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Troubleshooting 101: Export to .idml or .inx to clear file corruption

Apr 3, 2012 9:23 PM

Sometimes a particular InDesign file may behave badly (if all your files are doing strange things, see Replace, or "trash" your InDesign preferences ). In such cases the first thing to try is export to .inx if you have CS, CS2 or CS3(InDesign Interchange format) by selecting File > Export… and choosing .inx from the file type dropdown, or if you have CS5 or later export to .idml. The resulting file should then be opened in ID and saved as a NEW .indd file.

 

 

Interchange format was set up to allow users to open files in a version of ID one release earlier (minus, of course, new features) than the one in which they were created. It reduces the file to the bare minimum of information needed to recreate the layout, and as a side effect it often strips out minor corruption that will cause strange behavior but is not bad enough to prevent the file from opening. Other things Interchange Format can help with are removal of stubborn unused swatches and references to missing plugins.

 

 

The  .idml (InDesign Markup) format was introduced in CS4  and in that version you have your choice (.inx is listed as CS3 interchange) and is the replacement for .inx going forward. My non-scientific intuition says that .idml is slighlty less effective than .inx at solving problems, so I would opt for .inx in CS4 as my first choice, but I also would not dismiss .idml out of hand if I suspect document corruption.

 

Updated 12/14/2011

 

Message was edited by: Peter Spier

Branched to a new discussion.
 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 17, 2009 6:28 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    This was extremely helpful. I crashed about a dozen times after updating from ID3 to ID4 before discovering this fix. I still don't exactly understand why this worked—I'm dim that way—but it did.

     
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    Apr 1, 2010 10:35 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Thanks. Worked for me also. CS3 asking for missing CS2 plugins.

     
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    Jul 6, 2010 11:23 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    That worked. Thanks so much. You just saved me an unbelievable amount of work.

     
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    Sep 1, 2010 1:09 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    oh dear god, thanks a lot, it fixed all the problems i had with a CS4 book opened in CS5, for an unknown reason the document had locked anchored object that was making CS5 crash everything i was trying to touch the anchor, the idml file fixed the problem, i can now choose to unlock the graphic (this action was grayed out before)

     

    plus it solved a problem i had with the text box inset option, couldnt change the right and left inset... now i can..

     

    just sad that it cannot auto-convert itself properly..

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 22, 2010 3:36 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Hi, I'm not seeing this option in CS5 under File>Export. Am I missing something?

     
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    Dec 22, 2010 3:51 PM   in reply to la jessica

    Yup...in CS5 it's export to IDML.

     

    Bob

     
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    Dec 22, 2010 4:21 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I did not see that - thanks for pointing it out.

     
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    Mar 5, 2011 3:43 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    My CS3 file went from 2mb to 1,7mb in CS5. Sweet


     
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    Apr 12, 2011 8:28 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Hi! I did this as you mentioned, and the file became much much smaller! So right now I can just continue my work using the new indd file is that right?

     
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    Apr 12, 2011 8:38 AM   in reply to Reneeong

    Yes.

    BTW: I have had no crashing problems since updating to CS5.

     
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    Apr 12, 2011 8:40 AM   in reply to MUJason

    okay thank you very much!

     
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    May 4, 2011 1:43 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I have several documents that I export to PDF using data merge. All of the documents have been exporting very nicely each and every time I use them with the exception of one. Today when I tried to export it, CS5 crashed. So I cut and pasted and made a new document, thinking that might work, but it still crashed. So I tried exporting the document as a IDML. I opened the IDML file and tried to export it using the data merge to PDF and it still crashed. Any ideas on what else I might try, besides redoing then entire 23 page document?

     
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    May 4, 2011 2:08 PM   in reply to chris@eeap.net

    To my knowledge, (through CS4) you cannot Data Merge to pdf, but rather create a new file. I have exported to pdf immedialtely after creating a merged doc, but at that point it is not saved.

     

    Are there images contained within the merge doc? I would look at those first.

