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Read This Before Installing InDesign CC 2015!

Adobe released the new versions of InDesign CC and 14 other Creative Cloud applications at 9 pm Pacific Time on June 15. The new update is called InDesign CC 2015. You can read about the features in InDesign CC 2015 in InDesign CC 2015.

However, Adobe also made some changes in the installation process and requirements which may cause some pain and consternation. Here are a three things you need to know to make your installation as easy and pain-free as possible:

1. Have the Current Version of the CC App

Creative Cloud applications are installed and uninstalled with the Creative Cloud desktop app, and it’s critical that you have the most recent version of the CC App before updating other apps. You may have already had a “silent” update to the version of your CC desktop app. You can check by opening the desktop app, selecting the “gear” icon to view the menu, and then selecting Preferences to view your current version. The current version as of today’s date is


If you don’t have the current version, choose Quit from the Creative Cloud desktop app menu. Then re-launch the Adobe Creative Cloud app from your Applications folder. You should be prompted to update Creative Cloud. Accept the update. If for some reason this doesn’t happen, or if the Creative Cloud app window doesn’t appear correctly, re-start your computer. That should prompt the update.

If you have any further problems updating, go to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Download & Install forum for further help.

2. New Mac System Requirements for InDesign CC 2015

The system requirements for Windows users remain the same as for InDesign CC 2014, so if you already have that installed, you should see an update appear for InDesign CC 2015.

However, to update to InDesign CC 2015 on a Macintosh computer, you must be running Mac OS X 10.9 or 10.10. If you’re still using 10.8 or earlier, you probably won’t even see updates for the 2015 versions of CC apps. Apple provides a free update to the latest version of OS X (10.10).

3. The Installer Will Remove Previous Versions!

By default, if you install CC 2015 apps, your previous versions will be removed. This is a huge change from the way it used to work.

Adobe believes (although many of us disagree) that most Creative Cloud users only want the current version of their Creative Cloud apps. So beginning with this release, it has changed the default so previous versions will be uninstalled by default, and settings will be migrated to the new version. If you’re happy with that, then in the Update dialog box, just click Update.

If you want to change that, here’s how: after you click Update, click the arrow to the right of Advanced Options. Then in the Advanced Options, deselect “Remove old versions,” then click Update.


Of course, if you didn’t see the arrow (or if you read this after you’ve had your previous versions removed), you can still reinstall the previous versions which are removed.

To reinstall previous versions, in the App menu of the Creative Cloud app, scroll down to “Find Additional Apps”. Click All Apps, then choose View Previous Versions. You will see the apps which were removed (as well as other apps you haven’t installed before), and you can select them and choose Install.


Many of us are unhappy with the way Adobe has foisted this decision (to uninstall previous versions) on us with very little notice. It should be far more obvious that a major change will happen if you click Update. It seems obvious that many people will have installation problems, and Adobe will be responsible for that. Please pass this information on to your friends and colleagues!

Steve Werner

Steve Werner

Steve Werner is a trainer, consultant, and co-author (with David Blatner and Christopher Smith) of InDesign for QuarkXPress Users and Moving to InDesign. He has worked in the graphic arts industry for more than 20 years and was the training manager for ten years at Rapid Lasergraphics. He has taught computer graphics classes since 1988.
Steve Werner

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200 Comments on “Read This Before Installing InDesign CC 2015!

  1. Has anyone noticed any glitches or problems opening InDesign CC 2014 files in CC 2014? Just curious. I have CS6 InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop & Bridge. Plus I license the single-app, monthly InDesign CC 2014.In the past month, I’ve received a few CC 2015 files and I was able to open them in CC 2014 no problem, so I’m not sure if it’s worth upgrading yet.

  2. Edited: Has anyone noticed any glitches or problems opening InDesign CC 2014 files in CC 2015? Just curious. I have CS6 InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop & Bridge. Plus I license the single-app, monthly InDesign CC 2014. In the past month, I’ve received a few CC 2015 files and I was able to open them in CC 2014 no problem, so I’m not sure if it’s worth upgrading yet. (Sorry, I tried to delete my previous comment, but couldn’t figure out how!)

