1 2 Previous Next 41 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2017 6:26 AM by Randy Hagan

    Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!

    GraphicsGeezer Level 1

      I'm typing out a 2000 word brochure in InDesign. But InDesign doesn't keep up with my typing, which is not incredibly fast. When I wish to check to see if I've got a word right, I have to wait up to 30 seconds for this program to catch up. The stupid beachball of death is my constant companion. I tried this in the Story Editor because it contains less font info, but no faster.

       

      I've just cleaned out the cache on my Mac which made everything faster, but InDesign is still a very slow and unpleasant program to work with. If there are any alternatives I'd love to hear about them.

        • 1. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
          Randy Hagan Adobe Community Professional

          Do you have a word processing program? It's a lot easier for InDesign to place and format text that was already created in a word processing program, and even the simplest word processing programs have far more robust spelling/grammar checkers and copy editing tools than InDesign. InDesign is much slower than a word processing program because it's not only processing the character you want for each letter on the keyboard, but also the font, copyfitting and placement information of each letter as you type it into a page layout.

           

          Different horses for different courses. Once you've got the text exactly the way you want it in a word processing program, you can just use InDesign's File>Place menu command to bring it in and make it look exactly the way you want. It'll save you a lot of time and aggravation to do it this way rather than type a couple thousand words directly into InDesign.

          • 2. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
            GraphicsGeezer Level 1

            You're right, of course. I finally bowed to common sense and finished my typing in Open Office, which was much better than InDesign. But I've done lots of typing over the years in early versions of InDesign and Quark and Pagemaker.  All of them worked better than the current version.

            • 4. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
              GraphicsGeezer Level 1

              El Capitan

               

              I don't know what you're asking for in Version ID

              • 5. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                I think it is a simple question, which version of InDesign do you use? CS6? CC? CC2014? CC2015?

                • 6. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                  Derek Cross Level 6

                  And the answer to Willi's question is rather vital. InDesign CS6 for example, is not supported under El Capitan and, if you're using this version, it may be the cause of your problem.

                  • 7. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                    dissidently Level 2

                    Read the post directly above yours. He's using the current version.

                    • 8. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                      dissidently Level 2

                      Yes, this is a problem in Indesign. Though I've noticed it throughout the CC's. Prior to that typing was reasonably OK... but from CC onwards, regardless of the power of your Mac, Indesign typing is glacial. Editing text is equally painful.

                       

                      As far back as a 3 years ago people on these forums were making fun of those that bemoaned the typing speed of Indesign for not using word processors to create the textual content.

                       

                      I never understood that.

                       

                      To me, having design and layout and typing input at the same time has some serious advantages when creating a written piece with fragmented thoughts, components, notations and the like. So I've found other tools.

                       

                      Scapple, from the guys that make Scrivener, is pretty good. Barebones, but good for getting all those disjointed pieces laid out nicely. And there's not page size limit, so you can make enormous things, the size of a wall. And its performance is stunning. Flawless. Even with tens of thousands of words and hundreds of text item frames.

                       

                      Other than that... Apple's Pages, in Layout mode, is pretty good. Much better performance than Indesign, but some funky "Auto-layout" stuff that takes a bit of getting used to. It tries to solve problems ahead of time when you're doing layouts, which is often not needed and sometimes very unwelcome. But can be worked around by setting Z-order to solve issues.

                      • 9. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        Nowhere does the OP state what version and build of InDesign is being used. Additionally, simply saying El Capitan leaves open the possibility that the O/S is unpatched.

                        • 10. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          Actually, "current version" as a description turns out NOT to refer to the latest patch of the latest release more often than you might expect.

                          • 11. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                            dissidently Level 2

                            You're right, of course. I finally bowed to common sense and finished my typing in Open Office, which was much better than InDesign. But I've done lots of typing over the years in early versions of InDesign and Quark and Pagemaker.  All of them worked better than the current version.

                             

                            He contextualises his experience, AND then says current version. You can rest assured he's recently updated to the current version, and amazed at the lack of performance.

