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InDesign users might at some point encounter misbehaving files that stop production dead in its tracks. In InDesign CS4: 10 Tips for Troubleshooting Files, Adobe Certified Instructor Anne-Marie Concepción passes on her knowledge of diagnosing and repairing these problems, drawing on her experience from helping hundreds of users. Anne-Marie shows how to rebuild preferences quickly and safely, systematically test for corrupt images and fonts, and even clean out corruption errors by hand-editing INX files. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now I want to show you a low-key, easy kind of way of troubleshooting a flakey document by simply seeing if perhaps the problem is in the document itself and moving all of the objects to a fresh new InDesign document will solve it. If that's something that you suspect might be the case, then it's pretty easy to do in InDesign. In this example, I'm working with a small catalog that's in landscape orientation and the first step is to create your fresh new InDesign document. So in order to match the page size in orientation, I'm going to go to File and choose Document Setup and see how this current document is setup. So this is just letter sized, landscape, Facing Pages. Now I'll remember that and that's what I'll create in the new document.
Now truth be told, this is not a requirement. I could create a new document that was postcard size, and these pages would still move over successfully. It's just that the artwork would be centered over the postcard size pages. That's not going to help me out a lot. So I'm going to just click OK here and then create a new document from File > New, that is letter, facing page, landscape. The number of columns and margins and bleed guides and stuff, that makes no difference because we are going to be bringing over the masters as well. So I have created an untitled document and the Chocolate catalog.
Now we need to drag pages from the source document, the problem child document, from its Pages panel and drop them on to the window of the receiving document. Now unfortunately, InDesign, unlike say Photoshop, won't let me just drag a page and drop it onto the tab to have it pop open in front. Maybe we'll get that in CS5, but we do have to have part of this showing. So I can either detach these from the tab so they both are floating windows, or what I think I'll do is I'll just use N-up view to put these two documents side by side.
So let's say that I want to bring over all pages from this document and drop them over on to this document. With this document active, what you do is you select the first page and then Shift-click the last page and then from the Pages panel, drag and drop the pages over on to this document. Now before I do that, I want you to check out the masters. When you drag and drop a page, it brings along its master for the ride and it adds it to the Master panel of the receiving document. However, if the name is exactly the same, like here it's A-Master and here it's A-Master, then the definition for the receiving document's A-Master trumps, and so these guys will lose that filled in master and they will become blank A-Masters. In other words, please rename your masters before you do this dragging and dropping. So I'm just going to right-click on A-Master. You just need to rename them if you have left them at the default names. And I'll just call it Master-org and I'll do the same thing for B-Master. I'm just right- clicking on the name of the master, choosing Master Options and changing part of the name. That's good.
All right, now let's try that again. Select the first page, Shift+Click the last page, drag and drop anywhere on to the window for the receiving document. You will get an alert that says, "Where do you want to put these?" Do not choose After Page 1, especially if you are doing a facing pages document, because that means what was page one here will be page two here and it's going to mess up your left and right spreads. So instead, choose At Start of Document or Before Page 1. In other words, you want to make sure that page one is going to end up at page one. So I'll choose At Start of Document and click OK.
And now all the pages are brought over. Let me choose Consolidate All so we can see it and now we have a completely fresh new InDesign document with all of our elements brought over. So the other way of bringing pages over, I'm going to do undo, is it doesn't require that you arrange the window so that you can see them both at the same time. Instead, in the original document you select the pages that you want to move over and then from the Pages panel menu, or you can also do this from the Layout Pages flyout menu, you choose Move Pages.
So no dragging and dropping involved. And move pages one through seven, or I guess I could have just chosen Move Pages and entered the pages that I want. And then where do you wan to them to go? We want them to go at the start of the document. Of which document? Why, of Untitled-4. So you do have to have the document open before you choose Move pages. And then click OK and then when we go to page four, you see the pages have been brought over. Now moving pages, you don't have to worry so much about the naming of the masters, because when you move pages and you bring the masters over, InDesign is little more intelligent about it, and if the two masters have the same exact name, InDesign will rename the one that you are bringing over. It will increment up the prefix of the master page. On the other hand, it will increment up the prefix of the master page, but it won't associate the pages with that newly named master. So though it is a little smarter with master pages, it probably is still a good idea to make sure that you have the master pages are differently named in both the source document and the receiving document.
So this technique, I found it very useful especially when you have a really old document that you saved lots of times, such as the example that I showed and talked about in the video about a document history. To create a completely new InDesign document from scratch and bring your objects over will sometime solve the problem. Now you don't have to bring over every single page. Sometimes if you are pretty sure if it's just one page that's causing a problem, you can move just that one page over to the new document and if you can't replicate the problem there, then you know that is the problem page and you can either recreate it from scratch or start again in a new document.
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