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Files become corrupt

May 19, 2012 6:41 AM

  Latest reply: molezeen, Oct 3, 2012 2:53 PM
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 5:08 AM   in reply to molezeen

    Just for curiosity, What fonts are you using!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 10:35 AM   in reply to molezeen

    It may sound very basic , at this point when you tried all these steps , but Turn preflight off, from Windows-->Output-->Preflight and then check

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2012 7:32 AM   in reply to molezeen

    molezeen wrote:

     

    "So, you're telling me that the cause of the corruption is that I used multiple master pages?"

    "Yes, that is correct."

    "But isn't InDesign intended to use multiple master pages, and aren't they set up so that they can be linked together?"

    "Yes, but you used multiple master pages [12 total], that is why you have problem.  You have them linked to Master A, you must have them linked to None, then it will work."

    Sounds like total nonsense to me. Of course you should be able to base one master on another. That's 100% standard and supported.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 24, 2012 7:43 AM   in reply to molezeen

    "But isn't InDesign intended to use multiple master pages, and aren't they set up so that they can be linked together?"

    "Yes, but you used multiple master pages [12 total], that is why you have problem.  You have them linked to Master A, you must have them linked to None, then it will work."

    I think you have to read this a bit more carefully, realizing that it's probably not written by a native English speaker, and realize that it's not Orwellian.

     

    You are dealing with a bug.

    Of course InDesign isn't supposed to have bugs, but everything has bugs.

     

    There is some reason why the bug is being triggered in this case. This guy is trying to tell you that the problem is related to chained master pages (I think. Though that detail isn't critical to my point), which is not something that everyone does, and if your master pages were arranged differnetly, you wouldn't have the problem.

     

    This is undoubtedly true. He's advising you of the area in which the bug lies. This is useful information, because it gives you a clue as to how to avoid the problem.

     

    It's not meant to be a "solution," but it's informatino about the problem so you can workaround it. And indeed, so Engineering can fix it.

     

    I am curious, do you have 12 independent masters, or do you have masters that are based on other masters, or deeper hierarchy levels?

    Oh right, I have your sample file. Yeah, you have A on which you base B on which you base C on which you base D ... all the way to M (13).

    That's definitely not a common configuration, and one I suspect you could avoid by flattening your master hierarchy a bit. It's a lot more common to have, say, 8 master based on 4 different masters.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 24, 2012 11:00 AM   in reply to molezeen

    In formatting a book with 16 chapters, where each chapter has it's own headers (e.g. title/author, or title/chapter name), this is easily accomodated with linked master pages. If the author changes the tile of his book from "Around the World in 97 Days" to "Around the World in 80 Days" it's a piece of cake to change that, once, and it flows through the entire book.  The text in the running heads is the only difference between the master pages.

    I'm afraid I don't understand.

    It's quite common to have, say, 11 master pages all based off a single master page. That is, Page A has common elements, and then pages B through M are based off of page A. It would seem like that would fit your requirements handily. Two levels of hierarchy.

     

    It's also reasonably common to have a bit more hierarchy. B, C, and D are based off of A, and are 3 different variants. Then E though M are based off of B, C, and D, depending. And then perhaps there is a special variant of M that changes on item. So three levels of hierarchy, plus the odd 4th.

     

    But what is uncommon is to have a twelve levels of hierarchy. Certainly it should work, but it's out of the ordinary, and bugs often arise in out of the ordinary situations.

     

    InDesign can easily handle many many master pages. But what's special in your case is the hierarchy depth. So comparing it to 80+ headers in Word is not the right comparison.

     

    Creating separate master pages, where everything has to be created from scratch, could take me several hours (sixteen masters total), and wouldn't be as goods as linking them. 

    Link them all to a single master and spend a few minutes cutting and pasting pages. I don't see why it would take several hours at all.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2012 2:22 PM   in reply to molezeen

    molezeen wrote:

     

    In formatting a book with 16 chapters, where each chapter has it's own headers (e.g. title/author, or title/chapter name), this is easily accomodated with linked master pages. If the author changes the tile of his book from "Around the World in 97 Days" to "Around the World in 80 Days" it's a piece of cake to change that, once, and it flows through the entire book.  The text in the running heads is the only difference between the master pages.

     

    It may also be possible that the entire book can be done with a single master, if all that is changing on your current masters is the headers/footers. This is waht variables exel at doing, and a running header variable or two on a single master may be able to do the work of all twelve that you are using now.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 25, 2012 12:28 PM   in reply to molezeen

    Well, let's see.

