We do engourage PDF use whenever possible, but a big part of our clients work on an extreme deadline and forceing them to always provide us an absolute final version PDF for all print items at all hours of the day is not the customer service game we want to play. Often a voice approval for a small change that is needed can be made and proofed using mobile phones, but only if we have the native file and we make the change.
I guess it all goes back to the difference between a "therortical" designer and "real life" designer. Some designers think that it makes them a better person if they have the latest version just to print black ink on white paper and a real life designer can make a masterpiece in Publisher. Which by the way we print beautiful 4-color work directly out of Publisher all the time.
Which simply proves that it’s the artist, not the tool that’s important.
I admire your dedication to keeping your clients happy and being able to accept all versions of software. But I would caution you about something you said in your original post:
“…upgrades that make silly changes almost nobody will uses just to be able to do basic printing, which is what a majority of professional print consists of.”
Many print shops are beginning to see the writing on the wall. Print is not dead but print only is. You should probably be looking into offering digital publishing services as well as traditional print and this is where the newest version of InDesign soars above earlier ones.
Printers who tweak files for designers do everyone a disservice, in my opinion. If there's a problem with how I've prepared a file, I want to know, and I want to knwo waht needs to be done to fix it so it doesn't happen again. If you don't tell the client how to solve problems you're doomed to fixing the same mistakes over and over.
And I don't buy the deadline argument. I've re-submitted many a PDF at the last minute.
We are going in that direction. But what I said was, "if it isn't a big enough change to merit a whole number upgrade, then it shouldn't enough to force us to pay to upgrade." In other words, make it a real big deal or just make it an in-version upgrade for no charge. And keep it compatable with others who are using the same whole number version. It is the incompatability and not being able to open a 5.5 file in 5.0 that causes the biggest issue when we are just doing printing.
This whole issue started when a large customer, who does print on paper only, decided to upgrade from CS3 to CS5 and went to the store and bought the box on the shelf and started working with it and was so excited because they were now up to date with all the printers they work with. They do enough work to spread around to several of local printers besides us. Now we all have to upgrade because they bought a box that said CS5 when realy it is CS6 because it is not campatable with CS5, but for some reason Adobe doesn't want to call it CS6. I guess that will cut into their scheduled 2012 upgrade profits.
The whole thing is just a vicious neverending cycle that IS the cost of doing business and cuts in to our profits. Most of the work that really pays the bills and keeps a printng company open is basic printing. The profits from the basic printing is what allows us to be able to expand into digital publishing which in reality is attempting to take away the need for the basic printing and taking away the jobs of the people that do it. So I get to hire one or two high-priced designers to do digital publishing and am forced to fire the many people that have invested their lives in this printing company. But I guess I should just sit back and say "upgrade your lives people if you want to be part of the modern world and keep working here."
But nobody really cares or wants to hear this. Just shut up and send in $399 for every copy I need to stay up to date.
We do let the customers know what the problem is. We will NOT make major design changes that the artist should be responsible for. But many times, just by pure chance, we see an incorrectly spelled word, or a puctation error or two spaces between word that the artist overlooked. We are not in the business of proofreading, but sometimes it just falls in your lap and we don't want to go ahead and print it wrong. We will contact the responsible party no matter what time it is if they are on a super tight schedule, but if it is 2 am and they will approve us making the small change without having to get up, get dressed, go to work to make a new PDF, we will go ahead and do it.
I don't know anything about you and the volume of design work you do, but I would bet almost any amount of money that we do a larger volume of printing than you do designing. And these small but necessary changes happen more than you would ever imagine. Yes a PDF can be edited if made correctly, but still sometimes a single space change can cause reflow or force text out of center and these changes can only be made with changes to native files. We request PDF's and native files for printing. We use the PDF for most work, but the native files are only used when needed. Our printing practices are not the issue here so I will end this conversation. The real problem is the constant charging for upgrading without maintaining compatability between versions.
ProfessionalPrinter wrote:So I get to hire one or two high-priced designers to do digital publishing and am forced to fire the many people that have invested their lives in this printing company. But I guess I should just sit back and say "upgrade your lives people if you want to be part of the modern world and keep working here."
Let's turn it around a bit...what exactly have you invested in those print designers? Have you offered to pay for HTML/CSS classes? How about all day seminars that might be held in your area? A Lynda.com subscription perhaps? How about a few good books?
If you have and they haven't taken advantage of it, then shame on them. If on the other hand you've offered none of that then shame on you.
I say this as someone who was print only until a few years ago. I spent hours, days, weeks, months, and years, learning new skills. HTML/CSS for web and EPUB and the new Digital Publishing Suite tools for publishing to iPad, and other tablets, so yes, telling people to upgrade their skill sets is certainly something you encourage.
