InDesign 2021 crashes when exporting Book file (indb) to interactive PDF.

Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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Hi,

I'm trying to export a multi-document book from InD to an interactive PDF

 

Using: InDesign 2021 (v. 17.1) on iMac 27, Monterey (12.3.1)

 

Problem: InD crashes when exporting from Book pane to PDF.

• The new book is compiled from several updated InD files (book sections), with multiple internal and external hyperlinks in each.

• No buttons or other interactive elements.

• Preflight for each InD file is green

• There is no issue exporting individual InD files straight to print interactive PDF

• Crash occurs when exporting single files within the book, as well as multiples

 

The original Book was created years ago and updated successfully twice in the interim, with older versions of InD.

 

I urgently need help with troubleshooting. Many thanks in advance.

 

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Bug , Import and export

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Community Expert ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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You say that the indb was updated in older versions of InDesign. Try creating a new indb.

P.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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Yes, I've done that. The new indb is having these issues.

 

I've been methodically exporting each file individually through the Book pane and have found some that work, so it may be a problem within certain files.

 

Any thoughts on how to narrow it down further?

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Community Expert ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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Try saving the document(s) as IDMLs to clear out the crud the builds up in old documents.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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The files that don't export through the indb, try doing a Save As (rather than just a Save), which clears the undo history. If that doesn;t help, save them as IDML and re-open them in InDesign.

If that doesn't work, try different export settings.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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Saving to IDML then re-opening in InD works! For most of the problem files. Thank you!

 

2 remaining files continue to crash upon export to Interactive PDF in Book pane.
They don't crash when exporting to print PDF (on any setting), so it must be interactivity related.  The hyperlinks pane shows all links are OK.

What do you suggest?

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Community Expert ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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Did you try different export settings? Different compression settings, not enabling embedded page thumbnails, that kind of thing.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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Thank you!

Exporting the problem files to interactive PDF through Book pane was successful when hyperlinks was unchecked (but bookmarks are checked).  

 

The hyperlinks are crucial to the functionality of this book - and there are many.

 

If the hyperlinks pane shows no issues with the links, what would be the most efficient way to find the problem area?
Links are a mix of URLs, text anchors, emails, and page destinations within the file and to other files that make up the whole book.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 20, 2022 Apr 20, 2022

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@Angela PS Chan we've discovered many bugs and errors with hyperlinks in exported tagged PDFs, and have narrowed down the cause of many to be the Shared Hyperlinks option in each hyperlink's settings.

 

We use this workflow to correct them:

  • Open each hyperlink from the hyperlinks panel and UNcheck the option to use Shared Destinations.
  • Save the INDD as an IDML, and then close the file.
  • Reopen the new IDML version and make the PDF.

 

Note, colleague Keith Gilbert has a free script to remove the shared destination hyperlinks: https://www.gilbertconsulting.com/scripts

 

In some files, that was not enough to correct them, and went further:

  • Delete each hyperlink. (Using the Properties Panel, select the Delete Hyperlink button.)
  • Save the file, Save As and also as an IDML.
  • Close the file, and reopen it.
  • Create the hyperlinks again.

 

 

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 21, 2022 Apr 21, 2022

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Hi! Thanks for the wonderful tips!

I ended up relinking all the page destinations between files, as they were broken upon updating and gathered in a new folder. URLs & text anchors were intact.

 

The hyperlinks pane shows a red dot when URLs aren't working, but no indicator for faulty page destinations, so it was a manual process to find/correct them.

 

Very labour intensive but the Book is compiled and working interactively as expected. Thanks to you all!

 

Would anyone recommend having all 400 pages in one doc (in separate sections) instead of separate files for each section (some have many subsections)? It seems unwieldy to navigate, not to mention huge file size, but perhaps it could alleviate the problem of broken page links?

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 21, 2022 Apr 21, 2022

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400 pages isn't a lot I don't think, but I would prefer to use a book with separate documents for chapters. It's easier to work with, you don't have sluggish documents (fewer, anyway, and less sluggish), and if something goes terribly wrong (document corruption), you lose everything when you have evrything in a single file. The problem of broken page links isn't related to your document being in a single file or in separate files I don't think.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 21, 2022 Apr 21, 2022

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Thanks for your corroboration.

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