What's covered

Troubleshooting tasks

Additional suggestions



This troubleshooting guide can help you resolve problems that prevent you from opening an Adobe InDesign document. These problems can include low disk space, low memory, software conflicts, or document damage, and they can cause InDesign or the system to return an error such as the following:

-- "Could not open [filename]. The document most likely includes data from an updated plug-in. Please upgrade your plug-ins to the latest version or upgrade to the latest version of Adobe InDesign."

-- "[Filename] is damaged beyond any possibility of recovery."

-- "Cannot open 'unknown document.' The file [filename] is damaged and cannot be recovered. Error code: 0."

-- "Cannot open the file [filename]. Adobe InDesign may not support the file format, or a plug-in that support the file format may be missing."

-- "Cannot open 'unknown document.'"

-- Error Type 2

If you are trying to open a QuarkXPress 3.3x-4.x document, refer to document 323158 , "Error or freeze occurs when you open QuarkXPress 3.3x and 4.x documents (InDesign)" before using this troubleshooting guide.

Troubleshooting tasks

After you complete one or more tasks, try to open the document by choosing File > Open in InDesign rather than double-clicking the document icon in the Finder.

1. If you are using InDesign CS2, install the latest InDesign CS2 update.

The update and installation instructions are available on the Adobe website at www.adobe.com/downloads .

2. Check the file format.

Make sure that the file is in a format that InDesign can open.

InDesign CS2 can open the following file formats, created in Mac OS or Windows:

-- InDesign 1.x, 2.x, CS, and CS 2 files.

-- InDesign Interchange .inx files.

-- PageMaker 6.0-7.x and QuarkXPress 3.3-4.x files.

InDesign CS can open the following file formats, created in Mac OS or Windows:

-- InDesign 1.x, 2.x, and CS files.

-- InDesign CS-CS 2 Interchange .inx files.

-- PageMaker 6.5-7.x and QuarkXPress 3.3-4.x files. InDesign CS PageMaker Edition can also open PageMaker 6.0-7.x files.

InDesign 2.x can open the following file formats, created in Mac OS or Windows:

-- InDesign 1.0-2.x files.

-- PageMaker 6.5-7.x and QuarkXPress 3.3-4.x files

InDesign cannot open files in TIFF, EPS, or PDF graphic formats or other formats such as Excel (*.xls, *.xlc) or Photoshop (*.psd), though it can import files in these formats. If a document was compressed with a file compression utility (for example, Aladdin StuffIt), you must decompress it before opening it in InDesign. For more information, see document 324445 , "Error 'Could not open [filename]...Please upgrade your plug-ins...' occurs when you open a file in InDesign."

3. Open a copy of the document rather than the original.

When you open a document as a copy, InDesign reads from the original file and opens an untitled copy. If you can open a copy of the document, choose File > Save As, save the copy with a different name than the original document, and use the copy instead of the original document.

To open a document as a copy:

1. Start InDesign and choose File > Open.

2. Select Copy in the Open A File dialog box and browse to the document.

3. Select the document and click Open.

4. Obtain another copy of the document.

If you received the document via e-mail or FTP, try to obtain a copy a different way or have it re-sent. To avoid potential damage, ask the sender to compress it with a program such as Aladdin Systems StuffIt before sending it as an e-mail attachment or posting it to an FTP site.

If the document was saved in Mac OS, make sure that it includes a file extension -- *.indd for a document or *.indt for a template. If a document is saved without an extension and is copied to a Windows-formatted disk or network volume, its resource fork will be damaged, preventing the document from opening.

5. Re-create the InDesign preference files.

InDesign stores information for plug-ins, features, and the application itself in its preference files: the InDesign SavedData and InDesign Defaults files. A damaged preference file can prevent you from opening a document. When you re-create the preference files, InDesign restores their default information.

Note: Make sure to close InDesign before you re-create the preference files or in InDesign may behave unexpectedly.

To re-create the InDesign preference files in Mac OS X:

1. Quit InDesign.

2. Choose File > Find.

3. Do one of the following:

-- In Mac OS X v.10.3.x, type "InDesign SavedData" (including the quotation marks) in the text field, and then click Search.

-- In Mac OS X v.10.2.x, type "InDesign SavedData" (including the quotation marks) in the Contents Includes text box, and then click Search.

-- In Mac OS X v.10.1.x, click the hard disk icon at the top left of the Sherlock window, type "InDesign Saveddata" (including the quotation marks) in the box, and then click the magnifying glass icon.

4. Select the InDesign SavedData file, and rename it (for example, to "backup SavedData") so that you may restore it later if desired.

5. Start InDesign. InDesign re-creates the preference file upon startup. If the problem recurs, repeat this procedure for the InDesign Defaults file.

To re-create the InDesign preference files in Mac OS 9.x:

1. Quit InDesign.

2. Choose Sherlock from the Apple menu.

3. Type "InDesign SavedData" (including the quotation marks) in the box next to the Contains menu, and then click Find.

4. Select the InDesign SavedData file, and rename it (for example, to "backup SavedData") so that you may restore it later if desired.

5. Start InDesign. InDesign re-creates the preference file upon startup. If the problem recurs, repeat this procedure for the InDesign Defaults file.