     

    Did you get a bug number?

    • No InDesign file can have more than 3-4 linked Master Pages without them becoming corrupted

    I think we need to be a bit more clear what "linked Master Pages" means, because for the naive interpretation that's certainly not true.

    I think they are perhaps saying, "If you chain more than 3 master pages, you are likely to experience corruption." And by chain, I mean master page D depends on master page C depends on master page B depends on master page A.

     

    That level of hiearchy is not normal for most InDesign users, so I am not surprised that there are bugs there that have not been found.

     

    It's emphatically normal for documents to have many (e.g. scores) of master pages that are all linked to a common master. That is, B1 through B20 all depend on A.

     

    In any event, any corruption problem is unambiguously a bug. Make sure to get a bug number. If there is resistance, that is bad, and you should push harder and escalate.

    • This is true for al versions of InDesign

    • This is normal for InDesign

    Well, if the claim is that this is not a new bug and it has always existed, I do not find that claim surprising. (For the aforementioned reasons.)

     

    • The only way to avoid the problem is to create smaller documents, chapter by chapter, and use the Book feature to combine them in to one finshed file for printing

    This I don't get at all. Why can't you just use Master Pages in the normal way? (I've been trying to ask that for several posts, but perhaps

    I have not been clear?)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2012 12:31 PM   in reply to molezeen

    OK, I don't have any files I can find with more than two or three masters based on the same parent, nor any with a chain of masters such as you initially described where a is based on b is based on c is based on d is based on e... so that page z would have 25 generations of parenting to go back through. Note that this is NOT  the scenario described in the help quote above. That desribes b based on a, c based on a, d based on a, and so forth, and that's a quite common setup.

     

    It wouldn't surprise me to see a long document with more layers of dependency, but I've never needed to go more than three, nor do I recall a case where I needed more than about a half-dozen masters in any single document, certainly not since the introduction of variables, but I tend to build really long docs as Books, not single files, just to make it easier to navigate and to spread the risk of total destruction. That said, I find the not-more-than-three-or-four-masters explanation completely without credibility. For one thing, I can't imagine you are the only one to ever try it, and if you are not, I can't imagine that in ten years nobody else has posted this "design limitation."

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2012 1:31 PM   in reply to molezeen

    There is no question that you should be able to do what you are describing. If you are getting document corruption due to using this type of document organization, you are indeed encountering a bug. And even if is either a built-in or defacto limit to such chaining of master pages in InDesign, the program should prevent you from having any more than such a limit and certainly not let your document.

     

    I've looked through our internal bug database and could not find any open bug that seems to correspond with anything like this. Do you have any information from whoever spoke to you in Tech Support, either a bug number or a case number for your incident?

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2012 1:42 PM   in reply to molezeen

    I haven't seen anything by way of an example of what you are doing, but here are a few thoughts.

     

    First, Is there anything on master C the is on master B, but NOT on master A? If what you are doing is changing the header each time, and you are always changing the same object, ALL of the masters can be based on A.

     

    Second, a running head variable picks up text that occurs on the page, or if it is not on the current page, on the first page where it does appear, working backward. Running head variables come in two flavors, character style or paragraph style, but for most situations the paragraph style flavor works fine.

     

    Here's how they work: Add text to the page using the style you want to pick up. In this case, probably a chapter title and an author name. This means you need to define two variables, one for each style, and that the chapter name and the author shold each be separatye paragraphs, and should each be assigned a unique style that is not used elsewhere. Place the variable on the master page where you want the text to appear. Make sure there is enough room inthe frame to hold the longest string that will get picked up all on one line (if you need to break lines, you'll have to define more variables and use character styles instead -- each variable picks up the entire string to which the style is applied) because for formatting purposes a variable is a single character and will not break. You can assigne any formatting you like to the variable, just like any other text, so it needn't match the formatting where the the text originally appears. Again, becasue the variable itself is a single character, if you need part of the text to appear differently from the rest in the header, you'll need to break it into multiple character style-based variables and assign character styles to the original text (these styles can be nothing more than names and not do any actual formatting in the original text).

     

    Variables can also pick up hidden or non-printing text in case you need to use something that doesn't appear in the final output. There are a number of ways to do this -- add an anchored object with the text and set it to non-printing, or add an entire non-printing layer, for example. When I add this kind of "label" I generally make it big and red so it stands out and I don't forget it.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 25, 2012 5:40 PM   in reply to molezeen
    Often I create new master with new guidelines to be used in that chapter only . . . and so if I've adjusted the guidelines and do not want them to appear in the next chapter's master, I would base the next guideline on an earlier master page.