  3. InDesign CC2015 is awful. Honestly, most all of the CC apps now are awful, totally bogged down with bloat and useless “features”, splash screens, BS cloud integration, and lord knows what else. But the worst out of all of them – or rather, the worst out of all the ones I use (Illustrator, Indesign, AfterEffects, Photoshop, Audition, Lightroom, and some others) – is very clearly Indesign. The thing is so unbelievably SLOW and unresponsive that it’s a hinderance to productivity. Even when I do actually inch my way through a project, I’m not 100% confident that it’s totally error-free because of all the cleanup you have to do as you make your way along, repositioning something that the program erroneously move here, or selected there as a result of lag and choking input buffering.

    Speed and simplicity matters in the industry. Somehow, Adobe has lost sight of this.

    I think this is only going to get worse and worse as time goes on. Now that Adobe has greedily moved to a subscription model for their licensing, there’s no real incentive for actually making products *better*. Instead, now as we are seeing, it’s this perpetual introduction of nothing useful, and pointless junk, phony, fake, fluff “features” to try to con the user into thinking that Adobe is hard at work innovating.

    “A’s hire A’s”. “B’s hire C’s”. And Adobe? They are amidst their wave of “C’s cluelessly hiring D’s, !’s, ?’s, •’s, ∏’s”, and everything else under the sun.

    • The electronic tether puts you at their mercy. I don’t think the expense is unfair, but the summary here is correct: the programs don’t get faster, they get “busier” and “buggier”. And there are fewer interim updates to fix bugs, only raw camera data seems to be in the updates.

    • I agree! A least in InDesign CC 2015! What a joke. every other file hangs the application into a perpetual spinning beach ball. Is very anti production, wastes your time, and makes your work experience with this application a nightmare. I have worked in the publishing industry for over 20 years and have never experience the frustrations that I have with these latest versions of InDesign. The responses always are … “delete this, re-install, remove this, re-install anything that you can, and do it all over again! What a joke. Blame the victim.

      I have used and use tons of heavy applications in photo, 3D, 2D, Quark Xpress, and a bunch of other ones, and never have this issue where your application can’t handle bad files, bad routines, bad startups, bad this, bad that. If the programming is done right it should handle this issues without going into a temper tantrum.

      Adobe should concentrate more in the quality of the application and robustness, and no waste time with marketing gimmicks of esoteric bells and whistles. Adobe needs to polish their programming code quality and stop blaming the users. OMG.

    • You area 100% right about this! They are like Quark was in the day when they were the only program out there, and thought their reign would last forever. I’m ready for the next program out there that is actually interested in the opinions of the people using their program, more than they are interested in making a $$.

    • Agree also. Every time there’s an “upgrade” (either Adobe or Apple) everything gets slower and slower and more cumbersome. Give me OS 10.4 and CS3 again so I can be productive!!!

    • Slow and unresponsive is it! This is killing me. I am having nightmares about the spinning beach ball.

  4. Adobe CC 2015 has been pretty awful. I admin an enterprise environment, and our marketing team recently switched from the CS6 suite to CC 2015, and the transition has been awful.
    Primarily, the CC Library feature on all of the Adobe products, refuses to connect to the host server. Adobe has done an absolutely CRAP job of publishing the FULL list of root URLs to add to your firewall/proxy exception list, and has made the whole damn suite so cumbersome to troubleshoot, that my end users require constant attention from technical personnel just to get going.
    But the CC libraries is really my biggest pet peeve. If you are going to put a critical function in “the cloud” you damn well better make sure it works, and that you communicate the needed exceptions and specifics to your customers (ESPECIALLY ENTERPRISE CLIENTS).
    We spend an obscene amount of money on this, and if there were a single comparable product that could replace it, I would take it in a minute.

      • Which part of Corel Graphics Suite X7 replaces Indesign? There are alternatives to Photoshop and Illustrator, but Indesign’s only real competitor is Quark, and most of us moved away from Quark years ago. Even if I wanted to move back to Quark, I’m probably going to have to move up to CC (I’m on CS6 still) at some point just so I can open someone else’s file.

      • Corel products are only available for Windows users. I know because I had tried to get it for my iMac. Until Corel is available for mac, we’re stuck like chuck.

    • This is STILL TRUE and year later. UGH WHAT HAPPENED, Adobe? Why do you think loading a program with unnecessary ‘features’ that few of us ever use would make it a workable scenario?
      From my perspective, the saddest thing about this is that this behavior–pushing bloatware down our throats–aids the argument from The Suits Above to switch everything to WORD.

