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Open Corrupt InDesign Files: Make Your Computer Say ‘Yes’!

tutorials , Open Corrupt InDesign Files: Make Your Computer Say ‘Yes’!

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to open an InDesign file only to have an message flagged up saying the file is ‘corrupted’ and can’t be opened.

Do not despair! Read on to find four quick and easy solutions to deal with the problem pronto!

Solution 1: Identify If You’ve Added Anything to the Document Recently

You might need to get your detective’s hat on…It’s likely that there’s something hiding in your InDesign document that has prompted InDesign to flag up the file as damaged. This could be a something like a damaged image or a dodgy font file.

Were you able to open your file without a problem not that long ago? If so, try to think about what else has been added to the document since that point in time. Recently introduced a new font into the document? It’s probably the corrupting culprit.

If you have back-ups on your computer, or have Time Machine set up if you have a Mac OS, you should be able to open a slightly older version of your file.

Solution 2: Check Your Preferences

Your problem might be something to do with corrupt InDesign Preferences.

To get rid of any corruption in your preferences, relaunch InDesign and straight away hold down Control-Alt-Shift(Windows) or Command-Control-Opt-Shift (Mac OS) and click Yes when prompted with the message Delete InDesign Preference files? Usually this will allow you to open your file without a problem. Hooray!

Solution 3: Resave to a Different File Format

INDD (normal Adobe InDesign format) files are more susceptible to being corrupted than IDML (InDesign CS4 and later) or INX (InDesign CS3 and earlier) file formats.

Try to open your corrupted file on a different computer (e.g. try opening the file on a PC if you normally use a Mac, and vice versa; or try opening on a different version of Windows).

If you are able to open it, go to File > Save and resave the file as an IDML or INX file. You’ll normally have no problems with opening the file in this format.

The file will open up as a new Untitled document, and from here you can File > Save your now uncorrupted document to your preferred folder.

Solution 4: Open a Copy of Your File

Being able to open your corrupted file is sometimes as frustratingly simple as opening up a copy.

Open InDesign and go to File > Open. Navigate to your corrupted InDesign file and click to select it. From the bottom of the Open window, choose Open Copy. InDesign will open the file as an Untitled copy. From here, you can File > Save the file as an uncorrupted copy.

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We hope that we’ve helped to make your computer say ‘YES!’

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Track down more helpful tips for Adobe InDesign over at our Beginner Tutorials page.