If the problem recurs after you re-create both the InDesign SavedData and InDesign Defaults files, the problem is not related to preference files. To restore custom settings, delete the newly created preference files and rename the backup copies with the original names.

6. Enable only the Mac OS base set of extensions and control panels. (InDesign 2.x on Mac OS 9.x only)

Extensions and control panels may conflict with InDesign and may use memory (RAM) that InDesign needs to open the document.

To enable only the Mac OS base set of extensions and control panels:

1. From the Apple Menu, choose Control Panels > Extensions Manager.

2. From the Selected Set menu, choose Mac OS [version] Base.

3. Click Restart.

For further information on how to troubleshoot extension conflicts, refer to document 311687 , "Disabling Extensions and Isolating Extension Conflicts in Mac OS 9.x or 8.x."

7. Increase the amount of RAM available to the Finder and to InDesign. (InDesign 2.x on Mac OS 9.x only)

Some documents require more RAM to open than others. Increasing the amount of memory available to the Finder and to InDesign ensures that adequate memory is available to open the document.

To increase the amount of RAM available to the Finder:

1. Navigate to System Folder/Startup Items.

2. Move items in the Startup Items folder to another location (for example, the desktop).

3. Restart the computer.

To increase the amount of RAM allocated to InDesign:

1. Close InDesign.

2. Click the InDesign application icon from the Finder to select it (do not start InDesign), and then choose File > Get Info > Memory.

3. Depending on the amount of built-in RAM, enter a larger value in the Preferred field.

4. Restart the Macintosh.

When InDesign starts, it checks for available memory beyond what the system, any open applications, and its own preferred partition require. It requires 1 MB extra with Virtual Memory on and 20 MB extra with Virtual Memory off. Keep this extra amount in mind when you allocate memory to InDesign and consider the memory requirements of other applications that you want to have open simultaneously.

8. Increase the amount of space available on the startup disk.

InDesign uses temporary files to store and retrieve data; it writes these temporary files to the startup disk. As a guideline, free space on the startup disk should equal three to five times the size of the document (including linked images) or ten percent of the disk capacity, whichever is greater. You can free space on the startup disk by deleting unnecessary files or by storing files on separate partitions or disks.

To check the amount of free space on the startup disk:

1. Select the startup disk icon on the desktop.

2. Choose File > Get Info > General Information.

3. Note the Capacity and the Available Space for the disk.

9. Rebuild the desktop. (InDesign 2.x on Mac OS 9.x only)

When you rebuild the desktop, the system includes only the current disk information in the desktop files it re-creates. These hidden files catalog the disk's contents, file locations, and file icons. If a desktop file is damaged, applications and files may become damaged or partially overwritten, icons may appear differently than expected, icons and folders may open slowly, and documents may become unopenable.

To rebuild the desktop:

1. Quit all applications.

2. Disable all but the base system extensions. For instructions, see task 6.

3. At the Finder, choose Special > Restart.

4. Press Command+Option when the computer starts until you see the message, "Are you sure you want to rebuild the desktop file on the disk '[diskname]'? . . ."

5. Click OK for each connected volume (for example, internal or external hard drive).

10. Use a file rescue utility.

Try using a rescue utility (for example, Norton Utilities or Micromat TechTool Pro) to restore the document. For instructions, refer to the documentation included with the utility.

11. Run disk utilities.

InDesign may not be able to open certain documents if the hard disk is damaged or heavily fragmented. You can use Apple's Disk First Aid utility, included with the system software, to identify and repair problems on the hard disk. You can use a third-party utility, such as Norton Utilities Speed Disk, to optimize (defragment) the hard disk. For instructions, refer to documentation provided with your disk utility.

Disk First Aid can repair many, although not all, of the problems it identifies. (It may not identify a problem with the file system.) If a disk is severely damaged, you may need to use another utility (for example, Norton Utilities or Micromat TechTool Pro). For more information about Disk First Aid, see the system software documentation.

Additional suggestions

If you have completed the tasks above and the problem still occurs, try one or more of the following suggestions:

1. Open the document on a different computer.

By using a different computer, you may avoid system variables that cause the problem. Because InDesign documents are cross-platform compatible, you might even try opening the document in InDesign for Windows.

2. Visit the Adobe User to User forums.

Other customers may have experienced problems with a document and posted a solution. The Adobe User to User forums are on the Adobe website at www.adobe.com/support/forums/ .

3. Re-create the document.

If all else fails, re-create the document. Make frequent backup copies and periodically test the document to ensure that imported elements are not the cause of the problem. You may be able to recover text in the original document by opening the document in a text editor (for example, Microsoft Word or BBEdit by BareBones Software, Inc.), deleting all code characters, and then placing the text into a new InDesign document.

Engineering still would like these files. If you can get unopenable files from customers, please do so! Also, when getting files, please also get the Apple System Profiler report which includes Extensions and Control Panels. Try to find out what ext./contorl panels/apps. were running when the doc. crashed or became unopenable and include that in the bug report you write up. InDesign

Additional Information

324687 : Recommended Workflow for Creating InDesign Documents

324445 : Error "Could not open [filename]...Please upgrade your plug-ins..." occurs when you open a file in InDesign

324628 : Troubleshoot for damage in a document (InDesign 2.x, CS)

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