What exactly and you copying and pasting? What verson of InDesign?
I can't think what possible connection there is between copying and pasting something either within InDesign or from an outside program like Illustrator or even one of the Microsoft Office programs and exporting a file as a pdf. Exporting a document as a pdf should have nothing to do with copying and pasting. Could you please explain what it is you're doing and what help you need.
OK, now I'm confused!
At some point in the last ten years, when you copy a certain number of elements, or copy elements of a certain size (I haven't worked out why) InDesign displays the 'Generating PDF' box attached in the first post and seems to convert the copied items to a PDF as part of the copy/paste process. This is painful as it takes an annoying amount of time.
That box in the screenshot above appeared after I cut a bunch of elements in this instance but the same thing happens when I copy. No file is actually generated so I suspect it's some sort of clipboard thing?
My question is, can you force InDesign to NOT generate a PDF when copying and pasting and go back to the faster, good old days?
I'm using InDesign CC 2017 under OSX 10.11.6 but have noticed this for at least 8 years across many different computers and OSX versions.
If you guys never see this behavoir then tell me how!
Okay, thanks for clarifying. I have to confess that in all the years I've been using ID daily (since CS2), I have never once seen that happen.
Under Preferences > Clipboard Handling, what are your settings? You don't have "Prefer PDF when pasting" checked, by any chance? (I don't.) If so, try unchecking it.
Indesign uses PDF as copy/paste format. Otherwise, you wouldn't get much in the way of copy/paste ability between Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. It's just a way to format the data into the equivalent of an old-school EPS so that each app can parse the image data as it comes in.
You can adjust the functionality in the top section of the Clipboard Handling section of Indesign's Preferences if it's slowing you down, just remember where to turn it back on later when you need to be able to paste between apps.
I tried copying and pasting using the preference setting pointed out by TaW above and still could not make anything that I pasted both from within InDesign and from Illustrator act in this manner. Could you post a screen shot of your preferences for File Handling and Clipboard Handling? Any other possible personal settings that you do with InDesign would be helpful for assisting you. As far as I can tell this will not happen with InDesign's default settings.
In my experience, having "copy PDF to clipboard" is what enables PDF-format copy/paste functionality. If you have that checked in your Indesign prefs, then Indesign will generate a PDF of whatever Indesign content is in your paste buffer when you switch to another application. That basically takes the same amount of time/processing that it uses to export a PDF file, so if you have a lot of content or very complex content (lots of points/paths) or a very large image as part of the copied material, it can sometimes take a bit of time to take whatever you've last copied and compile that into PDF format ready to paste into AI or PS, etc.
This can be exacerbated if you have a slow drive or are working with linked files over a network. For example, if you have a 300MB PS file placed in Indesign and copy/paste it onto another page in Indesign, that function is nearly instantaneous because it's simply duplicating an instance of that image within the Indesign file—just a bit of code that says "place this image here". But if you switch to Illustrator, Indesign has to download and embed that whole image into a PDF package that it can then dump into whatever application you happen to switch to. If you disable that functionality, then all that's left in your paste buffer when you switch apps is proprietary Indesign code, which gets you a lot of nothing when pasted into other apps because they use an entirely different way of describing content.
It can be super handy when you need it, and annoying when you don't want it, but at least you can toggle it on and off in prefs.
Digression: One interesting thing about PDF format is that it's (pretty much, or at least can be) native Illustrator file format. So when you paste from Indesign into Illustrator, Illustrator "unpackages" the PDF file and you get editable content, even though it's not as tidily built as you'd want (whole lotta nested clipping masks—that's kind of Indesign's thing, having everything in containers). And you've probably noticed that when you paste stuff from Indesign into Photoshop, you get a Smart Object (unless you've opted to paste pixels instead) that then opens in Illustrator, NOT back into Indesign. Why? Because that smart object is a PDF, and AI is CC's PDF "editor." I do dream of being able to set a pref in PS so that placed smart objects from Indesign could round-trip back through Indesign for editing rather than Illustrator... but I'm sure there's a good reason why that feature hasn't been offered.
What 00rhodiad said seems to apply to when InDesign is pasted into Illustrator or Photoshop. But I thought that the question pertained to pasting into or within InDesign. I'm not sure that explanation fits for that.
