Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another way to repair a damaged InDesign file

I've written previously about a couple of sneaky ways to fix a damaged or corrupt InDesign file. If those methods fail, here's another file repair method to try:

A client came to me with a file that crashed every time that he tried to remove a certain paragraph style, or that he used Find Font to try to replace a certain font. It also crashed immediately when he tried to export an .inx or .idml file. What saved the day in this case was this workaround:

1. Open the bad InDesign file.

2. Create a new InDesign file with the same page size, orientation, and single/facing pages setting. Make this file only one page in length.

3. Choose File > Save, and name this file "Repaired file.indd" (a little optimism can't hurt!)

4. Switch to the bad InDesign file, and in the Pages panel, choose Move Pages.

5. Enter the page numbers you want to move, which page you want to move them after, and then in the "Move to" drop down list, select "Repaired file.indd".

6. When you click the OK button, all the pages from the old, damaged file will be "pushed" into the new, repaired file. Hopefully, any nasties that are causing problems in the old file will not move with the pages into the new file.

In this case, with this client, following the steps above fixed the problem, and the client was a happy camper!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great idea!
Nadya Miloserdova

Anonymous said...

you're a life savior!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gilbert,

This is really very useful tip, thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

Wow I would have never thought about this. But about CS5. I saved an idml file from CS5 so I can open it in CS4 then from CS4 save another idml so I can open it in CS3. Every time I open the idml in cs4, it crashes. Any idea?
Thanks

Keith Gilbert said...

Try exporting to IDML from CS5, opening the IDML in CS5 again, saving it, then exporting a new IDML and opening this new IDML in CS4. It sounds like the CS5 file is damaged.

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE THE GOD! :-) thank you very much, I spent a lot of time in these two days with crashing indesign :-( but this helped, great! thank you

herryC said...

OMG!! This is perfectly working!! Thanks a lot!

IMI said...

Life saver - your the greatest!!!!!!

IMI

taylorreed said...

I've also had luck by doing a select all and then pasting into a new document that's the same size.

steven said...

Keith, Why does this work? What is causing the files to crash in the first place? It is a corrupt text or image box?

Tom Patrick said...

I started working on a damaged InDesign file and tried your tips. I must thank you that few repairs were done without much hard work. Still, many issues remained for which I ran Stellar Phoenix InDesign Repair for Mac software. Quite amazingly, this tool fixed those issues and brought back my INDD file back to life. Though, I spent $99 for it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, after two days of agony, I found your blog and it worked! My INDD document does not crash anymore when I export it to IDML. You ARE a life saver.

naughtee said...

this saved my bottom, THANKS...

well might be a little early, if i move the entire document it crashes, however i can move this chapter by chapter (in about 5 at the mo), so i assume i'll hit a chapter with the corrupted 'bit' which i can re-jigg, as opposed to re-doing the whole thing (she's big)

THANKS!!!

Unknown said...

THANKYOU!!! The first go trying to move my 42 page document it crashed as per usual but by doing several pages at a time I could at least capture my stylesheets, margins, rulers, page layouts and etc, enough to be able to work on.

Kriss Laber said...

THANK YOU!! This saved me hours of redoing work.

Rooholah Abolhasani said...

Yeeeeeeeah

Thank you. You saved may life!

Kyle. B said...

This worked for me. Great Tip. Thanks!