I'm sitting here in Denver, digesting airport pizza, en route to the InDesign conference in Seattle. Hmm, what should I do with a 2-hour layover? I could do laundry. Note to self: never put a light-colored jacket in the X-Ray machine again. I could check out the gigantic Croc kiosk... Nah. When in doubt, blog.
The other day I was in on a discussion about whether it was still true that you can't downsave an InDesign document more than one version at a time. Previously we've all heard and repeated the truism that you had go CS3 to CS2, then CS2 to CS. But that was then, this is now. Had things changed now with CS4? Is it possible to go directly from CS4 to CS2? Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know!
I think the answer is no and yes.
First the no part. If you export an INX from CS4, the dialog box makes it clear that you're saving in CS3 format, not CS2. If you open the DOM documentation and compare CS4 to CS3, there are a lot of differences. But in theory, most of them shouldn't matter. When processing the INX, CS2 should just ignore what it doesn't understand and move on. However, if you drop INX from CS4 on top of CS2, you get an error: "Can't open the document ... The version of InDesign Interchange format used in this document cannot be opened by this product."
Fair enough. But no one said we had to tell ID the truth about where that INX came from. It is just a text file, after all. Shall we tempt fate and edit the INX so CS2 thinks it came from CS3? Hopefully I won't have my serial numbers revoked for even suggesting such underhanded dealings.
So I peeked over my should to make sure no one was looking, and I opened the INX and changed the XML declaration from:
<?aid style="33" type="document" DOMVersion="6.0" readerVersion="5.0" featureSet="257" product="6.0(352)" ?>
<?aid style="33" type="document" DOMVersion="5.0" readerVersion="4.0" featureSet="257" product="5.0(662)" ?>
That is, I told CS2 my file was from version 5 (aka CS3), and could be read by version 4 (CS2). I changed the "product" attribute to boot, just in case CS2 was looking at that also.
Inside my head, the dialog went something like this:
Me: "Knock, knock."
CS2: "Who's theeeere?"
Me: "INX delivery, I got a document downsaved from CS3 for ya."
CS2: "Oh thank you. The door's open. Leave in in the front window."
Me: "Muhwahahahahah. CS2, you just got Punk'd!"
So yes, the document opened in CS2. The deception worked, but I feel a little guilty lying to my favorite app. Plus even though the document looks OK, who knows how stable or unstable it is. I feel like it's kind of a Frankenstein experiment. The thing's alive, but it might be evil. Bob Levine offered some sage advice to immediately re-INX the file in CS2. Done.
My feeling is that if you have CS3, it still might be better to go the long route, and downsave twice. Since I had to trick InDesign, we can be sure this is not supported behavior. But if you're in a tight spot and have no access to CS3, this is the way to get your CS4 document into CS2. Further testing will reveal how well this trick holds up.
And now I think I hear my flight being called. See you in Seattle!