                             

                            But it doesn't matter. So long as he's using any version that's CC, he's going to hit this same problem.

                             

                            And none of you have a fix.

                             

                            And Adobe doesn't care to fix it, nor consider it a problem.

                             

                            They created a "plain" text editor, in Indesign, rather than solve this problem.

                             

                            Stop being obtuse, and deal with what he's actually asking about.

                            • 12. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                              dissidently Level 2

                              It wouldn't hurt to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, first. He contextualises, and seems reasonably experienced with page layout apps, and knows why he'd like to have performant, live typing in a layout program.

                               

                              If you don't understand that, are too cynical of users to give him the benefit of the doubt and don't care to make an initial effort to be honest about the sources of the experiences he's having, you can probably get a job as an Adobe Product Manager.

                              • 13. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                dissidently wrote:

                                 

                                It wouldn't hurt to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, first.

                                We're trying to help, which is more than I can say for anything you've ever done here.

                                 

                                As already pointed out, we don't assume anything around here. I wish I had a dollar for everyone claiming to be up to date that wasn't.

                                • 14. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                  John Mensinger Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  dissidently wrote:

                                   

                                  So long as he's using any version that's CC, he's going to hit this same problem.

                                   

                                  And none of you have a fix.

                                  Not sure exactly who is included in the "none of you," but why would any fellow user have a fix to a problem they themselves haven't experienced? And that's the point; you're referring to this "glacial" typing/editing effect as though all of us are experiencing it and that's simply not the case. In fact at my desktop "the current version" is running with noticeably more snap than CS6 ever did, especially in cases where there is a Document Fonts folder in play. That redirected font-referencing would slow my copy of CS6 down to a crawl every time; very much like the typing delay described by the OP.

                                   

                                  I don't think anyone here is being less than earnest in their attempts to advise the OP, or uncover the true nature of the problem. Apparently you have the same type of issue and it appears you've decided anyone who denies having it is being dishonest. Regrettably, that's bound to prolong the problem for you.

                                  • 15. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                    dissidently Level 2

                                    Or maybe I've tried to fix this problem before, and found it systemic.

                                     

                                    Or maybe your expectations of typing speed are far less.

                                    • 16. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                      dissidently Level 2

                                      Ask the OP who he considers to have provided him the most help.

                                       

                                      And take a look at his last sentence: "If there are any alternatives I'd love to hear about them."

                                       

                                      Have you provided any alternatives?

                                       

                                      Have you consoled him, at all?

                                       

                                      Have you attempted to help him, at all?

                                      • 17. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                        dissidently Level 2

                                        I exclude Randy Hagan from "none of you".

                                         

                                        Otherwise, the rest of your are being deliberately obtuse. And know it.

                                         

                                        Randy has detailed some of the reasons why the glacial typing problem exists in Indesign.

                                         

                                        He's left out issues of Adobe not caring to attempt to provide these things in a performant manner. Modern CPUs, memory and GPUs are capable of doing all of this in a performant manner, far faster than a human could perceive it to be happening. But it would take some careful planning and code design, and consideration of threading, CPU/GPU balancing of tasks and presentation prioritisation i.e. quality compromised for performance during typing until such time as there's a slight delay to improve the rendering of characters on lesser machines. Kind of like a LOD optimisation for performance as used in games.

                                         

                                        It can be done.

                                         

                                        It won't be done by Adobe.

                                        • 18. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                          Randy Hagan Adobe Community Professional

                                          To all:

                                           

                                          Suggesting that entering copy in a word processing program may not be the answer that some people want, but it is a viable fix for the original poster's problem.

                                           

                                          I understand how maddening it can be to try and copyedit in InDesign. There are little glitches that drive me nuts when I have to do cutlines, catalog tags, proofing fixes, etc. But I have been working with page layout programs since PageMaker 3.0, and these programs never have been the best way to keyboard type into a layout. I remember when typing into PageMaker would lock the system up in about 5 minutes if you typed better than 40 wpm.

