In theory CC will open and convert all previous versions. In practice, though, this kind of problem is common enough that I never recommend opening a legacy .indd file in a newer version. Instead export the file to .inx from the original version (or .idml for CS5 or newer files) and open that for conversion.
Thanks Peter, I've not heard of .inx but I'll give it a go. Are you saying that the file is corrupt/damaged or just hasn't converted correctly. Whichever way you look at it though, if you're right, the fact that Indesign opens the file with no warning of potential discrepancies is potential for disaster.
The document was originally a CS3 file but it 'appeared' to open exactly the same in CC with no problems. Several of the missing items were created/added to this file and weren't part of the CS3 original. It was only when this file was saved and reopened that the problems became apparent.
... this kind of problem is common enough that I never recommend opening a legacy .indd file in a newer version. Instead export the file to .inx from the original version (or .idml for CS5 or newer files) and open that for conversion.
I've never seen or heard of such a thing. I have had guides get totally screwed up when files are saved down to IDML and then re-opened. That's why I don't really trust the IDML saving except for damaged files.
But opening legacy files is not supposed to have these types of problems.
It is very possible that this is a one-time aberration of only one file.
But what you're recommending is too onerous for most companies to do.
It is not feasible for companies to keep a copy of legacy software (in this case CS3) running. So they would have to anticipate needing to re-open the file as INX. They would have to keep a copy of CS3 available to export as INX. But it is doubtful that CS3 would run on today's machines running the latest OS. So what you're recommending is they have to export as IDML before they archive a file. And I don't even know if the INX from CS3 can be opened by CC. That could have just as many problems
I'm happy for the client that saving the IDML and then re-opening in CC fixed their problem. Obviously the CS3 file was damaged.
And there really is no excuse for not checking a document before it goes to press.
But if people can't trust opening legacy files, Adobe has a huge problem on their hands.
.inx is the original InDesign Interchange format (replaced by .idml in CS4). You pretty much never get a warning about damaged files -- they either open or they don't -- and sometimes the damage is not obvious for quite some time. The typical report in cases like this is that either the file will not output after a good deal of successful editing, or it fails to open one day. As far as I know we've never had similar reports from files that were converted from .inx, but there are some rare circumstances where it could fail.
I've never trusted .idml to do as good a job of cleaning a file as .inx used to do, and yes, Adobe has a problem with legacy files. I don't recall ever having a problem converting one of my own .indd files directly, but we used to see about one case a month here when CS5 was released where a CS3 file suddenly became a total loss, and the reports still trickle in for newer files and newer versions. What the cause is I couldn't say -- might be as you suggest that the file is already damaged (and it might be that the .inx step is fixing the damage).
Personally, I don't think it's worth the risk of lost time and potential failure on deadline (it's ALWAYS a failure on deadline ) just to aviod the hassle of exporting from the old version, but then I do keep old versions installed so I can work with legacy files for various clients.
If you don't want to export first, I'd certainly suggest a trip through .idml as the very first thing after opening a legacy .indd.
...And there really is no excuse for not checking a document before it goes to press.
Checking it for what Sandy? Yes, we check to make sure the fonts are loaded, images are all linked and CMYK. What else should we check for? - that every item on every page is present and correct? What are we supposed to be checking against for this level of detail? Remember that these literally thousands of documents have already been printed at one time, all we're doing is reopening, maybe making some amends, and sending them to print again. It's one thing if it's a single page leaflet, because you would hope that any absences would be immediately apparent, but what if it's a 200 page catalogue? Do you think it's acceptable to have to spend the time checking every element on every page, and who pays for all this additional time, because the client certainly wouldn't.
What you could do to be more confident (and this is not a solution to
the problem, just a pragmatic suggestion), is open both the old PDF and
the newly-generated PDF in Acrobat, and use Acrobat's compare documents
features. That way you will know if any changes have occurred to the new
PDF beyond the edits you made, saving you the hassle of manually
checking a 200-page catalogue.
Which would be a good suggestion IF we had PDFs for all the previous jobs - which we don't, because we've never had a reason to retain them, until now.
I can remember occasions comparing already printed material with laser printed copy on a light-table for a customer. Hundreds of pages. Tedious work, yes.
But necessary after disaster happened and thousands of Euros spent on a reprint when the customer of that customer spotted an error. (Gladly I wasn't responsible, but an intern who opened the old files in a newer version of InDesign and provided the printers with the packaged InDesign files).