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I'm using InDesign CS6, but if I have to collaborate with somebody that's using an earlier version of InDesign, I have to export this in a format that their version can understand, and that's called IDML, InDesign Markup Language. I can reach that two different ways; I can go to File > Export or File > Save As. Now in previous versions of InDesign, this option was only available under Export. It really doesn't matter which route I take, I end up at the same place. But Save As makes a little clearer what I'm creating.
So I'm going to put this on my desktop, and I'm going to save it as IDML, InDesign Markup Language. Keep in mind that there could be some problems if I've created something here that doesn't exist in CS5. I always recommend that you make a PDF of your InDesign file. Send that with the IDML file. In that way they can check it against hard copy in a way, and they can make sure that nothing has happened--no text is reflowed; no crops have changed. Remember that this is a translation process, so you should be cautious. So when I click Save, it's actually a background process, but this file is so small that it's already taken place.
What's going happen when somebody opens this up in their version of InDesign? When I choose File > Open and I open up the IDML file, so we have to wait for it to get open, it has to sort of reinflate itself, it's actually re-creating the proxies for all the placed graphics and it's called Untitled. But that's okay. All I have to do to continue with this is just do a File > Save As, save it as an InDesign file and then I can keep working on it, once I've determined that there haven't been any problems introduced by this back save. If you ever have a problem with an InDesign file that leads you to think maybe it's corrupt, maybe it's exhibiting misbehavior that you're not seeing in other files, so you notice in InDesign itself, it's got to be file specific.
Using IDML is a great way to rebuild that file and chances are it's going to fix the problem you're having, so just do what I did. File > Save As, IDML, and then just open that IDML file back up, and almost all of the time this will fix problems that you're having with the file. IDML is meant for a number of reasons. It's for developers to be able pull out content for repurposing. We use it as a way to back save, back for users of CS4, CS5, and CS5.5, but it's also a great way to fix a corrupt file.
So IDML is really handy in bunch of different ways.
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