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Random pages suddenly going blank in ID5

May 31, 2012 11:23 PM

Tags: #cs5 #indesign #indesign_cs5 #blank_pages #page_flow_problems

My book interior file, which I have been feverishly working on day and night for the past six weeks to meet a deadline tomorrow, was finished and ready to upload to the printer when I realized I forgot to add chapter captions at the top of the masters.

 

So I went in to do that and was adding the chapter sections, etc.  It was going just fine until about halfway through.  Then suddenly whole pages started going completely blank.  The text wasn't reflowing; when I would get to the next visible page, it was correct.  The last page of visible text (before the blank pages) did not show an overset; and when I attempted to load my cursor and reflow the text onto the blank pages, they refused to allow me to put anything on them.

 

The only way I've been able to fix it is by manually deleting the blank pages, adding in the same number of new pages, and reflowing the text onto the new pages.  Unfortunately, ID is blanking out pages as fast as I can fix them.  I've tried exiting and restarting, but nothing seems to help!

 

My deadline is tomorrow at noon and I'm going to have a nervous breakdown.  Please tell me what on earth is going on!  How can I stop this mass hemorhaging?  Is there some way to get the invisible page content to reappear?

 

This is like a bad dream...

 

Lisa

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2012 11:39 PM   in reply to roma247

    Is the whole document (or at least large portions of the document) contained within one continuous story? If so, check the story editor to see if the content from the blank pages is still in the story or not. If it's there, but you are getting blank pages, it could be due to keep optitons. For example, if you have a bit of text set to keep all lines in a paragraph together, and to keep with the next paragraph, it might show up fine until you get to that tipping point where all of the text won't fit into the text frame it is within. When this happens, InDesign is doing what it is told: i.e. if all lines of the paragraph must be kept together and there isn't enough room in the text frame, move the text to the next frame. If the next frame isn't large enough either, it will keep going until it reaches the last frame in the thread. If it still doesn't fit, it will be overset.

     

    The solution is to either change the size of the frame, change the copy to fit, or change the keep options. If this doesn't address your situation, please post back with any further detail.

     
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    Jun 1, 2012 1:26 AM   in reply to roma247

    Is InDesign patched to 7.0.4? There was a strange bug that would cause pages to suddenly go blank (text would reflow to the next page), but I don't recall if that was in CS5 or a later version.

     
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    Jun 1, 2012 6:18 AM   in reply to roma247

    You should be able to get the update from the Help menu, Help > Updates, but it can also be downloaded from http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/ (pick your version and platform from the dropdown list).

     

    Is there anything on the pages if you try to select with either the Selection tool or the Text tool? Do you have Smart Text Reflow enabled?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 7:41 AM   in reply to roma247

    What you are describing sounds suspiciously like the page has a [Paper]-filled frame in front of everything. I saw that on someone else's file last month. Select a blank page, then open the Layers panel and do a little investigating to see what's listed, then do the same for whichever master page is assigned.

     
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    Jun 1, 2012 7:55 AM   in reply to roma247

    I have the same problem with CS5. I layout large chapters with many footnotes, but little or no graphics. As soon as I start to make any kind of corrections, even changing a page number in the chapter table of contents (which obviously doesn't effect text flow), blank pages start appearing where text should be. I would appreciate anyone who has an solution to this problem!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 8:22 AM   in reply to vth55

    @vth55 – this relies to an old bug way back to CS3 or CS4. It's fixed now in CS6. No chance to escape from it in CS5 other than "shake" the text frames ;-). I mean change the bounds of the text frames a bit, bring them back to what you like and hope for that the texts will reflow orderly…

     

    Uwe

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 8:31 AM   in reply to Laubender

    Thanks, Uwe. I knew I remembered this as a bug, and it seems to me you've had a lot of experience playing with it.

     

    Did changing the fonts, or export to .idml, ever make any difference?

     
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    Jun 1, 2012 8:37 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    @Peter – export to IDML is worth a try. But no guarantees…

     

    Uwe

     
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    Jun 1, 2012 8:45 AM   in reply to Laubender

    Do I remember that ID was somhow losing the values for the frame bounds? (sorry, roma and others, this is getting into the inner workings of ID, but Uwe is actually pretty knowledgable about this, and he may be able to provide more detail about what is happening)

     
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    Jun 1, 2012 9:12 AM   in reply to Laubender

    Great to hear this bug has been fixed in CS6. So far I have stayed away from CS5 and 5.5 because of the blank page problem. Although it does it occasionally in CS4, it's rare, and only after I have made massive corrections to a file. Thanks for your help.

     
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    Jun 1, 2012 9:20 AM   in reply to roma247

    Try selecting the frame in the layers panel (click the dot next to the name), then go to Object > Convert Shape > Rectangle and see if after that you can enter dimensions into the height and width fields in the control panel.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 11:10 AM   in reply to roma247

    Ouch.

     

    Some more academic information... What's your OS? I'm not sure this isn't one of thos Mac-only bugs that makes us Windows users smile.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 11:13 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I'm using Windows 7

     
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    Jun 1, 2012 11:18 AM   in reply to vth55

    vth55 wrote:

     

    I'm using Windows 7

    Sorry to hear that.