                                           

                                          There are reasons for that:

                                           

                                          If you press the key for "a" in MSWord, it just has to register the letter "a."

                                           

                                          But if you type the letter "a" in a page layout program, it has to --

                                          - Determine which font to render "a"

                                          - Then it has to figure out the font metrics

                                               - Where is it going to put "a" on the page?

                                               - How much space to allow for "a"?

                                               - Inside that space, how much of it to render in black, how much of it remains white?

                                               - How is it going to fit in relation to the letter before it? How much space will it allow after it?

                                               - How is it going to render that on the screen, compared to how it's going to actually prepare it for output?

                                               - Is it wrapping around another element? If so, how is it going to resolve the conflict between where type should go and where type is going to be forced to go because of the text wrap?

                                               - If it's inside the justification zone, how will it resolve letter/word spacing in range and determine whether the word goes on the existing line or the next one?

                                          - Register the letter "a"

                                           

                                          The more complex the layout, the slower it performs.

                                           

                                          The options are beating my head against the wall and complaining how poorly InDesign handles copy entry for a couple-thousand-word entry ... or sidestepping the problem by using word processing to do it faster and offer far more capability, then placing it into InDesign and using the formatting and placement tools to do what a page layout program does best.

                                           

                                          For what it's worth, I thought I was offering an entirely valid fix for the OP's problem. And he acknowledged it as such, though he wasn't happy with it.

                                           

                                          I'm not entirely pleased with it either. But I know it works. Is that so wrong?

                                           

                                          I used to race stock cars. That experience serves me well when working with computer problems. Because 1) I got used to things breaking all the time, and 2) I learned that when things have to get done, it's more important to work my way around the problem than it is to spin my wheels and waste time trying to figure out the cause of it. There will be time to figure out the cause when the race is already run.

                                          • 19. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                            dissidently Level 2

                                            I think a key point overlooked by the Adobe apologists is the OP's typing speed.

                                             

                                            From the nature of the OP's comments it can be inferred they're typing from notes, and likely well north of 60wpm's and 97% accuracy.

                                             

                                            This is someone that doesn't need to look at the screen often when typing, but does expect to quickly assess where they think they might have made a mistake, and instantly move on.

                                             

                                            Indesign doesn't support this kind of workflow. And despite your comments about this "onerous" workload for presentation software, it's more than possible with current generation Macs and MacBook Pros. But it does require coding in a way that uses most of the cores of the CPU, exploits threading for performance of presentation to the user, takes advantage of the powers of a GPU, and utilises memory efficiently and effectively.

                                             

                                            It's some effort, and requires consideration of the user above engineering ease.

                                             

                                            Adobe's code does none of these things because they optimise for engineering effort, not end user performance. This means a higher profit margin because they're paying fewer engineers to maintain a much simpler code base, but people like you, the OP and I have to use other programs to enjoy live text entry and editing.

                                             

                                            It's a conscious compromise in favour of profit over performance.

                                             

                                            Par for the course, for Adobe.

                                            • 20. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                              Not many are experiencing this problem. If you have the problem, you should examen your computer and your software, that is the cause of the problem.

                                              • 21. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                dissidently Level 2

                                                How fast do you type?

                                                 

                                                How many words have you typed in an Indesign layout?

                                                 

                                                How complex was the layout?

                                                 

                                                How many users of Indesign can touch type, and do it in Indesign?

                                                • 22. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                  GraphicsGeezer Level 1

                                                  Version ID -- I'm using the most recent version of Creative Cloud

                                                  • 23. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                    GraphicsGeezer Level 1

                                                    I don't know what you mean by 'patched' but my OS is El Capitan, Version 10.11.2

                                                     

                                                    My Mac is an iMac, 21-inch, built in mid 2011 with 16 Gb of RAM, the most you can get into that version.

                                                     

                                                    I talked to Apple about the speed of that computer as it seemed time for an upgrade but they actually recommended I keep it for a while. On their advice I was able to trash the cache and it's worked much faster since. The only slow program I seem to have is InDesign, and even then only when I'm typing.

