Using IDX / IDML for Troubleshooting Corrupt Documents

Yesterday’s post addressed backward compatibility in InDesign with the IDX/IDML file formats. This followup post addresses how these file formats are used in troubleshooting corrupt documents.

Documents sometimes get corrupted. While InDesign is much more stable than PageMaker ever was, document corruption still happens from time to time. Corrupted documents may fail to open, or may cause InDesign to crash repeatedly. I’ve had several such documents over the years I’ve been using InDesign, and I’ve worked with numerous people who have experienced similar problems with their files. If you have one document that causes InDesign to crash frequently while other documents work fine, then read on!

I was working as an Expert Adobe Support Technician when the IDX format was developed. We discovered that we could often recover corrupt documents simply by exporting them as an IDX/IDML file and then opening the exported file back in InDesign. This has become a standard, well-known troubleshooting step; in my experience it will fix most files.

Granted, you must be able to at least get the file opened in InDesign, but if you can open it and immediately export as IDX/IDML, chances are your problem is solved. Simply open the file, then go to File: Export and choose either IDX (prior to CS5) or IDML (CS5 and newer).

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  1. Backward Compatibility in InDesign » Creative Progression - May 27, 2011

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