Failed to export to PDF

Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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I have a large 358-page book with images that I am attempting to export to PDF. I'm getting the 'Failed to export pdf' error message that I know a lot of others get but I just can't figure it out. My first thought was massive images, and some of them are. I'm often guilty of being lazy with resizing my images correctly so I disabled downsampling but no good. It still failed. I've tried saving as IDML to clear the corruption but no good either. I've tried exporting in sections, 10-page batches to locate the problem area but no good. Some did export but its like looking for a needle in a haystack. If I strip out all images from the file it will export so I know it's a corrupt image somewhere but I just can't locate it (as I say it's a book and I'm using a lot of images). Has anyone figured out an answer to this exporting issue or does Adobe just hate me? Bet Canva wouldn't do this to me...

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Bug , Import and export , Print

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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You need to localize the corrupt image. You can do that by exporting half of it. If it exports, it's in the other half. If not, you got the "right" half. Export again the half of the half… It will soon bring you near to the problematic image. I once had a similar problem because our IT implemented a fancy caching for images and other big files. That was not working for InDesign, however. The result was corrupted images somewhere in the document.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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Thanks I'll keep trying to export in pieces. I'll find it eventually I just wish there was a magic wand for this. If I can't trust Adobe to work when I need it to I can't hit my deadlines on time. I'm sensing this is going to hurt me in the long run.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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By halving each time, you find the fastest way to the single failing image!

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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So I've done that, halved and halved again - exporting and re-exporting and identified what I thought were the problem pages and removed them. I've worked my way through the whole document and successfully exported each page in small batches. Thought, great. I've done it. Went to export the whole document again (now without the problem pages) and 'failed to export'. I just want to bang my head on the table. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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If the file is one document, try disabling background processing. 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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Which version of InDesign and OS?
How much RAM and spare hard-disk capacity do you have?

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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Hi Derek,

So it's latest MacOS Monterey v 12.2.1

InDesign 2022. Fully updated.

32GB RAM and a good 500GB hard disc space so no issues there.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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How much spare hard disk space?

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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Yep 500GB spare. I have a big 2TB disk.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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quote

Bet Canva wouldn't do this to me...


By @jamesf63277216

Canva would do other things to you, I suppose. 😉

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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Thanks. Sorry I was kidding about Canva.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2022 Apr 02, 2022

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Thanks. Sorry I was kidding about Canva.


By @jamesf63277216

We're never kidding… 8-)

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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What file types did you use?

  • EPS (avoid)
  • PDF/x-1a or x-3 (avoid)
  • PDF/x-4 or AI (best)
  • TIFF
  • PSD
  • JPG (not with transparency)
  • PNG (not for print)
  • SVG, SVGZ (not for print)

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 04, 2022 Apr 04, 2022

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I'm using mostly PNG files to be honest. As this is a print project, should I resave all the links as jpgs? Would that cause it not to export to pdf? Thanks for any help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2022 Apr 04, 2022

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PNGs will work for print as long as they have enough resolution. but that is true for any raster-only graphic (pixel based), including TIFF and JPEG. Some formats can mix raster and vector, including PDF, EPS, and AI. InDesign treats PSD files as raster, however if you save the Photoshop file as PDF, it will retain the vector elements. 

 

I think the fact that you can output the job in pieces but not as a whole indicates a problem with the printer or computer spooling. Have you tried putting all your graphics on a layer and either making the layer non-printing or hiding it? That would tell you if it is a graphics-related issue.

 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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