  5. OK, so there seems to be heaps of issues with CC 2015. I must admit that I also had numerous issues initially, but they now seem resolved.

    My first big issue was the first install off InDesign, but Adobe released some updates and it is now OK.

    My second issues arrived after the Windows 10 upgrades. If anyone is thinking of going to Windows 10, you need to do a fresh install. Upgradi ng from an earlier version just bring heaps of baggage with it.

    @Tim I used to work a lot using Corel products and to be honest, Corel just doesn’t compare to Adobe. If you want to frustrate your designers and get them to quit, then by all meanss install Corel.

  6. The latest update for InDesign 2015 CC has rendered my core fonts useless (Minion Pro and Myriad Pro) – I haven’t researched all of them, but they are now unusable with InDesign 20155 CC latest update. DO NOT UPGRADE!!!

      • David,

        I respect your enthusiasm for Adobe products. They compose the support for what I love to do best-animation. I have been doing other work to and I must admit that since the upgrade, there have been some glitches.

        I first realized this when I called support because I had questions about creating apps with InDesign. Seems I didn’t have all the tools that the tutorial was talking about. I was told I had to have a special account for that. Unacceptable. I spent months preparing for a product that I was unable to publish because by the time I was ready the rules had changed and I could not publish it without major revisions.

        I tried to render a motion graphic recently and media encoder would not open. When I tried to export the file manually I got an error message. (If Adobe would make the message simple like, ‘#45 can’t connect to software’, then we could be clear about telling people like you how to help us. Leave out all the language that many of us do not understand, doesn’t that make sense?

        I finally after several months, I had time to call customer support. After the usual 15 minutes of questions that they should have in their data base, spelling my name 5 times in order to get it right, and telling them, yes, I do have an active account!’, I explained my problem. After a half hour of what I believe was ‘guessing’, I was told that I had to do a clean install, and that I had to do it myself-here are the instructions, have a nice day.

        So far I have not asked you a question. I have merely been telling you the truth about my experience with the 2015 upgrade. Here it is, the million dollar question. How can I justify Adobe as a quality product when they are clearly more interested in coming out with a new version of the software, rather than producing a quality product that works?

        I think that most companies would comp customers a month or two after such a hassle as an apology for their mistakes which led to our loss of time and therefore income. Who do I contact about that?

      • Dennis, that sounds really frustrating! I understand how annoying it can be when the software doesn’t work right, especially when it works fine for 98% of users. A friend of mine once pointed out that almost all the time that computers save you is eaten up by dealing with technical support problems.

        I’ve been doing this for 28 years, and I’ve never used a program from any company (Adobe, Microsoft, Quark, Apple, etc.) that was bug-free. Troubleshooting problems is just a fact of life, sadly.

  7. Oh my god. The spinning wheel of death. What the!? I upgraded earlier today and have spent the entire afternoon googling “Indesign CC 2015 slow”. Trying to figure out why working on even the simplest document is painfully…. devastatingly SLOOOOOW.
    How can a designer correctly bill for hours spent when I waste an entire afternoon not actually doing any billable work.
    Will be reinstalling 2014 tomorrow I think. What a shame.

    • Can you duplicate the before and after distinction, perhaps by creating a before and after video on the same document in the old and new versions? Show what that spinning wheel means and stress how much time and thus money it is costing you.

      When I lived in Seattle, I got to know the ID team there and once met alone with their entire development team. They really do want to enhance and improve ID, but they must justify the expense to those further up in Adobe management. And justify means hard evidence from users that they can pass along.

      If you want Adobe to fix that slowdown, which seems to impact some users but not others, you’ll need to demonstrate just how excruciating it is. You or others might also offer to supply them with whatever is required to duplicate that problem. Take it from someone who used to do troubleshooting, intermittent problems are a pain to solve.

    • Are your documents stored on a share over your network?
      Store your document local on your computer (mac or pc, need an info?).
      Unmount ALL shares and test the speed in Indesign.

  8. Creative Cloud App won’t load. I have updated some of the apps already. Should I remove all and start over?

  9. We pay them good money – thousands of dollars over the course of years and we get SHIT — InDesign 2015 is the worst update ever. I make my living from this program and cannot function with it.

