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"failed to export pdf" InDesign

Community Beginner ,
Feb 16, 2023 Feb 16, 2023

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This is really a plea to the folks at Adobe:
Please, please, please enhance the error reporting in InDesign's export module. "Failed to export .pdf" tells a user nothing about the problem inherent in the file responsible for the export failure. Obviously, the error data is available. That is, the application encountered something that prevented export. Please include that something in the error reporting, so that your faithfully subscribing users can more efficiently address the enigmatic problem. It's utterly ridiculous that folks have been muddling through this exact problem for over a decade (I saw postings about this very issue from 2010), and your team has not built in more informative error reporting.

Can we get this improved, please?

Also... if there's a better place for me to be making this request/complaint, please feel free to nudge me in the right direction.

TOPICS
Bug , Feature request , Import and export

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Community Expert ,
Feb 16, 2023 Feb 16, 2023

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A bit more information will be helpful.

Which version of InDesign and OS?

How much RAM an spare hard disk capacity?

Have you tried resetting the InDesign preferences?

Does this happen with all methods of creating a PDF?

(You're not addressing Adobe on this peer-to-peer support forum - IMO this is probably the best place to sort your issue out.)

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 17, 2023 Feb 17, 2023

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I appreciate your quick response, Derek. As I said, this was more of a plea to Adobe to include already-available data in InDesign's error reporting (at least as regards the decade-old "failed to export pdf" error). I'm familiar with how to painstakingly troubleshoot the problem: a series of incremental exports while isolating the problem element. This might seem practical when the document in question in a page or two. But for long-format projects? There's just literally no reason I can imagine that InDesign can't report the actual error it encountered while exporting a PDF.

For my latest encounter with this error, I was thankfully only exporting a relatively small flyer. Took me about 10 minutes to isolate a couple of PNGs as the problem. My question is: Is there some reason InDesign couldn't have either...

  1. told me there is a PNG on page 2 causing a problem;
  2. told me the precise nature of the problem with those PNGs?

 

The pre-flight error reporting does this (although, pre-flight's green dot indicated there were no errors in this case), so why shouldn't the export error reporting do the same? Again, the data is available. I'd appreciate if InDesign would share it with the end-user. Again, yesterday's was an easy fix. Larger projects, I've blown 30 minutes of productivity chasing down a mysterious error.

I'll post this in the User Voice forum and keep my fingers crossed!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 17, 2023 Feb 17, 2023

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Hi @mattbrunt , this doesn’t help with error reporting, but why use PNG or any web format? It would be pretty easy to batch convert image assets to PSD format, which I’m guessing would cause fewer problems on PDF exports.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 17, 2023 Feb 17, 2023

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 17, 2023 Feb 17, 2023

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Thanks, Bob!
I figured there might be some better forum for directly reaching Adobe. Any idea how responsive they are to requests there? I suspect when I check it out, I'm going to find a spit-ton of opinions and feature-requests.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 17, 2023 Feb 17, 2023

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When you go to InDesign User Voice, start by searching for your topic. Someone may already have posted it.

 

Viewers can vote for your suggestion. Product managers are much more likely to consider implementing suggestions which are popular, or obviously necessary for a large number of users.

 

It's much more likely to get a positive effect than posting here only.

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