tojumb back in to this, but I have to disagree with something you just said, that you can work in CS5 and only use CS3 features. Unfortunatley that isn't really true.You might only "make use of features that exisited in CS3," but the cod you are using to do the layout is still the new code. The text engine is a prime example of this. There is nothing you can do in CS5 to make it behave as if it has a CS3 text engine. Will you see a difference if you go back to CS3? Maybe not, especially if you cripple your work using the single line composer, but odds are really good if you use the paragraph composer and justified text you'll see new line breaks.

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 10:07 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    Eugene Tyson wrote:

     

    Definitely Bob, it's a good debate.

     

    Whether you have the competive edge is not the point. The point is that not being able to swap files with someone with a prior version of indesign is crazy. People want the abilty. And if I have a client who has CS3 and I only have CS5 I'm not going to tell them to go see Bob, he has all the versions.

     

    There's way more than two sides to this coin. I can use CS5 without using features that are not available in CS3. So if I do that, shoudln't be able to save it to CS3?

     

    I'm not coming here and saying "it's stupid of Adobe" as I understand the problem. But I am trying to offere a reasonable alternative, like the ability to switch to CS3 features (basically turning off features that are new to cS4 and CS5) and putting the option to do that.

     

     

    We can debate until the cows come home on the implications of doing such a saveback,which I understand the reasoning behind not having it. But I also understand the other side of the debate, where people want to be able to save back.

     

    Clearly an option needs to be implemented - else make it absolutely positively clear to any user opeining a prior version of a file in a newer version of InDesign will not be able to save back more than one version. Because at the moment it's not clear.

    (DISCLAIMER for Bob - I thought of quoting only parts of this post, but I find that my reply applies to multiple points, so I left it intact.)

     

    There are valid business reasons for being able to work with files from prior versions of a software product, such as the ability to serve clients who haven't upgraded. There are valid business reasons for not spending development resources to enable compatibility of new and past versions. In the US automobile manufacturing industry, carmakers are required to maintain the availability of parts for some number of years back, to assure customers of a reasonable lifetime of use.

     

    Adobe provides technical support for at least one or two prior software versions, but doesn't make past products available. Perhaps there's some way to make earlier releases available that won't cannibalize new-release sales. For example, maintain only one or two back-versions, and only sell them to purchasers of current releases. The cost would be small; development costs would be nil, the EULA could stipulate that no unfixed bugs will be fixed, back-version tech support would be limited to the same degree it is now, etc. Perhaps licenses could be tied the purchaser's current-version license, something like the way suite point products are authorized by a single license; this would entail some development cost.

     

    Just a thought...

     

    HTH

     

    Regards,

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 10:22 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Peter - that's a valid point. Mostly I was giving simple examples of how it could be implemented. I'm not saying my ideas are flawless, but I'm trying to think on how this could be possible, instead of just slagging off adobe for not making it happen.

     

    Although you make a good point, as I said earlier, I've had that happen when the client has different version of the font, line breaks change that way too, as does leading, and kerning, etc.

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 10:50 AM   in reply to peter at knowhowpro

    If that were to happen, as a long time customer the only way I would go for allowing sales of prior versions without getting upset is if the total cost was the same as what was charged for the earlier full version plus the upgrade price to the new one.

     

    That's the only fair way to handle this, IMO.

     

    Bob

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 11:18 AM   in reply to peter at knowhowpro

    peter at knowhowpro wrote:


    ... Perhaps there's some way to make earlier releases available that won't cannibalize new-release sales. For example, maintain only one or two back-versions, and only sell them to purchasers of current releases. The cost would be small; development costs would be nil, the EULA could stipulate that no unfixed bugs will be fixed, back-version tech support would be limited to the same degree it is now, etc. Perhaps licenses could be tied the purchaser's current-version license, something like the way suite point products are authorized by a single license; this would entail some development cost.

     

     

    Nobody reads Post 34...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 1:57 PM   in reply to peter at knowhowpro

    I'm VERY old school, but I was always under the impression that 

    software/hardware manufacturers were required to support their 

    product(s) for 7 years.

     

    Am I going too far back or is Adobe just new generation and making up 

    rules as it goes along?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2010 2:03 PM   in reply to peterpica

    There is no requirement that I know of like that. In fact, the only free support you'll get from Adobe is for installation.

     

    After that you pay, or you're on your own.

     

    Bob

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 2:05 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    P Spier wrote:

    Nobody reads Post 34...

     

    History is too soon forgotten. Thanks for the reminder!

     

    Regards,

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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    Jun 13, 2010 2:13 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    I wasn't talking about free support. I only remember the days back 

    with our Bedford RTCS setup. We had 7 systems, including a print 

    server, file server and a Monotype imagesetter. Bedford was required 

    at the time, by contract, to support our system (both HW & SW) for 7 

    years -- assuming that we had a continuous maintenance contract for 

    the duration. At that time, back in 1984, the contract was $56,500 

    annually.

     

    sigh...

     
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