10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2011 8:23 AM by John Hawkinson

    Indesign keeps crashing!

    MrJono Level 1



      I've been experiencing a serious problem with InDesign for some time now. While working on a leaflet the program began crashing. The first instance was caused by copying text from one page to another. I know copying from other programs can cause this and have always used the place function for that reason. But this problem was caused by copying from within indesign.


      After re-opening the program and working on the file, InDesign repeatedly crashed, very frequently and sometimes when I wasn't even moving the mouse. I put it down to the one possibly corrupt file, but since then it seems to have spread to other files. A select few make the program extremely unstable. Just clicking in a text box is enough to crash it. Sometimes it freezes and I have to use force quit, but mostly it just freezes for a second or two and then completely dissapears.


      A side effect of this is sometimes it reopens with the files I was working with open, with little or no changes, other times it reopens with no files open and when I open the files I was working on and try to save them I can't and get a kind of critical error saying the file is open somewhere else, again causing a crash.


      I've recently upgraded to a brand new MacBook Pro with 8gm of RAM. I made a mental note not to open any of the 'infected' files and all was going well. Then I mistakenly opened the original file that caused the problem and bingo, now my fresh install on my new machine is as unstable as hell, just like the old one. It's getting unbearable and is really affecting my work, not cool! So far I haven't lost a great deal of work, but it's only a matter of time before a huge project goes belly-up because of this.


      Is what I'm describing familiar to anyone? Is it even possible? It doesn't seem possible to my rational brain, but it's what's happening right in front of me. I've tried a fresh install of InDesign. I really dont want to go as far as reinstalling OSX and the whole of CS5 unless it's a last resort.


      Any help would be amazing.



        • 1. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The file is corrupt - it happens, unfortunately.


          Open it the next time and choose File>Export and for file type choose IDML


          That usually clears out a lot of issues. When you open the IDML in InDesign it opens as Untitled.


          If it still keeps crashing then consider rebuilding it from scratch.


          Sometimes files just go wonky.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
            MrJono Level 1

            Thanks Eugene,


            I should have also mentioned that I tried your tip with no success. I can rebuild the files, but I'm more worried that if this seems to be 'spreading' then perhaps it's not the files. Is it possible that Ive corrupted InDesign instead?

            • 3. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
              John Hawkinson Level 5

              Are you running a version less recent than 7.0.4? Upgrading to 7.0.4 should be your first step, and also replacing your preferences. If you're concerned that a corrupt document may have spread the corruption to your InDesign install, the preferences are the likely vector for it, and they do frequently get corrupt. See

              Trash, Replace, Reset, or Restore the application Preferences: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/526990.


              Do you get the Adobe CrashReporter dialog box when you see a crash? If so click on Crash Data and upload the crash report to pastebin.com and post a link here.

              Alternatively you can find historical crashreports in ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter, or in ~/Library/Logs/Adobe/Archive. Find a recent one and upload it and we can give you some clues as to why InDesign is crashing.


              Similarly for beachball -type hangs, you can run Activity Monitor and choose Sample Process and get a similar call graph trace that can be used the same way.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
                MrJono Level 1

                Thanks for your help John. I'll paste the log in pastebin and send the link

                • 5. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
                  John Hawkinson Level 5

                  Hi, Mr. Jono:


                    Please don't post them here directly -- it really makes it impossible to navigate the forum :-(. I've carefully not replied to your post, so as long as someone else doesn't do so, you should be able to go back to the web site and Edit your post and remove the really long data.


                  The crash you posted is not from InDesign:


                  Process:         QTKitServer [4161]
                  Path:            /System/Library/Frameworks/QTKit.framework/Versions/A/Resources/QTKit Server
                  Identifier:      QTKitServer
                  Version:         ??? (???)
                  Code Type:       X86 (Native)
                  Parent Process:  quicklookd [3383]

                  That is from QTKitServer, which is a system resource used by quicklookd, the daemon process supporting Quick Look, the feature where you can hit SPACE in the Finder and see a fast preview of a docment.


                  Do you have any crashes from InDesign? Again, please post them to pastebin.com and provide a link here, don't post them directly. And if you could edit your post aove, that would be awesome!

                  • 6. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
                    MrJono Level 1

                    Here's one of the indesign logs:




                    There are another 10 or so from today if that one isn't much use!

                    • 7. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                      Oh my goodness, oh my stars, a crash in Live Preflight! Those are near and dear to my heart (which is to say, I am having some really annoying ones that I would like Adobe to fix but am crossing my fingers that they and I are going to make progress).


                      But most importantly, you're not running the current version of InDesign:


                      Version: (7000)

                      You need to update to It fixes loads of stuff.