    Hunt and conquer method - Start eliminating half the document pages or elements at a time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2011 2:12 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I am using CS5 and I do have graphics throughout the document. I will try eliminating the graphics and see what happens. I just find it wierd that I have been using this same document for the past 6 months, as well as the other documents, and yet today it decides to give me problems. @@

     

    Thank you for the quick response.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2011 2:13 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Thanks. I will do that tomorrow. I have some other projects that I need to work on for work right now. But I did say I was using CS5 and I am using Vista as my OS.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2011 7:31 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Yep.  Worked for me.  Cheers

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2011 1:26 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    How about if you are working on a book?  Export is not

    an option once you are in InDesign screen with the book file open but none of the component files open..  I have to export all 11 documents it is composed of?

     

    Using CS5.    That would be File>Export and in that window, Save As Type> in popdown choose IDML (index design markup language), right?  Then I link the new files to the book and delete the others????

     

    Thanks for your help.

     
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    Aug 10, 2011 1:54 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    wow 2 min to get an answer, very impressive!  It's a TOC problem

    , won't recognize the headings in the section its in.  Sometimes erases all the other text except the TOC-- like maybe I did something when adjusting the frames and it thinks the whole document is part of the toc.  (it used to work just fine)   Someone suggested maybe minor corruption, so I was looking into your proposed solution..  I just had the frames idea in the past few min.

    .   Where should I post this and what would u suggest as a heading

     

    btw is there a seach function on this site?  can't find one

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 10, 2012 2:29 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Great tips Peter. We recommend exporting to .inx (now .idml) as well to folks contacting us with corrupted InDesign files. If all fails, or if that is not even possible though, we as Markzware offer the Markzware InDesign File Recovery Service, whereby we attempt to salvage and recover your file for you. Just thought it important to mention this.

     

    Friendly Regards,

    David Dilling of

    Markzware

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2012 7:54 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Super helpful! I used the .idml extension since I'm running CS5.5 I've spent the past two days fighting a series of magazine layouts at my internship. I've been trying to get hyperlinks attached to the ads so we can upload our back issues to the iPad, but every layout from Nov 2011 onward would crash when I tried to add a new hyperlink. I tried your preferences-clearing method first (as well as some other methods I find on the web) in an effort to get the thing functioning long enough to use, but ultimately I just couldn't get the Oct 2011 layout to let me do anything, even with the preferences wipe. This little trick, though, fixed it. I've been attaching the links to the ads with ease. Thanks so much!

     
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    Aug 27, 2012 11:13 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Deleted the hyperlinks and the file got tuned.

     
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    Sep 18, 2012 9:57 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Awesome, simple solution! I was having trouble while exporting an interactive PDF (none of the buttons would work) but after making this, everything is working nicely!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 4:15 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    What do you do if your crashes are caused when you're exporting to idml?

     

    This is what's happening to me everytime I try to save back from CS6 [on my home Mac] in order to open in CS5.5 on my office's Mac. My copy of CS6 crashes on export to idml. I'm left with a 125 byte-sized idml 'file'. I've sent reports to Adobe several times now, and scoured the web for an answer with no success.

     

    By the way, CS5.5 worked fine when saving to idml.

     
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    Apr 4, 2013 4:47 AM   in reply to sewollefselrahc

    Hi, is CS6 crashing with EVERY file you try to export to IDML? Or is just one specific file? Make sure you have InDesign 8.0.1, which you can Update via the Adobe Applications Manager.

    Cheers, David

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 3:52 PM   in reply to David Dilling

    Hi, is CS6 crashing with EVERY file you try to export to IDML? Or is just one specific file? Make sure you have InDesign 8.0.1

     

    Yes. CS6 is crashing with every file. Single page or multiple pages. Newly created for the purpose of testing this issue or an older file that has previously given me no problems. It doesn't seem to matter, it crashes every time.

     

    Needless to say, this is causing a massive problem for my work, since I have no purchasing control over the CS5.5 using office I work in. Adobe - so far - has not responded once.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2014 10:36 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    worked for me. file>export>IDML. the elements were back but misplaced though . i had to rework the layout. anyone got better solution to this?

     
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