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Managing Missing Plug-ins Warnings in Adobe InDesign for Persistent Data Stored in Documents

Adobe Employee ,
Apr 13, 2023 Apr 13, 2023

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If you're a plug-in developer who stores persistent data in an InDesign document, you must consider what happens when someone opens the document with that data without your plug-in installed.

Your plug-in can open and interpret the data when it is present and loaded. However, if you remove the plug-in or give the document to someone who doesn't have it, the plug-in isn't available to interpret the data. 

In this scenario, you can control the warning level displayed by the application to the user. Here are three levels of warnings & how the missing plug-in alert works in Adobe InDesign:





    1. If the user opens the document, the application opens an untitled copy to preserve the original document. Use this level when the data is visible in the document or contributes objects owned by another object in the database. (For example, use it when the document has text attributes owned by the text model.)



    2. If the user continues the open operation, the application opens the original document. Use this level when the data is self-contained and invisible to the user, but the user could encounter a missing function that the plug-in would have provided.




3. In this case, knowing the plug-in was involved in constructing this document is unnecessary. If the plug-in stores data in the document, but that data is used only by this plug-in and does not reference objects supplied by other plug-ins, the user sees no difference when the plug-in is missing. For example, the plug-in could store preferences information in every document for its use.

By setting the warning level, the plug-in can specify the relative importance of its data. Data created by the plug-in has the “default” warning level. However, you can override the setting and identify the data as more important (critical) or less important (ignored). You can modify this important setting by adding resources to the plug-in’s boss definition file.

How to set warnings for missing plug-ins?
You can trigger warnings for missing InDesign plug-ins by using ClassID or ImplementationID values.

The following example set the warning level to ignore data stored by the PersistentList plug-in in the SDK by adding two resources to PstLst.fr:

This example marks implementation IDs as ignored:

resource IgnoreTags(1) {
    kImplementationIDSpace, {

This example marks boss classes as ignored:

resource IgnoreTags(2) {
    kClassIDSpace, {


For more information, refer to the programming guides in the docs\guide folder of the InDesign SDK.

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