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

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

LEGEND ,
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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Nov 18, 2009 1
New Here ,
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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Dec 17, 2009 0
New Here ,
Apr 01, 2010

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

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Apr 01, 2010 0
New Here ,
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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Jul 06, 2010 0
Explorer ,
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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Sep 01, 2010 0
New Here ,
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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Dec 22, 2010 0
LEGEND ,
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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Dec 22, 2010 0
New Here ,
Dec 22, 2010

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

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Dec 22, 2010 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 22, 2010

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

Bob

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Dec 22, 2010 0