                                                     

                                                    While I'm at it, why on earth doesn't the Story Editor allow for faster typing? It looks like there is no font or graphic info to be bothered with at all. From now on I'll just use Open Office and import text, but it is irritating especially because earlier versions worked better.

                                                    • 24. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                      Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                                      I can, I have no numbers, but I type really fast as I have learned typewriting when I was 14.

                                                      So I can judge that it is running fairly good here. So I think you can locate your problem on your computer, maybe some plugin from other party, hardware failure, etc.

                                                      • 25. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                        claired37684118 Level 1

                                                        I am experiencing the same problem in ID (CC2015 / ElCapitan) and I am just importing text into a book layout from Word docs. It is making me crazy - I have been a ID user since 2004 and PageMaker before that. Other files seem to be better; but for some reason this one is a killer. Illustrator is giving me headaches too; but not as bad as this.

                                                         

                                                        I am afraid that it will quit on me once the "beachball of death" starts. So, I stop working and wait. Then, it happens over and over until I just give up for a while and do something else, like look for fixes.  :-/

                                                         

                                                        I just switched from my Early 2008 Quadcore Mac to a Mid 2012 / 12-core, so it should not be my computer. I have not been a fan of upgrading my computers due to problems like this; but I had no choice since my 2008 was having issues after upgrading to keep up with CC2015.

                                                         

                                                        As a production worker, this is really bad. Something that I would normally breeze through is taking forever and cannot charge for it.

                                                         

                                                        I would love some help and fixes for this.

                                                        • 26. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                          GraphicsGeezer Level 1

                                                          My sympathies. Best fix in a hurry is to download Open Office, which is free.

                                                           

                                                          I called Adobe about this and other problems recently and they found a problem in my Creative Cloud app which had been crashing a lot. It seemed to help for a while but InDesign is still annoyingly slow.

                                                           

                                                          I also called Apple because my computer seemed slow. They had me clear one of the caches which had become bloated wth old info. Made quite a difference overall, but nothing's ever fast enough.

                                                           

                                                          Good luck

                                                          • 27. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                            claired37684118 Level 1

                                                            Thank you. I wish it were that easy. I did look at Open Office and I may give it a try. I work where I am bombarded with files from non-profit volunteers to high-end ad agencies and cannot always dictate what they use (I draw the line at Publisher).

                                                             

                                                            My job is to make it all work seamlessly for final production. 

                                                             

                                                            Actually, it is a Word doc from someone I have never dealt with, maybe it is their file.

                                                             

                                                            I will contact Adobe to see if they can figure anything out. I am still working out bugs in my new system and will hopefully be functioning efficiently soon.

                                                             

                                                            If I come up with any solutions, I will add to this stream.

                                                             

                                                            Thanks again.

                                                            • 28. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                              claired37684118 Level 1

                                                              Good news (for me anyway).

                                                               

                                                              I may have solved my slow ID issues. I checked the supplied files and I had "Read Only" permissions. I unlocked them, added myself with "Read and Write" permission and it seems to have worked (for now anyway).

                                                               

                                                              What made me think of that were other issues I've been having with El Capitan - permissions. It seems that Apple has decided to lock us out (similar to a PC's "C" Drive) and that caused me not to be able to save to my HD (only to my Home folder). I had to add my user name in the HD info screen to be allowed permission to Read and Write.

                                                               

                                                              I hope this info may help others' in checking files.

                                                               

                                                              Anyway, considering how I started in this industry - cut, paste, darkrooms, Letraset, etc. - it's amazing how all of this works!

                                                              • 29. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                [Ravi Kiran] Adobe Employee

                                                                Great to hear that the 'slowness' issue got resolved.

                                                                Insufficient/wrong permissions set in OS are known to cause issues with apps.

                                                                Hope the information you shared is useful to others facing similar issues.

                                                                • 30. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                  claired37684118 Level 1

                                                                  I went back, worked on the file and it didn't give me any problems, so that was the issue.

