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Auto save for InDesign documents?

Community Beginner ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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Is there a way to set InDesign to automatically save a document every 15 minutes (or some other time period) while it's being worked on?  When we used Quark we had that option, but see nothing like it in InDesign.

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How to, Scripting

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013
I'd ask over in the scripting forum to see if it's possible to set up a script that would run automatically on file open and save a copy periodically, or perhaps better, one that would run on file close. InDesign Scripting

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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InDesign has an autorecovery feature that records every change and writes it to a recovery file. In the case of an imporper shutdown, ID will automatically attempt to open the recovery file when you restart the application, and is usually successful unless something has corrupted the data it contains (this does happen, but the feature is extremely robust). If succesful you generazlly will not lose more than a few minutes work, if any.

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Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2016 Aug 05, 2016

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Scott is correct.. there is NO working autosave, and cant find a plugin to do it...

In my experience 90% crashing documents (and there LOADS of those in InDesign, very flawed) are NOT RECOVERED.

This has persisted at least since earliest versions of CC and long before.

Hours of work are easily lost if you are immersed enough to forget to save manually.

It is REPREHENSIBLE that Adobe is 10 years behind in such a simple software task. AND THEY DONT CARE!!!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2016 Aug 06, 2016

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If you experience crashing documents on a regular basis it's much more likely a local system problem (i.e. something on your own computer) than a problem with InDesign itself, though the latest release seems to have a few more bugs than normal. Your assertion that this has been going on since long before CC leads me to think the problem is on your system as there is no history of InDesign instability similar to your description.

Other than with documents known to crash other users systems (opened for testing and diagnosis), I don't believe I see more than one crash per year here, and I would say that is pretty typical.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2016 Aug 06, 2016

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I do not recall ever losing a document due to a crash.

I'm not minimizing your experience but I agree with Peter; there's something wrong locally if you're not seeing a recovery. I do see more crashes with recent releases but the recovery always works.

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Mentor ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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InDesign keeps a "near real time version" mirror copy of all open files.

You will not close a file without being prompted to Save if changes have been made and if InDesign or the OS crashes, the mirror copy will open upon InDesign's next launch.

It works well, but could be a few edits short.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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BUT if someone mistakenly responds "no" when asked if they want to save, is there any version saved automatically?  Guessing there's no way to set InDesign to do a regularly scheduled auto save as we did in Quark.

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Mentor ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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Nope

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016

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Guessing there's no way to set InDesign to do a regularly scheduled auto save as we did in Quark.

An autosave strategy could easily be scripted via a startup script (scripts in the Scripts>startup scripts folder automatically run at launch), so it would be worth asking in the scripting forum if something already exists. The script referenced in #9 listens for a save and makes a backup copy, so it isn't a timed autosave.

How complex the script would be depends on what you are trying to do. A simple startup script could save the active document at a timed interval, like this AppleScript, which would save the front document every 60 seconds:

-------------------------

tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2014"

    repeat

        tell active document

            save

            delay 60

        end tell

    end repeat

end tell

-------------------------

The obvious downside of this simple script is, you might not always want to save—it will effectively disable the revert command. A more robust script could use save a copy to copy iterations into the same directory, but then you would have worry about available disk space, how many iterations get saved, are they all left in the directory on quit, etc.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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As already mentioned; there's nothing to set. InDesign's auto-recovery seems like old hat now that I've enjoyed its benefits for years, but it's better at butt-saving than any other recovery feature I've ever seen.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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Agreed, the auto-recovery feature is great for power outages or improper shutdown. Had someone on my staff 'goof' and lost yesterday's work prompting me to research what we previously had in Quark. Thanks for the input everyone.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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I'd ask over in the scripting forum to see if it's possible to set up a script that would run automatically on file open and save a copy periodically, or perhaps better, one that would run on file close. InDesign Scripting

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 17, 2013 Dec 17, 2013

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Oh....great idea!!! Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2014 Sep 01, 2014

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Here's a thread that discusses this and the script solution:

How to set automatic backups to specific folder in InDesign

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 23, 2016 Jan 23, 2016

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This thread is not FALSE!!!!   You will lose hours and hours of work if you wait between saves.   Just happened to me and abode has no support.   This is for the adobe inDesign 11.0.1.105.

