Cannot save InDesign file

Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Save option is grayed out.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018
If it's just one file save it as an IDML document and open it again in InDesign.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Which version of InDesign and OS?

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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InDesign CC 2019 14.0.1 x64, Windows 10 Pro Version 1809 Build 17763.195.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Have you tried resetting your InDesign preferences as detailed by Bill?

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Derek Cross​ Yes. Unfortunately it's hard to provide feedback, as the issue occurs randomly. We opened the problematic file and the save option was available. We assume it's fixed. If it reoccurs, we'll post. Thanks anyway.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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If it's just one file save it as an IDML document and open it again in InDesign.

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Derek Cross​ Yes, that's what we did, but that's unfortunately just a workaround, not a fix/solution. The bug is still there (and apparently has been for 2+ years) and so this can reoccur anytime. Hopefully Adobe (finally) fixes it. Thanks anyway for the helpful workaround, we know you're just trying to help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Are you trying to save to a server or remote location?


Can you save to a local HD?

Kevin Stohlmeyer
Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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kstohlmeyer1​ We couldn't select a location, the save option was grayed out in the first place.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Sorry what I meant was - are you opening off a remote or non-local drive?

I've seen this happen when users open an ID file on a secure server that somehow was locking the file out from saving edits.

Kevin Stohlmeyer
Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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kstohlmeyer1​ No problem. Yes we are, the file is on a server. It's a regular Windows server though, and the user has write permission on the directory. The export saved fine on the same directory.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Try trashing preferences.

To do so:

For Macintosh Users: The User Library folder in which InDesign’s preferences are stored is hidden by default on most Macintoshes. To access it make sure that InDesign is closed and click on the desktop to launch a Finder Window (Command-N). With this window in column view follow the path User>Home folder (it’s the folder with an icon that looks like a house—it may have the user’s name rather than “Home”) and click on the Home folder. With the Option Key pressed choose Library from the Finder Go Menu. “Library” will now appear within the Home folder. Within the Library folder find the folder called Preferences and within it find the folder called “Adobe InDesign” and the file called “com.adobe.InDesign.plist” and delete both that folder and that file. When InDesign is next launched it will create new preference files and the program will be restored to its defaults.

For Windows Users: You can try the quick way of resetting on a PC which is to hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift when launching InDesign and respond affirmatively when asked if you want to reset. There have been some recent reports that the window asking if you want to reset is not popping up but that the prefs are being reset anyway. If this works great but if it doesn’t you may have to manually delete them.

To do so:

On Windows 7 and above the preference files are hidden. To find them go to the Control Panel and open Folder Options and then click the View tab. Then select “Show hidden files and folders” or “Show hidden files, folders or drive options” in Advanced Settings. Then delete (or rename) the folder at the end of this path: C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\<Version #>\<Language>. Make sure that InDesign is closed when you do this. When you relaunch the program it will create  new preference files and the program will be at its default settings.

The advantage of manually deleting preference files is that after you’ve reset up the program (make sure that no document window is open) to your liking, you can create copies of your personalized “mint” preference files (make sure that you quit the program before copying them—that finalizes your customization) and use them in the future to replace any corrupt versions you may need to delete.

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Bill Silbert​ Done, thanks.

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New Here ,
May 25, 2022 May 25, 2022

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Hi Bill, 

I am also having an issue where my indesign file will not save. The "save" option is greyed out and if I try to close indesign it says "cannot save file". I tried going through the above process to delete preferences but I don't even have that folder or file on my computer. I am using a Macbook Pro with Monterey 12.3.1 and Indesign version 2021. Can you please help? I am using Wifi on a server at work, and the files are downloaded from a shared drive at that same workplace. I'm not sure if this is the problem? Thanks for your help!

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