Agreed. I've never seen Indesign generate a PDF for copy/paste other than on switching from Indesign into another application. So long as you're working within Indesign, it shouldn't be generating a PDF on copy every time.
Maybe having the "Prefer PDF when pasting" pref setting checked could affect that... but I don't think that's how it works. I haven't had it turned on in so long, I don't even remember.
OK, let me try to answer all your questions...
Because I'm also having speed issues with ID CC2017, I trashed my preferences last week so beyond theme changes, my prefs are the default (as far as I know). Here is a screenshots of my clipboard prefs, I've now turned off the second option 'Copy PDF to Clipboard'.
2. HD space, specs etc
I'm using a 2013 Mac Pro with 64GB Ram and 151GB free on the internal drive so I'm pretty sure this isn't the cause.
3. Networked assets
Yes, we use assets on a network drive and this could be the cause. I'm not sure of what you all think but I find Adobe's position of not officially supporting network environments (I've been told this by Adobe) is painful in a shared environment because packaging jobs for local work:
- Is an annoying time waster where people have to remember to replace changed assets on the shared drive manually
- Can result in confusion, wasted time and occasionally lost files with inexperienced designers/operators
- Is painful when updating assets client-wide because when an asset used across multiple jobs is updated, there's no alert in InDesign (if everything is linked to the job) causing confusion/errors/wasted time
- Having multiple copies of assets in the Links folder is incredibly inefficient for storage and backup
We obviously use judgement when working locally (Photoshop, Video etc) but anyway, rant over!
4. Paste within InDesign
Yes, this occurs when copying/pasting between open InDesign docs but not every time. As far as I can tell, the more linked items being copied, or the bigger the image (like a 300dpi street poster) the more likely I will see the 'Generate PDF' box.
5. Moving forward
I've now unchecked that final 'Copy PDF to Clipboard' preference and will see how I go today - thanks for the tip @TaW
Working across a network could indeed be the cause of your speed problem. I work in a multi-user environment where we never work on the network and I could give you a list as long as yours why I would never want to work in any way but locally. I would suggest trying to work on a job in which you had this problem but on a copy downloaded to your local hard drive. See if it makes a difference.
Just to be clear, we copy the InDesign file to the local drive but the assets remain on the network - is that what you mean by working locally?
Or do you package the document, links and everything, and save it to the desktop?
FWIW, I work all day every day along with my coworkers on CS and linked files shared and served from a central fileserver running OS X Server, and I don't experience any of the issues you're reporting. For us, the workflow security and convenience is worth any minor speed overhead, though like you, I do occasionally move projects to my local drive for maximum speed (video work especially, but that's only maybe 1% of the time.) In general, everything works perfectly as designed and expected since modern ethernet networking protocols easily exceed data transfer speed of even local drives from a couple generations back. A networked file is, for most practical purposes, a local file, and they generally behave as such. Generally. I've never seen the PDF export progress dialog other than when switching from Indesign to another application after copying a truly monumental pile of Indesign content. In fact, I can't remember the last time I saw it, and I leave the "Copy PDF to Clipboard" preference turned on (though not "Prefer PDF When Pasting").
I definitely know how annoying it is when things are slow for no apparent reason and I feel your pain. Hopefully it helps knowing that things actually can work over a network the way you are expecting them to: quickly and reliably!
That said, give it a try! If moving a project to your local drive FIXES the issues, then you've definitely figured out that your network is the culprit. Whether it's worth the effort to track down and fix it is an annoying call to have to make. But even if it's not worth fixing, at least you'll know you can work fast locally when things get unbearable.
The type of work flow that my company is part of has the entire package of each job worked on locally. Our company (which is part of an international group of agencies) uses a cloud based server which will not even allow an InDesign file to be previewed onscreen so everything has to be downloaded and worked on locally. All jobs are self-contained units.
Wow Bill, I feel for you! I've worked the same way in several companies for almost 30 years and all of them leverage the speed/workflow of shared client assets. Retouch a photo and now it's approved? Update it once and it's rolled out across all jobs - same for logos.
Anyway, besides the PDF issue, I'd had the same experience as @00rhodiadup until CC2017 but now see sluggish performance so something's not right.
Uninstalling, cleaning and reinstalling is the last thing to try.
I actually enjoy it this way and I have for over twenty years. To each their own.
But what if you have to update a logo or an image across a hundred projects? Anyway, all good!