InDesign CS3 crashes on Open/Place/Save/Export (Intel Mac, OS X 10.5.3)

It was a dark and stormy night with the deadline for a project looming. All I needed to do was make a few changes to the piece in InDesign. I had not used InDesign since installing a CS3 update several days before so had to re-launch (normally it stays running in the background). Everything launched normally until I tried to open the document. InDesign immediately crashed. I tried again and the same thing happened. Even opening from Bridge caused InDesign to crash. I was able to create a New document but InDesign would crash when I tried to Save or Export.

I fired off a crash report to Adobe and then searched Google for a solution. Most people attribute this to the updates to CS3 or OS X 10.5.3 and the consensus seems to be that Apple needs to come up with a fix. However, because Apple and Adobe no longer play nice together they are (select one) a) slow, b) unwilling, c) unable because it’s really Adobe’s problem to fix. So, short of a lightening-induced power outage or system crash, this is the worst place to be. There was, however, a common thread among the blogs for helpful workarounds.

I first tried 3 recommendations from the Adobe Tech Notes that were also recommended by several bloggers, none of which solved the problem. I tried trashing the InDesign Preferences. No help there either. I re-read the Tech Notes carefully and since recommendation 1. is to uninstall Version Cue I was a little mystified when the uninstall package was not available, but since I don’t use Version Cue I was not concerned and went on to the other recommendations. But the careful re-read suggested an entirely different fix was available if these symptoms started after installing the Version Cue update. I didn’t pay attention to which components of CS3 were in the last update but since the problem seemed to start after I installed them I decided to try this out.

The first Tech Note contains an inconspicuous link to an entirely new Tech Note which held the magic key. A patch is available to download which finally fixed the problem. Well, not entirely. In the middle of my now frantic edit session, the power did go out…


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