    That's definitely not the normal use of master pages.

    A functional equivalent for you, I think, would be to duplicate the Chapter 3 master and make the new master the Chapter 4 master.

    Both Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 would be based on some common master, but 4 would not be based on 3, and you would not run into chaining.

     

    But normally, you'd have, say, a Normal Chapter master, and then base all the Chapter masters on the Normal Chapter.

    And maybe you'd have Normal Chapter with Guides and Normal Chapter without Guides and base the chapter masters on those two

    masters. etc.

     

    Incidently, I bet that you wouldn't have problems if your chained masters did not override objects on the parent masters, but I doubt that helps you very much.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2012 1:09 PM   in reply to molezeen

    I'm not going to attempt to tell you what to do here. I think what you've done SHOULD be working, but I'll toss out that on general principles I believe that the fewer generations you go through with chaining styles, master pages, or even basing one document on another by doing a save as with a new name over and over for things like magazine issues, the better off you will be be. A spoke-and-hub organizition for any of these parent-child relationships has fewer steps in general and fewer opportunities for problems to creep in.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 27, 2012 6:21 PM   in reply to molezeen

    molezeen wrote:

     

    Ok, fair enough.  Throughtout this month-long fiesta, one of the problems that has occurred, not with any predictability but in conjuncition with the corruption, has been that when the InDesign files become thoroughly corrupted, InDesign would sometimes freeze, and, usually everything else would freeze.  About half time, some things would unfreeze, and I could shut down InDesign, and a few time I had to power down the system.  (I am not wanting for resources in the general sense, not with 8GB of ram.)

    Power down? Something is seriously wrong.

    It should not be possible for InDesign to hang the operating system such that the OS does not respond.

    (I do 98% of my InDesign work on Macs, so I cannot give you perfectly solid Windows advice, but nonetheless my comments should apply to both platforms.)

     

    I assume you're saying that you cannot hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and get to the task manager and stop InDesign.

    Note that ID is a 32-bit app and cannot address more than 4GB of RAM under any circumstances, and perhaps substantially less under Windows (3GB?).

    I would suggest breaking out the OS diagnostic tools, but here's where my Windows knowledge takes a turn for the worse.

    I could speculate that perhaps InDesign is in a tight loop (when it hangs, it's either waiting for some other app/process/thread, and thus doing nothing, or it is in a tight loop doing something on its own) and the OS is having difficulty getting the cycles to handle the task manager. I don't think that should be something that should easily happen, but I guess it could. I hesitate to say "bugs in the operating system," but I do think that would have to be the case. What processor and how many cores? What other apps are running at the same time as InDesign and what kind of CPU usage? Do you have stuff like background virus scanning going on at the same time?

     

    OK . . . I know, like my egregious misuse of Master Pages, my false perception of corruption, my misunderstandomg of InDesing non-technicians who do not speak English, that this must be my fault too.

    I think you've misunderstood.

    It's not about fault.

    It's about what you can do to avoid the problems.

    It doesn't mean the problems are not there.

    But from the perspective of problem avoidance, fault is irrelevant.

    The only person who can avoid the problems today is you -- Adobe can't make you a magic release of InDesign on Tuesday (or at least, the chances of them doing so are vanishingly small), so it does all fall back to you.

     

    I think you may have misunderstood me back in post #2 when I said, "You describe four problems in subsequent bullets -- are those symptoms of the corruption in the first bullet, or is there some other indication you have of corruption?" It was not, and was not intended to be, a claim that your symptoms were not consistent with corruption in the document (or a "false perception"). They were consistent with corruption. But you structured them as five bullet points with the first bullet being corruption, and it was not at all clear whether you had evidence of the corruption aside from your subsequent bullet points. Personally I find it deeply ironic that we have additional confusion about hierarchy: that in your master pages, you used too much hierarchy (in my not-so-humble estimation), and in your bug reporting/discussion, you used too little (again, by my estimation).

     

    I don't think there's any false perception of corruption. There was (and is) a desire on my part for clarity -- to know exactly why you thought you had corruption, and what the symptoms were. And your post was sufficiently vague (again, because I couldn't tell if bullets 2-5 were intended to be examples of corruption, or if they were seperate non-corruption issues) that I sought clarification.