                                                                   

                                                                  After years of being my own tech (before the internet too), I've learned not to always blame the software company - sometimes it's the interactions of everything that is going on.

                                                                   

                                                                  Thanks for your response and I hope it helps others.

                                                                   

                                                                  Adobe Rules!!!

                                                                  • 31. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                    suec88870682 Level 1

                                                                    I am having issues since updating to InDesign CC 2015.3 Release, 11.3.0.34 Build. I'm on an iMac 27-in OS 10.11.3.

                                                                     

                                                                    I do book and magazine layout, I import type, format it with styles, etc. place graphics, photos, etc. I don't really do "typing" in inDesign but I do have to do corrections and edits, so at that point, I am copying and pasting a lot.

                                                                     

                                                                    I used to be able to leave InDesign open for days and go right back to work on projects with no problems. Now I can barely get through an 8 hour shift without getting the spinning ball, over and over, and if I don't save and close the file, it's going to freeze and I will have to force quit. About 1 or 2 times a week I get the "Sorry, there's been a serious error and InDesign is shutting down"...

                                                                     

                                                                    I'm not on a "Read Only" permission, I've run Disk First aid, I believe I'm updated to the latest versions of software.

                                                                    Any more suggestions for troubleshooting would be appreciated.

                                                                    • 32. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                      claired37684118 Level 1

                                                                      What versions did you upgrade from?

                                                                       

                                                                      Can an iMac handle this software? My Mac Pro Quad Core couldn't handle more than two open. I typically have ID, AI, PS, Br, and Acrobat open simultaneously. Do you have other programs open?

                                                                      • 33. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                        suec88870682 Level 1

                                                                        Oh ya, the iMac is alright for the software. I have been on Creative Cloud for about 2 years, no problems in the past. It's just since I've upgraded to El Capitan and this version of InDesign. I also know of 3 other graphic people that I work with, that have the same problems. Lately, I try to only have AI open but in the past, I too had all of those open.

                                                                        • 34. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                          claired37684118 Level 1

                                                                          My problem was the supplied file from one source did not have me in the permissions.

                                                                           

                                                                          Are you having problems with one file? One source of copy? Or are all of your files doing that?

                                                                          • 35. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                            suec88870682 Level 1

                                                                            A lot of different files. I work remotely, so most of the files I work on, I create from scratch, then send print ready PDFs to the printer. I do get in some files from other designers but it doesn't seem to matter. It's also not every file, every day but it's enough that it has made a difference in production.

                                                                            • 36. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                              claired37684118 Level 1

                                                                              I thought you said you import type - isn't that from other people?

                                                                               

                                                                              I created my ID file from scratch and placed the type from the "read-only" Word doc. That's where the hang ups started. Once I added my user profile to the Word docs with "Read and Write" it was fine.

                                                                              • 37. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                                suec88870682 Level 1

                                                                                Yes, they are from other people, but not read-only. I checked permissions on them and I'm read/write on everything. I can see where that would be a problem.

                                                                                 

                                                                                I'm still diving into this, going to also look at some preferences, caches, and things like that.

                                                                                • 38. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                                  claired37684118 Level 1

                                                                                  If I think of anything else, I'll get back to you.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Otherwise, good luck. Let me know if you resolve it.

                                                                                  • 39. Re: Why is indesign so slow-- I'm just typing!
                                                                                    trixiesirisheyes Level 1

                                                                                    I've been using InDesign since shortly after it came out. I was a Quark user waaaaaayy back. I'm now on a Mac Mini with 16GB RAM running the latest build of Sierra. I don't have many programs open, the trash is emptied, nothing is backing up, and InDesign is so slow! Ever since CC, I get the spinning beach ball many times during a session, and I get laggy typing. Laggy, laggy. It's crazymaking, and is the only program I have this problem with. It never used to be this way. I had to format a book in Quark in 2006, and I cursed every page. Now I feel the same way about InDesign when typing. This is a file I created in ID. So no weird formatting/permissions problems.

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