     

    Thankfully I've never been bitten by this, but I don't do a huge amount of long-doc work.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 11:43 AM   in reply to roma247

    OK, so maybe I go t it backwards, and it bites Windows users, not Mac, or perhaps it doesn't care and is an equal-opportunity pest.

     

    XP, eh. Waht do you hate about Windows 7? It's different, for sure, but once you get used to finding where they hid stuff, it seems OK to me, and is more stable.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2013 12:11 PM   in reply to roma247

    No answer, but ME TOO. This describes exactly what has happened to me this week . Long file, massive revisions, random spreads go to another dimension. Text is running "underground" re-emerging at proper point at subsequent page. Also tiny square in middle of blank spread tha goes wonky when clicked. Another feature is that trying to add new text box on "blanked" spread pasteboard makes entire pasteboard "explode" to huge size and will not allow additions.

     
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    Feb 2, 2013 12:34 PM   in reply to paulroyster

    I don't see that anyone tried export to .idml as an option. See Remove minor corruption by exporting

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2013 4:39 PM   in reply to roma247

    Export to idml and re-open recovery did salvage file without blanked-out pages. Are there other corruptions? Will it happen again? I have 200+ pages to re-proof and re-slug, or do I just trust that "magic happened"?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2013 5:05 PM   in reply to paulroyster

    It's probably OK, but belt and suspenders thinking says to export the text as ID tagged text and place that into a new file.

     

    Whatever you do, Save AS often to a new file so you have backups.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 30, 2013 8:11 AM   in reply to roma247

    I have been having this problem for years, with CS5 on a Mac. It always seems to happen right as I'm finishing up, and has cost me hours and hours of redoing pages. I'm guessing no one has found an answer? I hate to pay more to upgrade to CS6, it seems pretty unfair considering this is obviously a bug in their system. I just can't understand it. It's completely random (it seems) and the items still show up under layers but are not really there...or are they? If anyone has figured it out please let me know. Thanks!

     
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    Apr 30, 2013 8:53 AM   in reply to Rocksand1

    Without seeing your files it's pretty much impossible to say waht's going on. Do they Output to PDF correctly? Are layers set to non-printing?

     
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    Apr 30, 2013 9:04 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    My problem is exactly as described above. One minute everything is completely fine, I export to pdf, everything is perfect. The next minute, right in the middle of working, I notice pages are starting to become blank. Sometimes it's random objects, sometimes full pages. The links show up in the links panel and on the layers panel, but you can no longer see them or select them on the pages. If you export to pdf, they are not there. If you try to select them, you only see a teeny tiny square in the middle of the page, you can't resize it or zoom into it.

     

    There have been times when I have been able to close without saving, reopen, and all is fine. But most times, it's irreversible. If I close the file even WITHOUT saving, the next time I open it, the items are still missing. I can attach the file if there is any way to do that on here. I have used InDesign for years, and I am positive I am not doing anything to cause this. One minute it's fine, the next it's messed up. It happens a lot of times after an export to PDF, but sometimes just at random times.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 30, 2013 9:47 AM   in reply to Rocksand1

    Attachments have been diabled for a few years, but you can post a link to the file hosted on a server someplace.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 30, 2013 9:59 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I have uploaded my file, you can get to it through this link:

     

    http://www.filedropper.com/messedup

     

    It is the messed up InDesign page, along with a pdf of what it looked like right before it went blank. You can click on the Links panel and see that the links are still there. It's mostly text boxes and shapes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 30, 2013 11:18 AM   in reply to Rocksand1

    @Rocksand1 – this is a very "interesting" InDesign file. Every object pasted from another orderly InDesign file is scaled "infinitely" small…


    Factor: 1.73355023824233e-21

     

     

    Uwe

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 30, 2013 11:22 AM   in reply to Laubender

    That makes sense as to why the objects are still "there" but I can't see them. The problem is to understand why this would happen and what on earth I can do about it after it does. The oddest thing about it is that it happens so randomly without warning. I do seem to notice it most times immediately following an export to pdf, or after InDesign crashes, which happens to me quite often.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 30, 2013 11:27 AM   in reply to Rocksand1

    On the other hand:
    if you select all page items on page 1 (cmd + a) and copy that to a different InDesign file, the objects are pasted without problems and are not scaled (other than intended).

     

    Uwe

     
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    Apr 30, 2013 11:29 AM   in reply to Laubender

    You also could add a new page to the file and paste them there.

     

    Uwe

     
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    Apr 30, 2013 11:31 AM   in reply to Laubender

    Duplicating the messed-up page leads to visible, not-scaled page objects…

     

    Uwe

     
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    Apr 30, 2013 11:32 AM   in reply to Laubender

    Oh my gosh, YOU FINALLY SOLVED IT!! I can't tell you how awesome this is. I am totally willing to deal with copy pasting it as long as I can get the pages back, that is so awesome. I'm not worried about why it happens as long as I can fix it. I can't thank you enough, I don't know why I never thought to try that before. If only I had known this a long time ago. THANK YOU!!!!

     
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    Apr 30, 2013 12:11 PM   in reply to Rocksand1

    I exported your messed up page to .idml and it reopened fine in CS5.5.

     
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    Apr 30, 2013 12:14 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Wow, thank you guys so much! You have no idea how much time this has costed me in the past. I am so glad to not have this dread hanging over me anymore, wondering when it will happen again.

     
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