     

    Anyhow:

     

    I had flowed (File > Place > _____________. doc then with the shift key down, I clicked the text and it populated the book) a 210 page book with 56 tables from Word into a new InDesign file. (I'm taking everyone's advice: no master pages, at least not right now.)  After 8 hours of work on the tables only, I got to page 136, the last out port showed there was more text: it was a little red box with +. . .  great . . . I shift clicked on the next page, and 3 blank pages, but there's more text as indicated by the last out port, red with a little plus . . . again and again, blank pages . . . again and again blank pages.  

    Under normal circumstances, this just indicates that the formatting of the text won't fit in the text frame you have alloted to it. This can be because the type is too large, because there are keep options that don't fit, because of spacing before/after, literally a myriad of things.

    In your case, based on the narrative, it's probably because there is a table that is too large to fit in the textframe.

     

    The obvious choices are to use the Story Editor (Ctrl-Y) to check the contents of the story that is overset, and perhaps to make the containing text frame substantially bigger (maybe 10x bigger in both x and y dimensions). In the Story Editor, you could try temporarily deleting (or cutting) the table (or other text) that is directly after the overset indicator, as a test to determine the source of the problem.

     

    But you tell me, please.  How do I trust InDesign? We are now 4 for 4.

    Obviously you cannot trust it!

    It is has given you bad behavior and there is no end in sight.

    To the extent that you can try to determine what you do that causes it problems and avoid those things, great. But that's not always going to be possible.

    In this particular case it doesn't sound like a bug (unlike your other behavior).

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 27, 2012 7:45 PM   in reply to molezeen

    I don't know what to tell you about powering down other than useless non-platitudes ("This doesn't happen on Mac OS. It shouldn't be possible for an application to hang the operating system without serious bugs inthe OS.") Maybe you should try installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a spare hard drive or partition...I'm not surprised that Adobe is not surprised about this sort of thing, though. It probably does happen to many people, and in a very hard-to-track down way. And like a generic error (such as APPCRASH), it can occur for thousands of reasons...

     

    The i5 CPU M460 is a dual-core CPU. Initially I was going to suggest that a dual-core CPU was less likely to have these problems, but in retrospect I'm not sure that's true. I can imagine subtle hyperthreading issues tripping up the OS, etc.

     

     

    Assuming your other apps aren't actively working, they should be swapped out anyhow. I doubt memory has much to do with the situation. Antivirus software has been known to cause weird problems like this. I don't know, I suppose it is a shot in the dark, but I would try disabling it and see if it improves the situation. This is not to say you should not use anti-virus software, but sometimes some software, with some settings, has bad interactions.

     

    Hopefully someone else will have better suggestions.

    I know that the red out port means there is more that has not been included in the text frame.  But it is not a table that is too large to fit the fram: when I extend the text frame to 25 inches wide, the red out port turns blue, and there is nothing more in the text frame. It's empty, and it did not flow 78 pages in.

    Again, I would strongly encourage you to try the story editor as a diagnostic tool in these situations.

     

    You can also try exporting your Word document to RTF (or using whichever of .doc or .docx you are not using) and see if you get different results.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 6:10 AM   in reply to molezeen

    You absolutely need to look at taht story in Story Editor. Wahtever is a problem is probably in the very first line of the overset text.

     

    The page 136 sort of rings a bell, too, but I wouldn't swear to it. Several versions back there was a bug that stopped text flow, or skipped a page or something -- my memory is pretty foggy about what it was -- but I think it also may have involved text on a path and I thought it had been corrected.

     

    I know you don't trust ID, and I don't blame you, but you are expereincing very abnormal behaviors with consistency. That says to me that there is something unique about waht you are doing, or the way your system is configured. What else is running -- utilities, other applications, you name it. How many are startup programs? I've not seen trouble reports with most mainstream antivirus programs, but it wouldn't hurt to try turning of A/V for awhile, and the same for anti-malware and oany other "housekeeping" types of utilities or other startup programs that perform tasks not essential to Windows operation.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 30, 2012 6:21 PM   in reply to molezeen

    I've lost track...which corruption symptoms are you seeing this time?

    Dov, did you find anything useful?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2012 4:45 AM   in reply to molezeen

    I can't say I'm astonished that the problem is reappearing since you haven't really taken any steps to try to track down what the cause might be. You've isolated the symptoms (or the folks at Adobe have), but nobody so far seems to have any clue what is causing these symptoms to appear.

     

    Albert Einstein had a few things to say that I think may be approriate to your situation:

     

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result (in fairness, you did alter the master page scheme).

     

    A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.

     

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

     

    and

     

    It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.

     

    Which is to say that you really do need to spend the time now to try some diagnostic steps on your system to see if you can track down the source of your problem.

     
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