14 Replies Latest reply on Apr 4, 2012 7:03 PM by Zinusmero

    Crash when exporting Book to PDF

    KarenD95835

      I am trying to export a Book (17 documents, 1822 pages) to PDF. It keeps crashing on the 7th document. I can export that document by itself (148 pages), no problem. I can export documents 1 thru 6 together (472 pages) , and 8 thru 17 together (1202 pages), no problem. But when I try to export the entire book at once, it crashes or freezes on that 7th document. Sometimes it crashes, sometimes it freezes.  I've tried exporting that document to .IDML. I've rasterized two embedded PDF's that are on the page where it freezes, just in case there was something corrupt in those PDF's. I'm at my wits end ...

        • 1. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
          John Hawkinson Level 5

          Good morning, Karen.

           

            Can you please tell us your operating system and full minor version of InDesign (such as 7.0.3)?

           

          It's unfortunately plausible that something in one of the earlier documents is causing the problem when you hit document 7.

          You might try roundtripping document #6 through IDML.

           

          Your problem seems similar to Unable to process pdf for large book with 100's of Links

          from just last week.

           

          I think the thing to do is to one-by-one drop documents from the book until you find the one that is triggering the problem.

          I'd probably start by dropping 6, then 5, 8, 4,9,3,10,2,11,1,12-17.

           

          Then roundtrip that document through IDML.

          If IDML doesn't solve the problem, it doesn't mean the document is corruption-free.

           

          Next, start deleting pages from the problem document. Delete half the pages, export the book. DOes it work? OK, you know which half had the problem, etc., etc.

           

          Needless to say, make a backup copy first.

           

          Ideally you can narrow the failure down to single page or two, which you con reconstitute. Or possibly some other bad document attribute, such as a hyperlink. Etc.

           

          Good luck!

           

          Your crash report may also have information/clues. See http://indesignsecrets.com/guide-to-interpreting-indesign-crash-reports.php.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
            KarenD95835 Level 1

            Good Morning John ...

             

            Thank you for your quick response. It is after midnight here, so I won't get around to trying all your fixes until tomorrow morning, although I did read and bookmark the "How to Interpret a Crash Report" so I will have it handy if/when I get another crash report, and I also read last weeks problem and resolution. But as for my system info, it is:

             

            iMac 2.8 Ghz Intel Core i5

            Mac OS X 10.6.8

            Memory: 12 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

            InDesign 7.0.4

             

            I tend to discount the "lack of resources" possibility, as the crashing/hanging is occurring before page 500, yet I have successfully exported the 1200+ pages in documents 8 thru 17. The PDF of the successful portion was 375MB, I expect the entire document will PDF to about 450MB.

             

            A little background on the job:  This is a scientific journal that is produced annually, this is the 13th year I have done it.  The first 6 years the files were "packaged" and sent to the printer, the book grew from 400 to 1000 pages during this time.  The last 6 years the files have been exported to PDF as individual chapters and sent to another firm that added some links and combined the files, then put them on CD's for distribution. During this time the book has grown from 1000 to 1800 pages. This year they requested that I send them a single file, so this is the first time I have tried exporting the entire book; doing so will allow all the hundreds of links in the Index of Authors to remain "clickable" ... so it is very important that I resolve this problem.

             

            I back up with Time Machine but, to be on the safe side, I'll also make a manual backup before I start.

             

            I'll check in tomorrow morning after trying some of your fixes.

             

            - Karen

            • 3. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
              Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I don't understand why you don't export the document in 3 stages like you were doing and it was working fine, then combine the PDFs again in Acrobat?

               

               

              It might not be anything to do with embedded links it could be anything.

               

              I'd be inclined to start a new document and reimport the text, graphics etc. brand new into that document.

               

               

              How do you even know it's that document? If you remove that document from the Book can you export the entire book to PDF?

              • 4. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                John Hawkinson Level 5

                It's after midnight here too, hence GOOD MORNING!

                 

                Note that you should be able to find your previous crash reports in Console.app, in ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter.

                 

                Backups are all well and good, but when you start deliberately deleting pages from a file, you really want to be working on a copy of the file.

                 

                Though making copies of books is tricky, because InDesign stores the path to the original INDD files in the Book INDB file, so it is not sufficient to just copy the folder containing the INDDs and INDB in the Finder. You can use Book (panel) > Package Book for Print to make a new book file and rewrite the links in the book file to the documents. Just double-check by mouse-overing the INDD files in the book panel and make sure they point where they think you point.

                 

                It does seem that you have scaling problems. Hrmm... Maybe ID needs a way to deal with these inter-file hyperlinks so that people are not forced to use huge books, since they seem to be an area of known failure modes...

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                  John Hawkinson Level 5

                  Eugene:

                  I don't understand why you don't export the document in 3 stages like you were doing and it was working fine, then combine the PDFs again in Acrobat?

                  Because then there will be functional hyperlinks from the first third of the document to the second third, etc., etc.

                  • 6. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                    Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    If it's just for print then I don't see an issue.

                     

                    Although if it's for the Web,then it's an issue.

                    • 7. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                      Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      And I didn't see the note about the index being "clickable"

                      • 8. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        One of these days I'll put all my comments in a single post sigh...

                         

                        Well I'd still start by removing the document it's crashing at and re-pdfing the other documents in the book file.

                         

                        This will just eliminate if that file is the problematic one.

