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3. Discovering a document's history

From: InDesign: 10 Tips for Troubleshooting Files

Video: 3. Discovering a document's history

Did you know that every InDesign document retains a history of itself? I found an old document that has had a long and colorful history and I put it inside the Exercise Files in Chapter 03. If you don't have the exercise files, just open up any document that's been around for a while. So I'm going to go to File > Open and in the Exercise Files for this third video, select Old catalog.indd and click Open. Now you are going to get a little alert saying that you are missing a plug-in, but that's okay. Just click OK.

3. Discovering a document's history

Did you know that every InDesign document retains a history of itself? I found an old document that has had a long and colorful history and I put it inside the Exercise Files in Chapter 03. If you don't have the exercise files, just open up any document that's been around for a while. So I'm going to go to File > Open and in the Exercise Files for this third video, select Old catalog.indd and click Open. Now you are going to get a little alert saying that you are missing a plug-in, but that's okay. Just click OK.

And you'll probably have some missing fonts. That's perfectly fine as well, because we are really not interested in the fonts or the graphics or anything like that. It's just a little three page document. The history of every document is saved in a secret dialog box and you can get there by holding down the Command key on the Mac or Ctrl key on the Windows and on the Mac select About InDesign, which you'll find under the InDesign menu. On the PC you'll find it under the Help menu. So keep that Command or Ctrl key held down and you'll discover the Adobe InDesign Component Information dialog box, which has a ton of very useful information. For example, it will say the current version of InDesign that you are using along with its patch number that you see is 6.0.1.532, which if you call in for tech support, sometimes they'll ask you what are these three numbers over here. Or you can tell people when they say "which version do you have?" say 601.532. They'll be very impressed.

Along with the required plug-ins, this is just the list of all of the InDesign plug-ins that are required to run this version of InDesign, down here you will see the Document Info. So this document is using these 57 plug-ins, plus here are three plug-ins that it was created with that you currently don't have installed. You will see this Paper Module one was the only one that threw up an alert. So you very often don't need a plug-in to open a document that was used to create it. But the most important stuff is right here under Document History. In Document History, you can see what happen to this document since it was first created and that can often help you troubleshoot or at least point you in a direction of where the troubleshoot.

For example, you can see that this document, under Recovered MiniSave, it says Yes, which means at some point in its history InDesign crashed while this document was open with unsaved changes. And then when InDesign was opened again, the MiniSave, the recovery file, opened it up and the user saved changes. Now sometimes a document that crashes, even if it is saved after the recovery file is open, can be somewhat damaged. So this can give you a clue like, well, maybe there is something inside of document that's damaged, because it was open when InDesign crashed.

You can also see if it was ever converted from QuarkXPress or PageMaker and that's a good way to tell if maybe you should spend some time in recreating the document from fresh in InDesign because you can carry over some corruption from Quark or PageMaker. And then as I scroll through, you can see if it was ever opened from an InDesign Interchange. Let me scroll back up to show that you again. Here we go, Opened from InDesign Interchange. That means somebody exported it to INX and then it was opened again over here. If it was ever part of a book. And I love the next part, which says when it was born. Here is its birth date.

It was opened as a copy in Windows 501 in Version 301 build 838. That is this patch number, the build number. At 12:29 p.m. on December 7, 2005. I think almost three-and-a-half years ago and then how many times it was opened as a copy or saved as in every version on every platform. All right, so not just saved, but saved as or open as a copy, it will tell you. This one was opened as a copy or saved as in many different versions since time began.

Sometimes, if a document has been saved as too many times, the chances are very good that there are some kind of older corruptions that are still somewhat present in the document's internal structure and it may be a good idea to go through some document recreation routines such as the one that I'll be explaining in this title to recreate the document from scratch.

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