16 Replies Latest reply on Mar 2, 2016 6:44 AM by Corsarius

    Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign

    Northern Anorak

      Could anyone please provide some general advice about working with multi-page tables in InDesign, which appear to be very unstable.


      Over the past year or so, my team and I have worked with InDesign 5 and 5.5 on both Mac (10.6) and Windows (XP and 7) machines. In that time we have found if there’s one thing that will cause InDesign to crash it’s a table that runs over several pages and particularly (though not exclusively) if it’s got merged cells.  Add that extra row, merge that extra cell, even just insert your text cursor as you prepare to change some text and InDesign seems to reach a point where the “straw breaks the donkey’s back” and it falls over. At least it usually has the courtesy to reopen at exactly the point where the crash occurs with all the other changes that have been made still in place, whether they have been manually saved or not.


      The really weird thing is that sometimes the same file will crash on all the machines at the same point (as you would expect) but sometimes the files which crash on Windows machines will work fine on Macs and the files which crash on Macs will work fine on Windows machines. There doesn’t appear to be much of a consistent pattern to what’s going on.


      However, the solutions are always the same. First, unmerge any merged cells and adjust the border/fill commands to hide the fact they are now unmerged and then, if that doesn’t work, split the table up into separate chunks and put them into a separate text box on each page - that always seems to fix the problem, although the benefits of linked text boxes are now lost.


      I’ve had a scoot round the web and on these forums and whilst I can find quite a lot of material on this topic, there doesn’t appear to be anything that relates to our issue directly. I realise that I haven’t given specific information on what happens to us because it’s just something that happens every so often and we’re usually working so fast that there’s no time to carry out a detailed analysis of what’s going on, we just fix it and carry on. I’d be grateful if anyone could offer a general overview of what’s happening and maybe suggest some preventative measures we could take to reduce/eliminate the chances of this happening in the future.


      As always, thanks in advance for any and all advice offered.

        • 1. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Do you have a font manager installed? Which one?





          • 2. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
            Northern Anorak Level 1



            Thanks for your reply. We have no font managers installed on our machines. We only use "standard" fonts such as Arial and a couple of the machines in question are just "plain build" with Creative Suite 5.5 and Microsoft Office 2010 installed on them, no fancy plug-ins or utilities, etc.



            • 3. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
              Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Are you using any sort of Span/Split columns or using multicolumn text frames and have the table set to span the columns?


              I've had issues with CS5 and CS5.5 crashing with large tables that span multiple pages too in the past. One of the things that seems to ease the pain is turning off any sort of Span/Split options used in the document.

              • 4. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                Northern Anorak Level 1



                Thanks for your comment. We regulary run tables that span columns, so that may very well be something that is contributing to this. The problem is that we often need to run wide tables which follow on from text in two columns, the table being held in place by a paragraph style which spans them both, as our authors need to add extra text at a late stage with the table  simply "nudging" down the page as a result. The solution to the crashes is often to remove the table from the main text flow, place it in its own text box with a text wrap, and then place it over the main two column text box, but this obviously loses the convenience of having it move in its relative position to the added text.



                • 5. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                  Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Yes - I understand the problem completely.


                  I don't have an ideal solution for you - other than using Paragraph styles and turning on and off the span option per paragraph style.


                  Perhaps someone could write a script to search styles for the Span option in paragraph styles and turn off and then have some way to reverse that when you're ready to output?


                  I haven't got CS6 to test if this behaviour is still as rampant there.

                  • 6. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                    FloatLeft Level 1

                    Are Adobe planning to release a fix for this issue?


                    Seems to affect a lot of people.

                    • 7. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                      Northern Anorak Level 1



                      After another round of being plagued by InDesign Table Death Syndrome, I might have found a workaround that I think will help some of the time. After working on one table which crashed six times, I made the changes via Story Editor instead of on the page in InDesign and hey presto, everything behaved itself.


                      Like I say, I don't think this will work every time with every table crash, but it's certainly worth giving a try.

                      • 8. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign

                        Hi folks,


                        I have a similar problem with several dokuments running tables over 20 to 30 pages. Since InDesign CS5 I have crashes on random times and issues. I have built up the whole Document from scratch, because I thought saving them from older versions might cause the problem. I have started with a new document editing a table that runs over 5 pages with no merged cells in it which I had before. Now InDesign starts to crash again.


                        – It crashes when I type more text than fits in the table cell

                        – It crashes when I try to apply the standard paragraph style

                        – It crashes altough I have saved an .idml-File to clean it

                        – The problem appears in CS6 and CC also

                        – I have tried copy/paste to a new document, which worked until I copied a particular table row. Then it started to crash again.


                        Something weird I recognized is that all umlauts (I'm writing german text) are shown with wrong symbols in Story Editor (Textmodus) but not in the table itself. Maybe there lies the main problem?

                        • 9. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          Sounds like it might be a font issue.

                          • 10. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                            Pythonoras Level 1

                            I switched all of the fonts to Adobe Myriad Pro. I deactivated all FontExplorer functions and removed the font caches. The problem still occured. Then I changed the table into plain text. All of the umlauts showed correctly in the Story Editor. I changed the text back to a table – all the umlauts are shown wrong in the Story Editor.


                            It's a mystery.


                            At least the problem is gone since I exported the text only document as .idml and changed the table back later. I just would like to know where the problem comes from, because it happens once a while.

                            • 11. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign

                              We’ve just upgraded from CS 5.5 to CC, and whilst I didn’t have problems with multi-page tables in 5.5, we are having them now.


                              I found that working with a simple table, single column page layout, linked over five pages in an A5 document, InDesign was crashing every time I tried to pull a text box down to let the next row move up to the preceding page, or add an enter after a table to force following copy onto the next page. Eventually I tried selecting all of the table and checking the Span Columns dialog – I found that this wasn’t set to Single Column, even though the table was now laid out in single columns in the document – obviously, at some point in the document’s past, the table had been spanning columns in a two column grid.


                              After I’d set the option back to Single Column, the crashing stopped.


                              Just looks like spanning columns with multiple page tables is very glitchy...

                              • 12. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign

                                I have the same trouble too - spanning tables I used to work with til ID CC (2013) now are causing crashes avery time I perform some change to my document.
                                I'm always using the same font (by request of my costumer) and the same font manager (Lynotype Font Explorer X Pro) in the last six years, I'm having troubles in the last 3 months only.

                                • 13. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign

                                  I've got same issue in my CS6 on mac, and switching of spanning in paragraph with table solved the problem.

                                  Thanks Eugene

                                  • 14. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                                    McShaman Level 1

                                    I too am having this problem. Have a long thin table that goes over 4 pages. I am using slit to 2 columns to make it fit neater on the page and be more efficient. However it is crashing on both my Mac system and my Windows system. I have done a test using default font of Times New Roman in a fresh document and it still crashes.


                                    This is a bug! And based on the date of the original post it doesn't look like Adobe has any plans to fix it soon.

                                    • 15. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                                      Claudia McCue Level 1

                                      Son of a gun: turning off all instances of span or split column fixed it! You've saved my sanity (and my remaining hair). Thank you!!

                                      • 16. Re: Multi-page tables crashing in InDesign
                                        Corsarius Level 1

                                        I wouldn't call it "fixed" if you have to stop using a feature to stop the crashing.


                                        The problem still persists today, the crashes (in my case) seem to occur when a table that spans or splits columns and has a "keep together" option enabled is edited in such a way that indesign has to recalculate the columns. Were it any other more specific situation I'd not bother commenting, but the fact is, that spannig a table across multiple columns is a very common practice given that tables are not very space efficient horizontally.