  10. Just pissed away another hour and am nowhere near the finish line. Now the APPS tab doesn;t open on the Creative Cloud

  11. Problems with ID-2015 must be installation-related. I’ve had no more trouble with it than with previous versions—an occasional crash after which everything was restored except my last few seconds of editing.

    Instead, I find ID a powerful tool that saves me many hours. Just yesterday, I had a tedious editing job on a long book that should have taken hours of drudgery. I came up with a GREP script that speeded up the process so much, I was done in half an hour. That alone was worth my November CC subscription.

    Right now, my gripes are with Apple and the bugginess of OS X 10.11. Mail and TextEdit crash almost daily. Apple’s own apps don’t work on its own operating system. That is bad.

    • Yeah – of course ID is powerful – I go back to PageMaker and produced plenty of pages and books with it for my own printing plant – 4 color/40″ press — Quark was more powerful back then but this is beyond annoying. I cannot even find where to download the 2014 version and I just had to uninstall 2015 and now will reinstall.

  12. I’ve found the following faults with InDesign CS 2015.1:
    1. Repeatedly crashes.
    2. Text boxes with footnotes can suddenly contract to the top of the page, with just a few millimetres of the text box visible (the ‘solution’ is to drag the text box open again).
    3. Changes to text can cause a shift in the text’s positioning – a line of text can move up or down a point or two.
    4. Clicking on an open/visible InDesign window from the desktop (Mac) or another program will not activate it.
    5. Drop-down panels from the options bar, such as colour, cannot be expanded by pulling on bottom-right corner, as was the case with CS5. So for lots of colours, it’s necessary to laboriously scroll down.
    6. When typing recently, every letter began to be repeated, like this: rreeppeeaatteedd (some more than twice: rrrreepppeeeeeaatteeeedd). I had to abandon the file and create a new one (2 hours’ work).

    • I had the very same issue. I checked everything!!! Had my system wiped and reformatted and all kinds of hoops I jumped through. Come to find out, what was causing the crashes and weirdness was my wireless mouse! My wireless mouse battery died and I didn’t have any spare batteries so I just whipped out my wired mouse until I could get to the store and instantly and miraculously EVERY crash, and InDesign weirdness stopped. If you have a wireless mouse, swap it out for a wired one and see if that helps.

      • Bluetooth mouse issues on Macs may not be due any flaw with InDesign. There seems to be some flaw in recent versions of OS X that creates really weird, jumping-around behavior by a BT mouse and dropped connections to BT keyboards. You can read about it here.

        Search that article for a fix related to Apple’s recent Handoff feature. Turning that off, solved my problem and that of some others. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for everyone. But since it is easy, it is worth a try.
        In recent months, I’ve also noticed an extremely frustrating problem with all mice in OS X, wired or BT. Click behavior is inconsistent. Sometimes a single click is treated as a double click, sometimes it isn’t. And the difference can happen mere seconds apart. On other occasions, a click has to be repeated over and over again to get it to work.

        My hunch is that Apple, obsessed with making everything wireless and integrating multiple devices, has screwed up mouse/keyboard/trackpad etc I/O in some way that is hard to diagnosis and affects both wired and BT.

        As a radio amateur and an electrical engineer, attempting to make wireless features that don’t need to be so ranks up there in stupidity with getting involved in a land war in Asia. There’s simply too much radio noise floating around today for wireless to be trustworthy. The situation gets particularly bad when video gets streamed wirelessly. That locks down multiple WiFi channels with continual data. At times, I wonder if anyone in Apple’s executive suites or artistic design teams really understands radio. Antennagate a few years back illustrated that. You don’t make an antenna conductive with hands. Wireless also means kissing security goodbye.
        I am fortunate. Aside from having to occasionally save and close a book-length document to deal with slow-downs, my only ID problem right now is an odd crash that comes when I try to jump to a page using the box on the lower left of the ID window. Doing so, will sometimes kill ID in an instant. As others note, fortunately ID’s backup prevents disaster. All but perhaps my most recent edit is safe.

        I do wish Adobe would toss a few crumbs to ID users. We’ve not seen any major tweaks since May of last year. That’s about the same upgrade cycle we had before CC.

  13. Those who’re having trouble with ID slowdowns might want to look into their installation. I’m hardly state-of-the-art. My Mac mini is from 2012 and has the stock drive. I’ve not noticed any slowdown, even with 400+ page books.