Total unacceptable that a backup file is not made!!   It is the 21st century.

-Scott

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Engaged ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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I just lost about 1 hour of work due to a power outage! That may not seem like a huge loss but it is very discouraging. Especially considering that I've been asking Adobe to add this really simple and highly useful addition to ALL their products for YEARS!

I remember in the 1990's, Word Perfect would also save documents after x number of keystrokes. A brilliant addition that saved countless people from grief.

I know there are a number of Adobe apologists (whom I still respect) who don't understand the need for a flexible auto-backup but that is only because you haven't suffered. Believe me, when it happens to you, I predict that you will change your tune.

Now, my work-around has always been to have the discipline to backup on a regular basis... using filename versioning (i.e. document_1.00, document_1.01, etc.) that way, even with the low possibility of file corruption, it will have several versions to choose from. Additionally, my working folders are also sync'd to the cloud with Dropbox's excellent sync tool. The only problem is that I must actually remember to save on a regular basis! This time I forgot!

Wow... just noticed that EVEN THIS FORUM AUTOSAVES... just looking in the lower left-corner, I see, "Your content was last auto-saved at 12:03 "... perhaps Adobe should consult with the web team that created this forum.

Anyway, enough wasting time... I need to recreate an InDesign document!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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Buy yourself a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Source), better known as a battery backup. There is no excuse not to have one considering how inexpensive they are. You'll never go down in a power failure.

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Engaged ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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Peter, I am not going to yell at you out of respect and the fact that you have helped me many times.

But damn it, please stop defending Adobe for a feature that would be extremely useful for all eventualities. Sure, buy a UPS... then what happens when you have an InDesign crash? Or what happens in the event of some unusual computer failure? Even a hard drive failure (it happens!) could prevent loss if Adobe is regularly backing up to a different drive.   (The happy face should help to indicate that I'm not yelling.)

Every other application I use, on a daily basis, offers some form of redundancy... i.e. Madcap Flare, of course my Google Apps and other SAAS tools, my Techsmith apps (Camtasia and Snagit), Oracle tools, Microsoft's products, and a few of my Opensource programs like Notepad ++.

No, it seems to be just Adobe, that can be bothered to add a simple and reasonable feature that could potentially save much grief to many people.

Peter Spier wrote:

Buy yourself a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Source), better known as a battery backup. There is no excuse not to have one considering how inexpensive they are. You'll never go down in a power failure.

I know what I UPS is... I use them throughout my home... even on my home security. They are inexpensive and "life-saving" when there is a power outage.

But I am at work. It is quite unreasonable to buy a UPS for every workstation in my company... Though I may just buy one for myself (a $70 investment)... it's not the point. Like I already stated, power is just one of many points of failure. A UPS won't protect my InDesign work against a hardware failure.

Why are we even arguing about this? I can't imagine why you think this is an unreasonable option.

Respect,

Shawn

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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Shawn,

I'm not saying you don't have a point about auto-recovery. I have seen cases where auto-recovery fails, and even current corruption of an open file, but they're rare. I've never felt a need for auto-save, though because I've basically used your new saving strategy for years. A UPS big enough to run a typical workstation and a flat-screen monitor for the few minutes it takes to save and shut down safely can be had for a lot less than $70, and a unit that will run a dozen workstations can probably be found, though it will most likely cost more than multiple smaller units (I bought the backup power that ran the cash registers at a local grocery store that went out of business for the company I worked for once).

If everyone in your office loses an hour of work every time the power goes of, how long do you think it will take to pay for power backup in lost productivity? Your boss should be happy to buy you a UPS if you show him the upside. No, it won't save you from non-power-loss issues, but losing power simply isn't an excuse for losing your work.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016

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How would you like the feature to work?

In addition to the current autorecovery, allow the end-user to configure, at regular intervals, the ability to save an open document to a selected location (i.e. a specific volume/folder or to a cloud location - i.e. Adobe's storage cloud).