                      Anyhow, crash course on how to read this stuff, scroll down to the Thread0 section:


                      Thread 0 Crashed:  Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread
                      0   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c7190b0 0x1c676000 + 667824
                      1   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c776b2d GetPlugIn + 288269
                      2   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c776cab GetPlugIn + 288651
                      3   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c7658b7 GetPlugIn + 218007
                      4   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c70a784 0x1c676000 + 608132
                      5   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c710792 0x1c676000 + 632722
                      6   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c7139a1 0x1c676000 + 645537
                      7   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c71eeec 0x1c676000 + 691948
                      8   ...esign.Package and Preflight     0x1c71f2d5 0x1c676000 + 692949
                      9   ...adobe.InDesign.AppFramework     0x1b3bfee1 GetPlugIn + 242001
                      10  ...adobe.InDesign.AppFramework     0x1b3c0e0c GetPlugIn + 245884
                      11  ...adobe.InDesign.AppFramework     0x1b362dd8 0x1b360000 + 11736
                      12  ...adobe.InDesign.AppFramework     0x1b38855a GetPlugIn + 14282
                      13  com.adobe.InDesign                 0x000028ab main + 187
                      14  com.adobe.InDesign                 0x000027c6 start + 54

                      The first column is the frame number -- 0 means the function that crashed, it was called from the function in frame 1, which was called by the function in frame2, etc., The next column is the module name, which will give you an idea of what's going on. Here its the "Package and Preflight" module, and since we know you weren't Packaging a document at the time, it's a pretty solid bet that it is in Live Preflight.

                      The 3rd column is the hex address of the crashing function, not useful to you except perhaps by comparison. And the last column is the attempted decoding of the hex address relative to known addresses with names. Usually that's not useful, but sometimes it is, and can give you an idea more specifically than the module. Frames 13 and 14 have meaningful decodes, indicating they're in the main() and start() functions of the base InDesign binary. But that's true of everything, so it's not very exciting.


                      If these problems persist after updating to 7.0.4, you should turn off Live Preflight and your problems should go away. If Live Preflight is important to you, go through your Live Preflight profile and try to see what particular profile option causes your crash.

                      • 8. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
                        mckayk_777 Level 2

                        Try working with preflight turned off.

                        • 9. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
                          MrJono Level 1

                          Thanks John!


                          Wouldn't it make sense for Adobe to present simplifed versions of this in response to crashes? If I'd got a little box saying 'Live Preflight could have caused the crash, try working without it' that would be a push in the right direction even if it didn't fix the issue.


                          I've turned it off and have updated to No crashes so far today, which is better than yesterday!


                          Thanks again John, superstar!

                          • 10. Re: Indesign keeps crashing!
                            John Hawkinson Level 5

                            You're welcome!

                            Wouldn't it make sense for Adobe to present simplifed versions of this in response to crashes? If I'd got a little box saying 'Live Preflight could have caused the crash, try working without it' that would be a push in the right direction even if it didn't fix the issue.


                            Well...it's not quite as easy as it sounds, and this is an area
                            where there is certainly room for improvement.


                            Most crashes require a human with some level of expertise to look
                            at the stack trace to give some kind of interpretation. For instance,
                            this one was in the "Package and Preflight" module. it could have
                            also been about Packaging, and there's probably other less obvious
                            stuff that module does that is not so clear. And knowing what the person was doing at the time of the crash can matter a lot too.


                            In many cases, it is not so clear or obvious as this one, and using
                            the module of the function at the top of the stack might be misleading.
                            For instance, here's how the modules looked in a recent crash:



                            com.adobe.InDesign.Layout UI 
                            com.adobe.InDesign.Layout UI 
                            com.adobe.InDesign.Layout UI 

                            Now, we could say this had something to do with the WidgetBinLib, which is probably something that draws low-level graphic user interface elements, but that's probably not really the problem. Maybe it was told to draw a rectangle with a negative size, because something in the previous module (Layout UI) screwed up. Maybe this crash has something to do with layout -- ok, well, that's not very helpful. In point of fact I have very little idea what this particular crash means. If we knew what the user was doing at the time it might help, but only somewhat.


                            There is also a whole category of crashes where the top of the stack belongs to the operating system (e.g. InDesign asked the Apple to make a new window,

                            and that crashed for some reason), and figuring out who is responsible or why and whether the caller passed the callee invalid parameters can be non-obvious.


                            And sometimes the stack trace flips back and forth between modules without much apparent rhyme or reason.



                            But software is evolving, and this will get better. Look at the poor Windows guys -- they report getting an APPCRASH error with a bunch of hex numbers and no human-readaable information about the stack trace at all. In part this relates to how the operating system chooses to handle crashes. They also don't get the nice little box that lets you submit your crash report to Adobe with an explanation of what happens. (That's a nice idea that seems not to work quite as well as it could have; the folks who implemented that feature probably had higher expectations for when people might hear back about crashes than seems to have been born out...)


                            Also, I don't think Adobe's engineers expect their software to crash quite as much as it does. (This truism holds pretty much no matter how often it crashes.) So they are probably a bit reluctant to put a lot of effort into the crash-handling features.


                            They also don't want to implement something that may discourage users from reporting crashes. If they did as you suggest, then you might just turn off Live Preflight and go on with your life, not opening a support ticket with Adobe, not telling them there was a problem. Then there'd be some Live Preflight Evangelist at Adobe who would be extremely disappointed to discover that users were turning off the feature because of perceived instability and nobody had bothered to tell Adobe there was anything wrong. Perhaps the pendulum has swung a bit too far in the other direction, but when implementing features like that, one does have to be careful.


                            Anyhow, handling of crash reports are an area where operating system user interfaces are evolving, and I think actually Adobe acquits themselves pretty well compared to their peers (but they do much better on Macs than under Windows). Of course, it may be because their software crashes more than it should? Not really sure. In any case, I imagine in the coming years we'll see improvements in this space from many vendors, including Adobe.