    Remember all the tricks of the trade. Have enough memory and don’t run too many apps at the same time. When I got that Mac mini, I immediately maxed it out at 16gb. Right now, even with a host of apps running alongside ID, I’m only using 11gb. OS X knows how to swap memory with disk storage and keep chugging along. But all that disk swapping will make any app painfully slow.


    Some complaints are certainly valid, including this one:

    “Drop-down panels from the options bar, such as colour, cannot be expanded by pulling on bottom-right corner, as was the case with CS5. So for lots of colours, it’s necessary to laboriously scroll down.”

    I hate scrolling through those dropdown panels and find the tiny type in panels an eye-strain. Right now I’m indexing a book with hundreds of index entries. All the squinting and scrolling is getting to be a pain. My hope is that Adobe will give us an iOS app that lets us off-load a lot of the clumsy tedium of tiny panes onto a quick-to-use iPad screen with decent-sized type.

    Actually, Apple needs to build in an ability for OS X apps to off-load much their UI to iOS devices. There are things that a keyboard/mouse UI does better and other things that a touch UI does better. Scrolling and selecting from a long list is better in a touch UI, particularly with a full-sized iPad screen.

    –Mike Perry, Inkling Books,

    • Mike, are you running with CC version of InDesign? I am having trouble with my Macbook Pro running slow and spinning beach ball – it only has 8GB of RAM and apparently shares with the hard drive – but then I only run the one app Indesign. But like you, I’m working with a 500 page book – only 100 pages of text so far. I want to purchase another iMac but am worried that I get the right specs for InDesign. If you are not using CC version, it might mean that 16 GB RAM isn’t enough for me? Thanks. just trying to be more certain.

  14. We recently made the switch at my work from CS6 to the CC2015.

    My Boss sent me the invite and I accepted and when the Cloud finally loaded and installed the apps I needed, they all say that we only have a trial version of all of them.

    We bought the subscription and now it is only a trial? Any ideas on how to fix this?

    • When Adobe sold apps, you could call customer support and they would tell you some special magic including a briefly valid number that’d authorize your copy. I suspect they have similar tricks up their sleeves for subscription services. Give them a call.

    • Same here! I got on chat with Adobe support and was instructed to delete files from the ~Library folder, and then use Activity Monitor to force quit any Adobe processes… That failed to work so I allowed the dude to take control of my Mac, and after a bit, he got it to work. His help was great, and I’m glad he got it to see me as a registered/paid user, but very displeased with having to go through all that just to get it to work.

  15. I cannot get Indesign 2015 to run at all. It does open after 15 minutes, but it it won’t start a new file, much less open an old one. I did manage to open a new file once, but the toolbar has disappeared, so it’s not possible to select a function. I can’t open a frame, much less type text.

    I am back at Indesign 2014 (which works just fine, thankyou) and filing a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General. I am paying a subscription for software that simply doesn’t work. I cannot believe they have allowed their wonderful software to be screwed up this badly.

    • Don’t be daft now, as it works fine for us all, it must be a problem related to your system and not the software. Uninstall, reinstall and replace your preferences and you will be fine. No need to go over the top. It is you, not InDesign.

      • What makes you think that it works fine for all of us? Speak for yourself. That’s not the case with all of us….!

      • You are probably right that it is daft filing complaints. But what else can you do when you just can’t get it to work.

        You have no idea how many uninstalls, re-installs, calls to customer support (who seem to know less than I do) I have been through. I have been through the suggested page of install problems a hundred times. I am not an inexperienced user. I used to write software manuals from raw software. I have been using Indesign for over a decade. My husband is a software engineer. I have spent DAYS in this. I have tried turning off every piece of software running simultaneously, uninstalling most of my fonts, unplugging my portable hard drive. I have plenty of drive space. That is just a few things. I just have no clue what to do to get this stuff to work.

        However, last night after I wrote my first comment, I discovered something. If I open Creative Cloud desktop manager, sign out, then sign back in, my problems seem to disappear. I haven’t had time to see if they all disappear. But I have to do that every time I open Indesign. I can’t do it just once and InDesign works forever. So I will be on to customer support about that today and report back.

