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Troubleshooting 101: Export to .idml or .inx to clear file corruption

Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2009 Nov 18, 2009

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Sometimes a particular InDesign file may behave badly (if all your files are doing strange things, see Replace, or "trash" your InDesign preferences ). In such cases the first thing to try is export to .inx if you have CS, CS2 or CS3(InDesign Interchange format) by selecting File > Export… and choosing .inx from the file type dropdown, or if you have CS5 or later export to .idml. The resulting file should then be opened in ID and saved as a NEW .indd file.

Interchange format was set up to allow users to open files in a version of ID one release earlier (minus, of course, new features) than the one in which they were created. It reduces the file to the bare minimum of information needed to recreate the layout, and as a side effect it often strips out minor corruption that will cause strange behavior but is not bad enough to prevent the file from opening. Other things Interchange Format can help with are removal of stubborn unused swatches and references to missing plugins.

The  .idml (InDesign Markup) format was introduced in CS4  and in that version you have your choice (.inx is listed as CS3 interchange) and is the replacement for .inx going forward. My non-scientific intuition says that .idml is slighlty less effective than .inx at solving problems, so I would opt for .inx in CS4 as my first choice, but I also would not dismiss .idml out of hand if I suspect document corruption.

Updated 12/14/2011

Message was edited by: Peter Spier

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2009 Dec 17, 2009

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This was extremely helpful. I crashed about a dozen times after updating from ID3 to ID4 before discovering this fix. I still don't exactly understand why this worked—I'm dim that way—but it did.

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2010 Apr 01, 2010

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Thanks. Worked for me also. CS3 asking for missing CS2 plugins.

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2010 Jul 06, 2010

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That worked. Thanks so much. You just saved me an unbelievable amount of work.

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Explorer ,
Sep 01, 2010 Sep 01, 2010

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oh dear god, thanks a lot, it fixed all the problems i had with a CS4 book opened in CS5, for an unknown reason the document had locked anchored object that was making CS5 crash everything i was trying to touch the anchor, the idml file fixed the problem, i can now choose to unlock the graphic (this action was grayed out before)

plus it solved a problem i had with the text box inset option, couldnt change the right and left inset... now i can..

just sad that it cannot auto-convert itself properly..

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2010 Dec 22, 2010

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Hi, I'm not seeing this option in CS5 under File>Export. Am I missing something?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2010 Dec 22, 2010

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Did you read the update note at the bottom of the topic post? In CS5 .inx has been replaced with .idml.

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2010 Dec 22, 2010

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I did not see that - thanks for pointing it out.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2010 Dec 22, 2010

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Yup...in CS5 it's export to IDML.

Bob

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2011 Mar 05, 2011

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My CS3 file went from 2mb to 1,7mb in CS5. Sweet


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Guest
Apr 12, 2011 Apr 12, 2011

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Hi! I did this as you mentioned, and the file became much much smaller! So right now I can just continue my work using the new indd file is that right?

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New Here ,
Apr 12, 2011 Apr 12, 2011

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Yes.

BTW: I have had no crashing problems since updating to CS5.

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Guest
Apr 12, 2011 Apr 12, 2011

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okay thank you very much!

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New Here ,
May 04, 2011 May 04, 2011

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I have several documents that I export to PDF using data merge. All of the documents have been exporting very nicely each and every time I use them with the exception of one. Today when I tried to export it, CS5 crashed. So I cut and pasted and made a new document, thinking that might work, but it still crashed. So I tried exporting the document as a IDML. I opened the IDML file and tried to export it using the data merge to PDF and it still crashed. Any ideas on what else I might try, besides redoing then entire 23 page document?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2011 May 04, 2011

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Chris, please start a new thread for this. Give complete details about OS and version of ID along with a screen capture of the layout and a description of what you've done so far.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2011 May 04, 2011

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Thanks. I will do that tomorrow. I have some other projects that I need to work on for work right now. But I did say I was using CS5 and I am using Vista as my OS.

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Mentor ,
May 04, 2011 May 04, 2011

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To my knowledge, (through CS4) you cannot Data Merge to pdf, but rather create a new file. I have exported to pdf immedialtely after creating a merged doc, but at that point it is not saved.

Are there images contained within the merge doc? I would look at those first.

Hunt and conquer method - Start eliminating half the document pages or elements at a time.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2011 May 04, 2011

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I am using CS5 and I do have graphics throughout the document. I will try eliminating the graphics and see what happens. I just find it wierd that I have been using this same document for the past 6 months, as well as the other documents, and yet today it decides to give me problems. @@

Thank you for the quick response.

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New Here ,
Jul 18, 2011 Jul 18, 2011

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Yep.  Worked for me.  Cheers

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New Here ,
Aug 10, 2011 Aug 10, 2011

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How about if you are working on a book?  Export is not

an option once you are in InDesign screen with the book file open but none of the component files open..  I have to export all 11 documents it is composed of?

Using CS5.    That would be File>Export and in that window, Save As Type> in popdown choose IDML (index design markup language), right?  Then I link the new files to the book and delete the others????

Thanks for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 10, 2011 Aug 10, 2011

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Right. Books can't be exported to .idml because basically they have no content of their own. They're just a way to organize a collection of Documents.

You can either replace the the exisiting files inthe exisiting book, or just make a new book with the new files, which is probably faster.

But what sort of trouble are you having that you need to export all the files? Perhaps you should start a thread giving full details of the problem and we can find a better solution.

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New Here ,
Aug 10, 2011 Aug 10, 2011

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wow 2 min to get an answer, very impressive!  It's a TOC problem

, won't recognize the headings in the section its in.  Sometimes erases all the other text except the TOC-- like maybe I did something when adjusting the frames and it thinks the whole document is part of the toc.  (it used to work just fine)   Someone suggested maybe minor corruption, so I was looking into your proposed solution..  I just had the frames idea in the past few min.

.   Where should I post this and what would u suggest as a heading

btw is there a seach function on this site?  can't find one

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 10, 2011 Aug 10, 2011

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http://forums.adobe.com/community/indesign/indesign_general and click "Start Discussion" in the actions panel on the right.

If it's a TOC problem, put that in the title. In the post include details of the problem, what you've done, what you expected, and what really happens, as well as the version and patch level of ID and your OS. Add screen shots if appropriate.

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Participant ,
Aug 27, 2012 Aug 27, 2012

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Deleted the hyperlinks and the file got tuned.

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Engaged ,
Jul 10, 2012 Jul 10, 2012

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Great tips Peter. We recommend exporting to .inx (now .idml) as well to folks contacting us with corrupted InDesign files. If all fails, or if that is not even possible though, we as Markzware offer the Markzware InDesign File Recovery Service, whereby we attempt to salvage and recover your file for you. Just thought it important to mention this.

Friendly Regards,

David Dilling of

Markzware

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