Help, InDesign Keeps Reverting My File and Won’t Save Changes
I’ve tried to make changes to a .indd document 4 times now, even saving it with another name. I can export to pdf successfully, but the actual InDesign file reverts to its original version after closing.
This sounds super frustrating! And I hate to say this, but in the majority of cases when this happens it comes down to one of two things:
User Error: A surprising number of people are confused when they use the Save As dialog box, and don’t save the file where they think they’re saving it. I’ve seen a number of instances where people do a search on their computer for a file name and the same file (different versions) show up a half-dozen times, each placed in a different folder.
So, most of the time when people say “I saved the file and later opened it and my changes were gone,” it’s a case of user error. For example, say someone emails you an InDesign file. You double-click on it in the email and it opens. Then you make changes and try to save the file. Because the original file may have been created in a slightly different version of InDesign, InDesign will force you to use Save As to save it. You save it with the same name and in whatever folder shows up in the dialog box. Then, the next day, you try to open that file from the email again, and… it’s the original file, not the one you saved! Oops.
Server, Software, or OS Overwrites: It’s also possible that you’re saving your files in a location that is being overwritten by some backup or mirroring software. For example, let’s say you’re saving your files on a server, and the server is trying to mirror the folder with another one. It’s possible that something is going wrong and it’s wiping out any changes you make. Similarly, I’ve seen this happen (not with InDesign, but other apps) when saving to Dropbox. I save a file that a colleague is also working on, then he saves it, and my version is overwritten by his.
In my experience, I’m sorry to say that this kind of problem is almost always a case of user error. But you definitely need to look at your environment to make sure some other software glitch may not be causing you grief.
Readers, what other causes for this behavior can you think of or have you seen?