FWIW, I would estimate that I've gone from 100% print a few years ago to perhaps 5%. IOW, I speak from experience. I'd be starving to death if I remained a print only designer.
When I made the statement about "forced to fire the many people that have invested their lives in this printing company" I was talking about the skilled technicians that run the press, cut the paper, fold and assemble the books. If we went form 100% print to 5% print, there is no telling how many people would lose their jobs.
You sit at your desk and know your world and I sit at my desk and know my world and neither of us can make decisions for the other. I pay for taining, I pay for resources, I pay for hours, days, weeks, months, and collectively years for employees to learn HTML/CSS and other design skills. So don't you snap back with your "holier-than-thou" responses because you are a "Community Professional." The continuing cost of business for items such as software upgrades is a major concern for companies like mine. We are trying to move into the future of digital publishing AND maintain print work so we can keep our employees employed. We have to look at every aspect of the business and un-necessary upgrades is a big part of it.
No matter what your background is, you will never know what I go through on a daily basis with my business and I will never know what you have to deal with. This has gotten far of the original thread so lets just end it here.
Seems to me you’re the one who came here judging how another company does business but you don’t want anyone else to do the same for you?
For starters, you totally misread my statement and I suggest you read it again. I asked if you provided those things. I did not accuse of not providing them.
Secondly, you referred to designers and now all of a sudden it press operators.
Yes, this has gotten way off topic but it always does when this topic comes up.
Wow, I can't belive the replies here. I'm my company's webmaster/web designer, and I work with my company's graphic designer. She's on a Mac, I'm on a PC. She went to 5.5, and I recently upgraded to 5. I can't simply open her InDesign files to help her out (missing plugins, etc). It seems like we're constantly having to upgrade. We do use PDF's when we share outside, but inside, if she's not in to export to a PDF, then I'm trying to access the native file (as in the case of today, where I'm on a deadline, she's out on holiday vacation, and I can't open a file). Lovely.
I actually don't know why anyone is still surprised by this -- it's hardly been a secret (we posted this information when CS5.5 was released) and at this point it really is old news. I understand your frustration, but if the two of you are going to collaborate, you really need to stay in synch with your versions.
You can believe it or not believe it but it's been that way since InDesign was released. And PDF is not the answer, IDML is. She needs to export to IDML and you can open that.
Normally that's a pretty lousy workflow but the text engines and major print features are pretty compatible in CS5 and CS5.5.
Don't read entire posts huh? I said shes out on vacation. Yea we all can afford to upgrade every time adobe compiles a few new tools. No skin off my back, as i'm transitioning us to different tools.
If you're in dire straits, one of us, including Bob, will be more than happy to convert a file for you, but you need an attitude adjustment. We're all users here, just like you. Vacations are not the cause of the problem, nor are you forced to upgrade at any time. Upgrading is a choice, as is which version of InDesign you use for any particular project. Every version of InDesign released to date is able to co-exist with every other version on the same system so you needn't remove older versions when upgrading. Thr only thing you cannot do is install regional localizations, like the ME or CE version, on the same machine with the same generation of another localization -- you can't have both both US and ME versions of CS5.5, but you can have CS5 and CS5.5 in any combination you like on the same sytem.
But, guys, you are sounding like Adobe apologists here. Be reasonable. What is so wrong with asking Adobe to provide us with an option in the save dialogue (and/or the package dialogue) to select an InDesign version to 'make compatible' with? They manage to do it in Illustrator. The current workflow – backsaving via IDML, opening in CS4 and checking nothing has gone awry, backsaving via INX, opening it in CS3 to make sure nothing has gone awry – before packaging up in CS3 for a printer is just a total pain in the backside.
There are technical reasons why that is not possible. The export path, while a pain, is the only option that is doable while keeping the cost of the software low enough for users to afford it. Would you like to pay perhaps ten times more to have a save as button instead of an export? I know most user would not and most users don't need the back saving features at all.
I't pretty hard to believe that iin most files moving from CS5 to CS3 would not result in real problems for printing. The text engines are different enough int he versions that your text is virtually guaranteed to reflow someplace, and of course if you accidentally use any features that were introduced after CS3, those will be lost completely. What you are doing is a disaster waiting to happen. If your printers cannot handle files later than CS3 and won't take PDF (for which version of ID is completely irrelevant), you really need to work in CS3.
But, guys, you are sounding like Adobe apologists here. Be reasonable.
You're right, we do.
On behalf of everyone here, sorry about that. Merry Christmas!
I'm afraid it is the result of being stuck answering the same question over and over from many people with increasing levels of hystrionics about it. InDesign Engineering has made its choice and is going to stick with it, so we all get to live with it. It's just the way it is.
