See Replace Your Preferences to correct the panels.
Why the prefs became corrupt in the first place is more difficult to answer. Do you run MacKeeper or WebRoot? Both are associated with occasional problems in ID, as are several Chrome browser plugins. Font auto-activation plugins (and any other third-party plugins) can cause trouble too.
Hi, and thanks but as I stated originally I have tried that.
I'm looking at my preferences window right now and there is no com.adobe.indesign.plist, it was deleted and the trash emptied.
But when I boot up indesign there is still no com.adobe.indesign.plist.
Clearly I am missing something here - but what?
By the way, my preferences are not synched.
Please read the link I gave you. Replacing the prefs is done with InDesign closed, not through the preferences window. You can use the keyboard method, or you can use the manual method, but you'll need to show the hidden user library files and folders to do that. See Access hidden user library files | Mac OS 10.7 and later
I read the article (properly this time) and decided to do the startup version.
This solved the panel issue by the way.
However, I'm intrigued because until recently I was still on CS6 and deleting com.adobe.InDesign.plist in the library preferences folder usually resolved any issued.
This is what I thought you meant, and what I had already done.
But what I can't fathom is why, after deleting com.adobe.InDesign.plist, it did not get regenerated when InDesign was next used.
I had to retrieve it from Time Machine.
But thanks very much for your help.
Those panel problems are always solved by trashing the prefs as explained in the link.
I actually don't know why the .plist file isn't rebuilt, but I'm a Windows user and we don't have an analog for it.