You are describing comprehensive, incremental backup software like Retrospect and that would not be a trivial addon. You have to consider file sizes with apps like Photoshop and InDesign. I routinely have multiple 1GB+ PS files open at the same time—InDesign files can be 100s of MB each. In that case, timed incremental backups would fill a large drive in no time, or think of the bandwith problems moving 100MB copies to a cloud server.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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Even in a power failure you would typically lose nothing more than a minute or two of work with a file recovery when you re-open InDesign and I’ll echo Peter’s recommendation. A UPS is a vital piece of equipment. I’ve had one for about 18 years and only replaced the batteries in it twice.

I find the auto recovery better than any auto save I’ve ever seen in any application.

And no, I’m not an apologist; just pointing out the facts. With the autorecovery mechanism there’s simply no reason for an auto save. Even that wouldn’t be fool proof.

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Engaged ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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I find the auto recovery better than any auto save I’ve ever seen in any application.

And no, I’m not an apologist; just pointing out the facts. With the autorecovery mechanism there’s simply no reason for an auto save. Even that wouldn’t be fool proof.

No reason?

Good luck with autorecovery when your hard drive fails. Okay, that's an outlier situation but still, I am baffled at your statement because I can name a dozen application that do a much better job of protecting one's work against stupid and/or unintentional faults.

If Adobe's autorecovery is so great that please help me to understand why it failed so very miserably for me...this time and a few other times? Perhaps I didn't configure it?  I checked the recovery folders, searched for any temporary files and nothing existed that was related to the lost content.

My autorecovery folder is:

C:\Users\shawn\AppData\Local\Adobe\InDesign\Version 11.0\en_US\Caches\InDesign Recovery

...and not a single file had today's date stamp. Ridiculous considering that had worked on the document for over an hour. After some experimenting, it appears as though it doesn't begin saving to this folder until your first document save operation. Maybe that's it?

__UPLOAD.png

The document I was working on began at around 10:46 AM and abruptly ended at 11:58 AM... as you can see, there are no records of anything until my first save today, at 1:21 PM.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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I have no idea why you don't seem to be saving the recovery data -- I just tested here with a file that had been open and never saved (a test file for something else) since about 10 a.m. (now 7 pm) and it recovered perfectly. I closed that, created anew file, added a text frame and filled it with placeholder text, then force quit, elapsed time perhaps 1 minute. That one recovered with the text frame, but lost the text.

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Engaged ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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I just discovered another way in while Autorecovery doesn't work.

If you close InDesign on unsaved work, the autorecovery data is inexplicably erased. Earlier in this thread, someone actually complained about this.

Anyhow, I sent in another feature request, here: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

With the following text:

How would you like the feature to work?

In addition to the current autorecovery, allow the end-user to configure, at regular intervals, the ability to save an open document to a selected location (i.e. a specific volume/folder or to a cloud location - i.e. Adobe's storage cloud).

Why is this feature important to you?

Because autorecovery can fail! There are many situations where it is unsuccessful. Some examples: Accidentally answering NO to Save File after an InDesign shutdown request;  a hard drive failure - on the drive where autorecovery currently stores data. In my case -today- nothing was saved in the ..\InDesign Recovery folder, after a power failure.

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Engaged ,
Aug 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016

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Thanks all for your suggestions and even a little bit of empathy.

IMHO, it wouldn't take much for Adobe to enhance their backup. Like I said before, the Adobe suite is the only application where I have experienced troubles with lost files... I think about less than ten times in about six years... but still, very discouraging when it happens.

No, I am not going to buy a UPS (LOL)... this is a work computer and I cannot even justify the expense considering that Adobe is only about 25% of my workload and it's the only application where I could lose data as a result of a power outage. All my other applications are a lot smarter or are cloud based.

rob day wrote:

The obvious downside of this simple script is, you might not always want to save—it will effectively disable the revert command.


Yes, that would be worse.

Until Adobe actually makes an improvement, I will stick to disciplining myself to perform manual backups on a regular basis and I promise not to complain any more about this. After yesterday's loss, it will be my fault to allow this to happen again!

Thanks all,

Shawn

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