                        • 9. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                          KarenD95835 Level 1

                          But if I "Package the book for print" doesn't that change all the image links, by pulling them all together into a single folder? I learned that the hard way in year 2 when many of the images had the same name (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.), therefore writing over each other as they were packaged.  I now give every image a unique code name, and they are in separate folders for each author's article.  Packaging for print would change that whole filing scheme, wouldn't it? We are talking 2000± images here, in 291 separate folders.

                           

                          I was told many years ago not to embed all those images as it made the files too big and would make them more vulnerable to corruption. Is that no longer the case? (Or was it ever?)

                           

                          - Karen

                          • 10. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                            John Hawkinson Level 5
                            But if I "Package the book for print" doesn't that change all the image links, by pulling them all together into a single folder?

                            Only if you check "Copy Linked Graphics." Which would be unnecessary in this case.

                            Anyhow, the basic idea here is Be Careful.

                             

                            I learned that the hard way in year 2 when many of the images had the same name (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.), therefore writing over each other as they were packaged.

                            Geeeeze...really? That's extremely unfortunate. Is that still the case today, I wonder? Definitely a bug.

                             

                            Packaging for print would change that whole filing scheme, wouldn't it? We are talking 2000± images here, in 291 separate folders.

                            While replicating the images isn't part of the goal, packaging only makes copies. The goal of packaging here is to make a temporary copy which you can experiment with without reservation, deleting pages and whatnot, with no fear of damaging your original documents. However you want to get that copy is up to you, but I'm just advocating you take care, because it can be confusing when you copy books but the book files still point at the original INDD files.

                             

                            I was told many years ago not to embed all those images as it made the files too big and would make them more vulnerable to corruption. Is that no longer the case? (Or was it ever?)

                            Linked images, rather than embedding, are the genreally encouraged workflow. So yes, you're doing it right.

                            • 11. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                              KarenD95835 Level 1

                              OK, I THINK I have this solved, it is still exporting but has gone beyond the trouble spot. The entire export process takes almost 30 minutes, and I'm only 10 minutes in, but here is what I found. The problem images came from Excel. At first I thought it might have been because I just copied and pasted them from Excel, so I went back and exported them as PDF's from Excel and "placed" them in InDesign, but that didn't solve the problem. So then I rasterized the PDF's in Photoshop, and that seems to have worked. I'm not sure why these particular images created a problem, because I have many other charts from Excel scattered throughout the Book.

                               

                              Here is the process I used. Instead of "packaging" the whole works, I just duplicated the file I thought was the offending one and left the duplicate (Copy 1) in my working folder. I deleted a group of pages in the duplicate, then "replaced" the file in the Book with this duplicate and ran the export to PDF process, recording the results as Test 1. That test worked. I duplicated the original again (Copy 2), deleted another set, and ran the test again, recording the results as Test 2, and so on.  Test 7 is the one that seems to be running successfully right now.

                               

                              John, I really appreciate the quick and comprehensive answers and discussion regarding this problem, it helped me focus on a process that isolated the problem and allowed me to fix it.

                               

                              BTW, the issue of "packaged" images overwriting others with the same name happened in PageMaker. It was panic time when I printed out a final proof of my work, and the same figures kept showing up over and over in different authors' articles. I don't know if it would occur in InDesign because I don't send InDesign files to the printer ... they all seem to prefer PDF's, which is easier for me anyway.

                               

                              Now that I've taken so long with this response, the export is finished and IT WORKED!  YAY!! 

                              • 12. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                                John Hawkinson Level 5

                                You're welcome! Glad you solved it! Don't forget to assign "Correct" or "Helpful" answer points...

                                 

                                At first I thought it might have been because I just copied and pasted them from Excel, so I went back and exported them as PDF's from Excel and "placed" them in InDesign, but that didn't solve the problem. So then I rasterized the PDF's in Photoshop, and that seems to have worked. I'm not sure why these particular images created a problem, because I have many other charts from Excel scattered throughout the Book.

                                I gather these particular images do not cause a problem when placed in a standalone document?

                                Those problems are always...extremely frustrating. I'm not sure how to make better progress tracking them down.

                                If you can track down a clear reproducible test case, it's worth reporting to Adobe...

                                • 13. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                                  KarenD95835 Level 1

                                  The odd thing is the file exported to PDF just fine when I did it by itself ... it was only when it was exported along with the other Book documents that it created the problem. And I used the "Export to PDF" in the Book panel for all the exports, whether I was doing the whole book or just parts of it.  Now, if I can just solve the "Phantom Cross-Reference" issue ... sigh ...

                                  • 14. Re: Crash when exporting Book to PDF
                                    Zinusmero Level 1

                                    I know this problem has been solved but i thought i should share what i have discovered.

                                     

                                    I am using an earlier version Indesign CS3 and also have experienced book PDF crashes.

                                     

                                    I have done a lot of testing to try and determine the problem. The problem for me was with Acrobat, as interactive PDF files also crash. I did find a work around in Indesign though.

                                     

                                    I found that if i created my Indesign book files only using .wmf image files, it exported fine. I even tested this with a file with mixed image types that previously crashed. Changed to wmf and success.

                                     

                                    I found it mostly odd that when testing Adobe Illustrator.ai files were the worst. It crashed on the first page with only ai files, page 6 with mixed types (ai, wmf, eps).