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File Crashing on Output - printing/PDF/other

Jul 1, 2013 9:15 AM

Tags: #file #problem #pdf #crash #indesign #output #print

Firstly - with any file that is repeatedly crashing make a backup of it Immediately!


Option 1

Try to remove corruption using the Export/Save to IDML link to how to here


Option 2

  1. Determine how many pages in your document
  2. Export or Print your document in halves, i.e., if it's 200 pages then export or print page 1-100 then page 101-200
  3. Keep halving the document pages until you find the problem pages, i.e., 1-100 crashes then try 1-50 and 51-100, then 1-25 and 26-50 etc. until you've found the page(s) that are crashing


When you've narrowed it down to a single page or multiple pages try to find out what is causing it to crash you can do this by:

  1. Move half the items on the page to the Pasteboard (do not delete them) and try to export again, if it crashes then move more items to the pasteboard and so on until you find the culprit(s)
  2. Recreate the object(s), i.e., if a particular image is causing it to crash, then don't duplicate that frame. You should use File>Place and replace the image within the layout in a new graphic frame.
    1. Images
      1. If the file still crashes then you should resave the image as a complete new file name and different file extension, if it's PSD then save as TIFF or vice versa.
      2. (Note some special file formats like DCS or EPS and PDF should not be opened in Photoshop if they contain vector elements - if you don't know if they do or do not please do not open them in Photoshop)
    2. Text Frames
      1. Copy that text and Place it in a text editor like Notepad or TextEdit to strip all the formatting.
      2. Create a new Text Frame and reimport the text by using File>Import or using Copy and Paste
      3. Restyle the text to your liking



Any suggestions, edits or other workflows for files that won't output via print or other method, or will not export using File>Export are thoroughly welcome.

Branched to a new discussion.
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 9:38 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    Thanks for posting this Eugene.


    An additional comment about "fixing" problem text:


    I often have very good luck replacing text that is causing file crashes using InDesign Tagged Text, which will preserve the formatting. To export tagged text you must have some sort of active text cursor, either a selection, or just a flashing cursor in the story. With an active cursor InDesign Tagged Text will become an option in the "type" dropdown when you select File > Export...


    If you have selected some text, only the selection will be exported. A flashing cursor with no text selected will export the entire story, even if it is threaded across many pages. You will have two options after choosing tagged text and pressing OK in the dialog, abbreviated or verbose, and it doesn't seem to matter which you choose, other than a small  difference in the size of the text file that is saved. To use the tagged text file you place it, in the same way you would place a Word file or other text file, but ID will interpret the internal tagging and bring it in formatted.


    I will often replace an entire story this way, but on occasion I've also found it works well to export either the entire story, or just a selection of a section I've identified as a problem, then place the tagged text file on the pasteboard. From there I will copy the text I need and paste into position replacing a problem paragraph or two. This seems to give an added layer of cleanup without losing the formatting.


    I actually developed this technique a few years ago working on a file that was causing problems for Eugene, but I'm not sure he remembers.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2014 11:23 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    One other thing to be aware of when exporting an InDesign file: all parts of the file MUST be locally saved / available.


    I have everything saved on my SkyDrive, and the export kept failing until I made all parts of the file (links, etc.) available offline.  Once I did that, the file exported perfectly.  I am not sure why this is an issue, as InDesign reported no errors in my project, until I had to export the design for approval.  It was blind luck that I tried offline availability; no searches brought up that as an issue.


    If you are still having issues, I hope this may help!

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