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What do pink-highlighted squares mean?

Apr 5, 2011 10:50 PM

I noticed that sometimes InDesign imports my Word documents with pink-highlighted squares instead of page breaks.


This seems to happen when there is an unusual character (anywhere?) on the previous page. For example, the long vowel in the word "Chōkan"...


How can I import my page breaks AND use unusual characters?


  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2011 1:13 AM   in reply to 123proust

    What number appears as Unicode value in the Info panel if you select this pink character?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2011 2:27 AM   in reply to 123proust

    I might be wrong here, but I recently imported a Word document into InDesign to try and work with it from there, and I also got pink-red squares around some text areas.

    Turns out these were areas where InDesign reverted to standard fonts in place of the other fonts it couldn't find.

    Perhaps this is what happened in your case, too?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2011 2:33 AM   in reply to 123proust

    A screenshot of your Indesign document with hidden charcters turned on might help.  Use the camera button on the web interface of the forum to post it.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2011 3:08 AM   in reply to Hawkland

    No, this same pink background is used for two different "errors".


    First one, and the one most people are familiar with, is the Missing Fonts marker. That's what happens when you open or import a document that was formatted on another computer, with differently named fonts, or when you applied formatting to a font in a style that's not available (fer instance, you tricked ID in applying Italics to the font Gisha).

    Missing Fonts can be easily found & fixed, since they are listed in the Find Font dialog.


    The other error is more insidious: the character that some font is applied to, has no representation in that font. So InDesign does two things: first, it shows the pink background; and second, it shows the "missing character" image of that font (which usually is some sort of crossed-out square ... but not always).

    Since the "underlying code" of the character is still there, all you have to do is apply another font to just this character.

    The error is properly called "Missing glyphs", because a 'glyph' is what a certain character representation is called in a font.


    So, it's either a missing font or a missing character? Alas, no.


    InDesign's import filter for Word contains lots of errors. Lots. And I mean it. This causes all kinds of weird things to pop up in imported documents, and it sometimes manifests itself as really really weird "character codes" which should really not be appearing at all in any document! (Which is, incidentally, why they appear as Pink Missing Glyphs -- they would not be found in any sane font).


    A couple of them I have come across:


    <?> -- yes that's how it appears, it's a Footnote Number Code gone Bad. ID imported a footnote but doesn't iknow what number it was.


    0xE000, 0xE001, 0xE002 (and so on) -- internal InDesign 'placeholder' markers. They are present inside the InDesign document itself, but they should not ever be visible to the user.


    0xFFFD -- the official Unicode Replacement Character. Inserted by InDesign when it really should have something inserted something else (a footnote, or a table, or an inline image, or (at times) something quite unclear when there wasn't anything in the original Word document).


    0xFFFE -- the official Unicode Not A Valid Character character. This code is officially documented as "Not Valid", and ought *never* appear in any valid document. ID still inserts it. 'Nuff said.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2011 2:21 PM   in reply to 123proust

    123proust wrote:

    I believe the characters that are causing this problem are the vowels with lines above them, and the consonants with dots above them. However, the pink squares are not replacing the characters, but the page breaks.


    That's some very good sleuthing you done, there. I've see the same but couldn't ever be bothered to find out what the cause could be. Adobe Engineers: if you can be wrestled away for a moment from toying with your iPads and read this!


    The unicode value of the pink squares is 0xE010.


    Yah. It's trash. And it's highly possible you are correct and it should be imported as perfectly regular page breaks, in this instance, ID fouled up and made it trash.


    Jongware, I don't want to change the font of every unusual character. This would make the words look wrong. What should I do?


    A-ha, but that's not what I was advertising. There is nothing wrong with your font or with your InDesign document.


    What you need to do is find each of these characters and remove them -- delete, kill, exterminate -- because they are, at best, placeholders for hard page breaks that never were recognized as such, and at worse, characters that ought not ever be visible (to the users, at least) inside a valid InDesign document.


    Not a solution, but if possible, contact Adobe Support and make them write up a technical support case for this. Don't give up at their initial answer "It's a user error", they WILL strive to wrestle themselves out of this.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2011 11:55 PM   in reply to 123proust

    What? We Gardenias?


    I adore Angel-Seax and never thought of it as "Old Anguish" like so many who were "forced" to study it in school. I wish modern English adhered to some of its old grammatical and spelling rules. Yes, English was once a gorgeous language.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 14, 2011 12:41 PM   in reply to [Jongware]

    I'm having a similar issue when placing text from a Word 2010 docx file into InDesign using File, Place. The symbols, all set in symbol font within the word document, come in with just the pink "missing font" highlight, but do not display. In addition, even though they are highlighted as missing, when I use the Find Fonts dialog box there is no missing fonts, and finding/replacing the Symbol Medium font doesn't do anything since InDesign isn't recognizing it as lost through that dialog. The font is on our system and I can manually add them through the glyphs palette or through manual formatting it to Symbol, but not all the missing symbols are the same symbol (inch mark, foot mark, Greek letter delta, em-dashes, etc.) so I can't just cut and paste them all in... ideas for a find and replace, or a fix of the issue? It happens with multiple files, from multiple templates, so I'm guessing it's a font thing between Word 2010 and InDesign CS5 since we just upgraded to both and never had the problem before... ideas anyone?


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