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are you trying to do this on a document page?
Or on the pasteboard? The area around a page?
On the pasteboard smart guides will not work.
( Smart guides working on the pasteboard would be a great feature request. )
Second thing to look for:
Look up the preferences if some or all of the options for Smart Guides are turned off.
With your German InDesign:
Voreinstellungen > Hilfslinien und Montagefläche > Optionen für intelligente Hilfslinien
Make sure the DOCUMENT grid is off, Smart Guides will not show when it is on.
this is not the problem. Smart guides are activated, but don't work anyway.
unfortunately this doesn't solve my problem. It was not on the pasteboard and all options in the preferences are activated.
That's not something InDesign's Smart Guides do!
From the InDesign Help file. Here's what they do:
* * *
Smart Object Alignment
Smart object alignment allows for easy snapping to page item centers or edges. In addition to snapping, smart guides dynamically draw to indicate which object is being snapped to.
Smart dimension feedback appears when you’re resizing, creating, or rotating page items. For example, if you rotate one object on your page 24 degrees, a rotation icon appears as you rotate another object close to 24 degrees. This hint lets you snap the object to the same rotation angle of the adjacent object. Similarly, as you resize an object next to another object, a line segment with arrows at each end lets you snap the object to the same width or height as the adjacent object.
Smart spacing lets you quickly arrange page items with the help of temporary guides that indicate when the spacing between objects is even.
Smart cursor feedback appears in a gray box as X and Y values when you’re moving or resizing object or as a measurement when you’re rotating values. The Show Transformation Values option in Interface preferences lets you turn smart cursors on and off.