Just a reminder, a viable solution for those in dire straits is to install the trial version of CS5.5.
My "attitude" came from reading the replies here. Just say you understand and stop replying worth your own attitude. It comes of as a bad representation of what you think your trying too convey and add you can see, fuels the frustrated like myself.
I am having this same problem:
It gave me an error message:
"The document "XYZ.indd" uses one or more
plug-ins which are not currently available on your system. Do you want
to open anyway?"
Then refused to open anyway, saying it was missing these plugins:
Generic Page Item.InDesignPlugin
But I am using InDesign 5, created the file using InDesign 5, have never had 5.5 on my computer, and no one else has opened this file except for me (it is saved on my computer and no one else has access to it), so it wasn't opened or saved in 5.5 ever. Help!
It's pretty much impossible that the file wasn't saved in version 7.5.
You can try opening in a text editor like Notepad on Windows or Text edit on Mac. If you scroll down theough the file, the first part is pretty much unreadable, but you should come to a section that starts to look at least somewhat readable and somewhere in the first few lines of that section you should see an @ symbol followed by the version number, 7.0.something or 7.5.something and that will tell you.
Thanks so much for your help! I just realized what happened. My company was upgrading me from CS3 to CS5 in the fall, and I downloaded the trial version of InDesign from Adobe (which must have been 5.5) so I could check out the new version while waiting for them to get their act together. Clearly, this is the file I chose to work on at that time. Now the mystery is, why did they only upgrade me to 5.0 instead of 5.5 since it obviously was available at that time?? Sigh.
I really appreciate your help, Bob and Peter.
so i just came across the same problem with a partner company we work with. they have macs and we have pc's. we both are on cs5.0 version and their indesign files produce the same exact errors as described in the original post. is there a work around with this or not? i have dealt with other companies that use macs and we never had problems with the indesign files.
One more time...
If you get the please upgrade your plugins error you are trying to open a file that was saved in a newer version than the one you are using. NOTHING else causes this error. InDesign files are essentially platform agnostic except for fonts.
CS5.5 is NOT the same as CS5, and is not backward compatible. CS5 is NOT the same as version 5, which is also known as CS3.
Ask whover sent you the file to export to .idml and send you that, and if you really have CS5 and not CS3 it should open.
Hey Bob... I'm not sure if your over taxed now at this point and saving files backwards for people but Im hoping to have the same...I have 5 files and my client is kinda hoping to get some proofs soon.
Any help would be great. I could share a dropbox folder also.
they open it fine, they're the ones that created it. its just strange to me.
these are the windows that pop up when i try to open them:
"Missing Plug-Ins" Window:
"Cannot Open File" Window:
GENERIC PAGE ITEM.RPLN
John Hawkinson wrote: Just a reminder, a viable solution for those in dire straits is to install the trial version of CS5.5.
Beautiful - thanks, John. I couldn't contact the person who had originally saved the file I can't open, and didn't realize this was a viable solution until I read that, so I'm downloading and installing it now. CHEERS!
I was just remnded that Jongware wrote a script that anyone with CS4 or later can use (and it may also work in CS3) that will tell you definitively what version of ID was used to save any file.
I know you are probably sick of this topic by now - I just need to verify that the issue runs one way. The organization I work for clearly has CS5 and 5.5 - My desktop must be running 5.5 and my laptop 5.
If I create on the 5 version the 5.5 shouldn't have a problem opening? Or do I need to export from 5 in a similar fashion to be accessed by 5.5.
Wiltonhouse, we never get sick of this topic! It's one of the perks that come with every new InDesign version, and I find it quite amusing to read how upset and personally offended people can get about something as simple as "a new version" (And that every 18 months!)
Opening older documents into a newer version should theoretically be fine -- "theoretically", because the greater the distance between the two versions, the more susceptible to random problems this seems to be. In your case, 5 to 5.5, you should be totally 99.99% fine.
In case of doubt: if you find anything suspicious, anything at all in this file in CS5.5, export to IDML and open that instead. That's a way to make sure the file gets re-built from scratch, and usually sorts out problems right away.
And remember that this indeed is a one-way street, as far as the native InDesign document is concerned. You will not be able to open your freshly edited document on your laptop. If you suspect you might need this, Think Ahead and save a copy of the file as IDML as well. As long as you are not using any of the new features that were introduced in CS5.5 (uh -- can't think of one right away), that ought to work.
I was more offended and frustrated with myself for spinning my wheels thinking Dropbox had somehow added plugins and was looking to fix that before I hit the forums to find the answer.
Truly a grrrrr morning with not enough coffee.