    • If it was really the software then it would simply affects us all. It does not. It affects a few. So it is not the software itself but someones (combination of) system. InDesign has its bugs, sure, but ‘filing complaints etc’ is just daft. Uninstall, reinstall and delete preferences, in 99% of the cases you’ll be up and running just fine.

      • nonsense, the updates cleary affect many users, to dismiss all of the problems customers have faced is cleary a case of ” im all right Jack” so don’t worry about anyone else. Adobe need to update their customer services and think clearly before releasing an update that serves no purpose

      • Reporting back. Although this is not really the topic of this thread, I seem to have found a solution in several steps. I am posting it here because folk who are crashing on startup might or running like glue despite following David’s directions may find some joy in it.

        1) Update Creative Cloud as David recommends.

        2) Sign out of CC and sign back in. (Just do it. I don’t know why this works. I discovered it by accident. It seems to solve several problems.) Then, uninstall Indesign 2015 from the gear next to it in Creative Cloud, NOT the usual Windows way. If you already used Windows uninstall, you may have to run through this thing twice.

        3) Sign out of CC and sign back in. Then, install Indesign 2015. Be sure to uncheck “keep your preferences.”

        4) Open Indesign 2015 **from within** the Creative Cloud app. It should open like normal and run at reasonable speed.

        5) Double-click on an InDesign file in Windows Explorer. It should open in Indesign 2015 normally if the file association is correct. Mine was.

        6) I still could not open InDesign using the Windows 7 Start Menu or desktop shortcuts. If you can, no problem. If you can’t, do this:

        7) Press alt+Shift+control and click on the desktop shortcut. This will cause it to delete the preferences file (Yes, I know you just deleted it in Step 3.It will delete it again and this is important.) InDesign 2015 should–at long last–open normally. And after this you can open the Windows 7 Start menu and desktop shortcuts as usual. I should run an normal speed, which is pretty darn zippy.

        I think the install software in the Creative Cloud might setting the properties on the preference file to read only. In my system, like many others, it requires admin permission to open a read only file. Apparently, InDesign needs to open it and can’t. CC gets admin permission when it opens, so that is why you can open it from within the Creative Cloud desktop app. By opening InDesign from the a desktop shortcut and deleting the preferences file, it rebuilds a preference file with the proper permissions to open–something CC install should have done and didn’t.

        This looks like a bush-league install programming error, to be frank. As much as I love their software, Adobe makes too many mistakes on the install. When new programs came out every three or four years, it was a headache but not a big problem. But I have a whole new batch of updates sitting in Creative Cloud app as of this morning, and I have just barely gotten InDesign 2015 functioning from the last round. No way am I pressing any install buttons for a long, long while. I need my hair to grow back after tearing out so much of it on the last round. I really wish they would up their game on the install. Creative Cloud should have done that and may yet, but so far, not so good.

        But I am happy to have figured this out for now and to be back to work. Thank you for all your comments.

    • Can only agree befuddled , why have adobe broken a well oiled machine, can only assume they feel the need to update far too often because of the subscriptions, I have wasted far too much time on unnecessary updates , In Design has been the worst but a close second was acrobat which luckily i kept 2014 version and i know refuse the update on it

  16. I just installed 2015 last night. I worked on it all day doing my normal design work and all seemed fine – UNTIL I went to my book writing. That’s when I got the “spinning wheel of death.” Simply typing and making text edits brought the darn thing up. Makes you lose your train of thought and because it can’t keep up with your typing, you have to go back and fix skipped characters. WHAT GIVES? Terrible update.

    • Keep in mind that this isn’t a simple “If I do X, I get the wheel of death” problem. I edit books running hundreds of pages with illustrations and dozens of styles. I don’t have this problem. A four-hundred-page book edits as easily as something short. I’ve never had a typing lag and my hardware, a late 2012 Mac mini is hardly awesome. Yes, I’m probably lucky.

      There’s definitely a problem. There are too many reports of it to shove aside. But it’s like to be the result of either a complex set of factors (i.e, preference settings or flaws in the ID file being edited) or something in particular hardware installations.

      One factor may be an issue. I only run the latest ID on the latest OS X and don’t exchange ID files with anyone. Also, there’s no mixing of versions either of ID or OS X. Once I move up, I don’t look back. I’ve never used an older version of ID. Nor do I work with someone who does. I have a very simple workflow.


