8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 21, 2012 7:44 AM by Peter Spier

    InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...


      Hello all,


      I have recently run into with an issue with Indesign CS4. My company produces fairly large flyers using InDesign and has been for quite a few years. We normally export final artwork as a high resolution PDF. Lately, many of our files will begin writing a PDF, stall for a few minutes and this produce an "Out of Memory" error. Nothing has changed with how we setup the files or save linked files. Our flyers usually have a large amount of items on a single page (somwhere around 30-50). Each item has a photo and so copy to go with it, so there is always alot of images linked to our files. This has never been an issue when writing a final PDF. In the past 3 weeks or so, we have been getting this "out of memory" error. This will happen on more than one computer in our department, some of these computers are brand new and not short on RAM.


      I have now spent quite a bit of time researching and troubleshooting this "out of memory" problem. Our IT department has as well. I did look through the forums and also on google but I am running out of things to try. So far we have tried:


      1) allocating more memory

      2) deleting preferences

      3) exporting to EPS (we still get an out of memory error)

      4) printing to file

      5) reinstalled the software

      6) disabled background PDFexporter

      7) removing fonts

      8) delete items until the "culprit" is found (we get mixed results with this method, sometimes we delete half the items until the error goes away or we have to delete  the items until only one remains)

      9) rebuilding/resaving the file (both markup/save as)


      All of the above did not work. This issue also seems quite random as it happens occasionly and other times rampantly. When the error does occur, it seems like it chews up all the available memory and does not release it when the error occurs. I watched the available memory go from a normal 72,000kb all the way up to 980,000kb and once the error occurs, it settles down to around 420,000. I figure that number should drop back down to its normal levels. I am not sure if this has any impact on our current problem but this condition almost seems like a  memory leak.


      I realise the version we are using is out of date but I am wondering if anyone out there has any other suggestions or ideas as to what is going on, the help would be greatly appreciated. I am also wondering if upgrading to CS6 might be a "magic bullet" for the problem. Our company is pretty stingy so upgrading is never easy. This may be just the thing to convince our management to spend the money.


      Anyway, thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions.



        • 1. Re: InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Intermittent problems are, of course, hard to diagnose. What you describe, and based on waht you've tried, makes me suspect a conflict with some other software also running on the system. It could be practically anything, no matter how innocuous it might seem. What has changed recently? that would be a good starting point for your search.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...
            bmcgraphics Level 1

            Thanks Peter for the response. Funny you should ask what has changed. We recently moved our office and are on the same network system but new cabling was installed. All of our files run off of the network (although I have tried running the problematic files on my hard drive). I am not sure this is the cause as the issue did occur prior to our move.


            We also switched around our computers and introduced a brand new computer which I am now using. After going through all the normal troubleshooting methods, I have begun to suspect that our recent changes may be causing this. My other thought was that there was a recent update to Windows (we are PC based) or even an anti-virus update. Our problem is our IT department has not explored these possibilities and is convinced that the issue is soley caused by InDesign. I am not so convinced at this point and am open to all possibilities. I am currently investigating Windows to see if there was a recent update that could be causing this. I guess our recent workflow changes make this matter extremely difficult to diagnose...

            • 3. Re: InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Since you still have CS4 you still have the ability to export to .inx as well as to .idml. Take a look at Remove minor corruption by exporting and try .inx. I think it works a bit better than .idml for cleaning corruption, but I don't have empirical evidence to support that.


              Are you using a font manager?


              Can you create a new user account and log in on that, and do you get any different results (hard to tell, I know, because it's intermittent)?


              I'd also consider running msconfig and turning off as much as possible to see if it makes a difference.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...
                bmcgraphics Level 1

                Thanks Peter. I will give the above suggestions a try. And no we are not using a font manager. I would have to check with our IT department about a new account. We are locked down pretty well here so those kinds of things have to go through them. I will ask them if they can set that up. Anyway, thanks again!

                • 5. Re: InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...
                  bmcgraphics Level 1

                  So I did try exporting one of our problematic files as .inx format and I was able to export a PDF with the new file I created. I then exported the file 3 more times before the out of memory error came back. I think that is an interesting clue as this file was able to write a PDF once before it came up with the error and has not been able to do the export until now. In a pinch, this method would be a good workaround. I am still looking at the other suggestions...

                  • 6. Re: InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    That tends to imply that something is slowly corrupting the files as you work with them. I'd hate to rely on the .inx method to be 100% reliable, so you might want to make some backup copies after doing the export, just in case, and absolutley, keep looking for what might have changed.


                    Did you install any new fonts?

                    • 7. Re: InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...
                      bmcgraphics Level 1

                      Hello again, Peter.


                      Yea I am worried that our files are being corrupted as well. An interesting thing to note is that our flyer files are constantly being recycled. In other words, we copy content from previous flyers and paste them into new flyers. These files can date back to 2006 in some cases. I am not sure if that would cause corruption or not but this practice does seem to bring in a lot of "residue" (ie...styles, fonts, etc.). With a few of the problematic files I have troubleshooted, I did remove items to see if I could find anything that could be the cause but all the items seemed to be fine.


                      Right now, it sounds like our IT department is requesting a software upgrade and we are waiting to hear back from upper management. I am hopeful that an upgrade would solve the problem... and besides its probably about time we upgraded anyway


                      And no, we have not installed any new fonts recently. For now, I will be trying a few other things and will wait to see if we can get an upgrade. Thanks again for your help!

                      • 8. Re: InDesign CS4 (6.0.6) - "Out of memory" when writing PDF...
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        Copying and pasting is genrally less of a problem than true "recycling" where you take an old file and resave with a new name over and over again.


                        I do believe in the use of templates, though.