InDesign: large document question

Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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I'm going to be working on a large document in InDesgin 2022. I have just started production and there are about 2GB of images that must be placed and at least 100 pages for this catalog. In the past life as a production/design person several publications departments I would break the file in half or into sections. I'm a little nervous not to, but my client (though can be convinced) would prefer I not split the file. I would split the file because the size often bogged down the process, and if something went wrong I could save and build from another section (as well as "save as" versions). I know that I could use "book" features in InDesign, and I'm also happy to divide the file myself as I always have.

 

From a production stand point, what is a good maximum size (in MB) to keep in mind for a InDesign file? If I'm placing 2GB of assets would it be smart to divide the file into several sections? I think so, but don't know for sure. Things change. Any advice?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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The standard approach is to link the images so you're not creating an InDesign file as big as that. What you should let us know is what are the system specs the project will be created on: Please tell us what operating system (exactly) you're running. Please tell us (exactly) what InDesign version you're using. Also you computer specs (RAM,. hard drive space and kind of hard drive). Are the images stored locally or on a server?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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  1. Important is that all placed and imported assets are linked and not embedded. Avoid EPS files.
  2. Split the document at chapters. It makes InDesign faster.
  3. Put all INDD files together in an InDesign book file INDB.

You will get a much stabler workflow than if all is in one single INDD document. So you have less danger with corrupted ddocuments. You get also the possiblity to reorder the chapters.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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Hi @eahuffman:

 

I don't have a specific number (in MB) to offer but personally, I would break the file into sections and then collect them into a book for pagination purposes. (It helps that I am already comfortable with InDesign's book features.)

 

Are there any logical breaking points? If not, I would lay out the first twenty pages and see how InDesign is behaving. If all seems good, then create the 2nd 20, and so on. And be sure to save incremental backups—it will happen for you automatically if you save directly to Dropbox or to the Creative Cloud drives. Otherwise, just regularly save a section under a name.

 

And you know to use File > Place to link the images (and not Copy/Paste which will embed the images)?

 

It sounds like the client is flexible, but if there is pushback remind them you can export a single PDF from the book file.

 

~Barb

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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I have just started production and there are about 2GB of images that must be placed and at least 100 pages for this catalog

 

Hi @eahuffman , linked images are displayed with low res preview proxies so even a document with 2GBs of links should not be particularly large unless something else is going on (e.g., metadata or complex vectors). Here’s a page with a 1.4GB linked image, and the ID document size is only 2MB.

 

Screen Shot 16.png

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