IDCS4 Bug: Text Formatting Lost in Empty Cells and Frames On Export
Thanks to Jochen Uebel for telling us about this rather unfortunate InDesign CS4 bug: If you change the text formatting inside an empty text frame or table cell, then export to IDML, a snippet, or a library, InDesign forgets all about the formatting.
For example, let's say you're making a template for someone else to use. You create a text frame in which they are supposed to type a heading. While the cursor is flashing inside the frame, you change the text formatting (font, size, paragraph style, or whatever). It's an empty frame, but it still retains text formatting -- that is, if you click in it and start typing, the text is formatted properly.
But then, if you export the file as IDML to send it to your colleague, when they open it, the formatting is forgotten. Or, if you export the frame as a snippet or drag it into a library file to be used later, InDesign forgets the formatting. The same thing happens to empty cells inside a table. Grrr. (Exporting as INX appears to still work, by the way.)
Until Adobe fixes this annoying (and potentially dangerous) bug, there is only one remedy I can think of: Add some text to the frame or cell -- even just a space character. Actually, I would recommend not using a space character, because it's too easy for someone to overlook it. Instead, type "delete this text" or something like that.
According to Uebel, the bug was apparently first reported at the hilfdirselbst InDesign forum. (I've tried three times... I can't even pronounce that. Whew.)