InDesign: 10 Tips for Troubleshooting Files
Illustration by John Hersey

InDesign: 10 Tips for Troubleshooting Files

with Anne-Marie Concepción

Video: 8. Disabling third-party plug-ins

One easy troubleshooting fix is to disable any third party plug-ins that might be running in InDesign. Now the reason I didn't mention it as one of the earlier movies is because in my experience the plug-ins, unless it's a Font Activation plug-in, usually doesn't have that much effect on if InDesign is acting flaky or not. They are pretty stable. However, if in doubt you might as well try and disable them. Well, a lot of people don't even know if they have any plug-ins running and a good way to tell is to go up to the InDesign menu and you will see sometimes a plug-in will put information about itself here, like About MultiDo, which is in InDesign plug-in, or if you go to the About Plug-in flyout menu, some third partys will add a little About box for themselves.

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign: 10 Tips for Troubleshooting Files
1h 1m Intermediate Jun 04, 2009

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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.

Topics include:
  • Using a document's history to work through problems
  • Creating a test user account to check for conflicts with other user settings
  • Round-tripping a file to work out specific issues
  • Locating and disabling third-party plug-ins to reset InDesign
Subject:
Design
Software:
InDesign
Author:
Anne-Marie Concepción

8. Disabling third-party plug-ins

One easy troubleshooting fix is to disable any third party plug-ins that might be running in InDesign. Now the reason I didn't mention it as one of the earlier movies is because in my experience the plug-ins, unless it's a Font Activation plug-in, usually doesn't have that much effect on if InDesign is acting flaky or not. They are pretty stable. However, if in doubt you might as well try and disable them. Well, a lot of people don't even know if they have any plug-ins running and a good way to tell is to go up to the InDesign menu and you will see sometimes a plug-in will put information about itself here, like About MultiDo, which is in InDesign plug-in, or if you go to the About Plug-in flyout menu, some third partys will add a little About box for themselves.

You can also go to Configure Plug-Ins under the InDesign menu, and by the way all of these are under the Help menu in Windows, where InDesign lists all of the plug-ins in the program, and you can see that a lot of these, like Library panel and basic tools, are actually directly from the InDesign Application folder, because that's all that InDesign is actually. It's a big collection of plug-ins that Adobe developed themselves. But at the bottom under the Display title, turn off Adobe, so uncheck the Adobe checkbox, and then what's left are your third party plug-ins.

The ones with the stop signs means that there is a problem with them and then the regular plug-ins just show that they are running, all right. You can get information about them, you can also duplicate them, you can import more plug-ins. I would not bother creating a set with having these disabled or anything like that. I would just use this dialog box as a way to see what other plug-ins you have installed. You might want to write these down and then quit out of InDesign. So I'll choose InDesign > Quit or Exit from the File menu in Windows, and in your InDesign Program Folder, which on a Mac is in the Applications Folder, and on Windows in your Start menu, go to All Programs, locate Adobe InDesign CS4, you will see a folder called Plug-ins that have a series of other folders that have other plug-ins in them. These are the ones that Adobe created.

You might see a plug-in just sort of floating along here with all the other folders. This is usually a third party plug-in, so here is the InVersion Plug-in that we saw from pre-media system, here is the MultiDo Plug-in, and then there is also a folder that doesn't belong here. That's not from Adobe, this is the DTP Tools Plug-in folder, and these were the two that have that stop sign. The reason is because these are from an older version of InDesign. Now what I recommend is that when you install plug-ins or when your IT person installs plug-ins, please have them add a label or something to this folder.

If you are on a Macintosh, you can just select the folder and then go to the File menu and choose a label, so that it's very easy to tell which of these plug-ins came from a third party, and which ones are part of the default set that comes from Adobe. That way you can quickly go to your plug-Ins Folder and see your third party plug-ins at a glance. Now to uninstall plug-ins, it's a simple matter of just dragging them right out of this folder and putting them wherever you would like. You know what I do is inside my InDesign CS4 folder, I just create a new folder and call it Plug-Outs, right, then that's where I put the plug-ins that I want to deactivate temporarily. Just drag and drop them right into Plug-Outs and then start InDesign again.

And now when I go to configure plug- ins and I turn off Adobe, then it's all empty. So now I can test to see if the problem that I'm having with my documents with the program itself still exists, and if not then I know the issue has to do with one of those plug-ins and I can test those, or I can make sure that I have the latest versions, and so on.

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