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"has anyone come across this problem?"
Yes, FWIW. CC seems to be touchy when it comes to exporting and importing IDML and can crash. Haven't found an answer yet. It's worth filing a bug report with Adobe.
Does it work if you package the document?
And in the future, if you need a CS6 document, you might just as well start out in CS6 as long as you’re running an operating system that will support it.
I'll have a look at the tips in the troubleshooting guide and see if anything solves the problem.
Even when packaging the document crashes at the point of creating the idml.
I do have the option of using CS6 as I still have both at this moment but I was hoping I could focus on using CC since I purchased it recently.
the question is what version of CC you would like to trust most.
If there is no particular feature in CC that you have to use CC I'd stay with CS6 8.1.0 if you are more familiar with it.
CC 2017 is new and there is still no bug fix version released.
Because you have a subscription you can install all of the versions of inDesign from CS6 to CC 2017 on your machine and using them side-by-side. So you'd better go with CC 9.3.0, CC 2014.2 or CC 2015.3, maybe alternatively: CC 2015.4.1.
But back to your problem with crashing.
Yes, there is a problem with "downgrading tables" from CC 2015 / CC 2017 to CS6 or CC 9.3.0 or even CC 2014.
There is a new table feature named Graphic Cell.
If you are using this feature extensively you'll see that all your graphic cells are converted to text cells and the images with graphic cells are transformed to anchored objects.
Before, table built with CC 2017 using graphic cells:
After opening with CS6 using IDML exchange:
Note the different insets in the cells.
Example: In CC 2017 you cannot see any differences with cell 1 and cell 2. But internally there are differences in inset values.
Before the cells were converted from text cells (default) to graphic cells, cell 1 and cell 2 had different inset values.
These values do show up again after opening the IDML with InDesign CS6 where the import mechanisms tries its best to read out valid infomation. All that's not known to CS6—graphic cell attributes—is ignored.