      Not so for my writing with Scrivener. I mostly write on an old MacBook running 10.7. Not being afflicted with tech-anoxeria, I am not into thin but un-upgradable laptops. Apple simply isn’t making a laptop that makes me want to upgrade. But I edit occasionally on my desktop with 10.11. The result of that OS X mixing with the same version of Scrivener is a weird glitch.

      From time to time, Scrivener will crash when I try to open a document on my MacBook. Nothing I can do will fix it on my MacBook/10.7 combination. But the files are shared via Dropbox. If I open that same file on my Mac mini/10.11, it opens fine. I can then save that document on my Mac mini and it will open fine on my MacBook. Nothing more than opening and saving is required.

      The problem does not seemed to be saving in 10.11 and opening in 10.7. It is totally a 10.7 problem. I suspect there is a file corruption problem with the latest Scrivener, probably intended for 10.9 or 10.10, that occasionally shows up saving and opening a file in 10.7. That may explain why it isn’t an issue with 10.11 and is fixed by opening in 10.11. My 10.7 MacBook is running an OS X that is four versions back, and a lot of Apple tweaking of OS X has come along in the meantime. I really do wish Apple would make a laptop that isn’t a fashion statement, so I can upgrade.

      What I’m saying it that these ID woes may come from some complex interaction of the ID files created by various combinations of the operating system and versions of ID. Hit the unlucky combination and you have trouble. Avoid it and all seems well. That’s why I and others are lucky and some unfortunates aren’t. Call it Adobe roulette.


      One useful way to diagnosis the cause would be to get those having troubles to describe their work flow, looking for some particular combination of OS versions, ID versions, and work practices that an ID file has undergone and that makes for trouble. I assume Adobe is doing that.

      –Mike Perry

      • You don’t give your operating system. I have not have this happen until recently, but Windows can sometimes, not always, treat either the ID file itself or linked files within the ID file as coming from another computer. It will block them with the message “This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer.” (It’s supposed to be a security feature, but it does it all the time to my files that didn’t come from another computer.)

        I am not clear why Windows (7) is suddenly blocking my files. I guess it might be because it treats my usb desktop drive as another computer, but who knows? Sometimes, it just makes them Read Only but doesn’t block them. Sometimes, it does nothing. I can’t find any documentation on it.

        The only way to unblock a file is to go through all the linked files one by one, right click, check the properties box and manually unblock each one. Windows does not have an unblock all these files feature, nor is there any way to tell if they are blocked short of right-clicking. It is possible to right-click and uncheck Read Only for everything in a file, but not for blocked files. If you have the Professional version of Windows, you can turn this feature off, but not the Home version.

        I got the spinning wheel of death in ID 2015 when I tried to package a large file. Slow typing and other oddness happened if any of the linked files within the doc are blocked and seemed to go away when I unblocked them. If you are on a Mac, then never mind. I have Win7, but complaints about this “feature” come from Win 7, 8 and 10 and up owners out on the forums.

  17. I can’t see the InDesign as a option to reinstall 2014, ID does not show up under All Apps. I did everything as you said to above. Thoughts?

  18. Running OSX El Capitan, Macbook Pro 15″ Retina (2013), 2.7 GHZ i7 with 16GB ram and 200gb free ssd storage.

    Updating to CC 2015.3 DESTROYED my workflow!!! Beach ball spinning endlessly, constant crashes, windows failing to respond, files not opening..etc.
    I typically work on a 100-page magazine with high-res images and custom fonts. Impossible to do anything after updating, tried going back to CC 14 (which I thought was also very slow!!) and got hit with the usual “created by a newer version error” so I made a last attempt – BLOCK CREATIVE CLOUD with firewall. It worked!!! system is now running at a normal rate, my fan has finally shut off and my computer is no longer burning a whole through my desk. And the best part – I can actually scroll through the document without without having to wait 10 minutes to render. I gather this solution might have some issues, like not syncing my cloud services (Kuler, ios Capture), but at least I can get back to work. Hope this helps.

    • Nice! Any fix, however quirky and troublesome, is good news. It suggests this slowdown and similar woes is connected to accessing CC, although why ID would want to be continually be doing that is beyond my understanding.

      I’m not troubled with the issue myself, but those who are might want to know the specifics of blocking CC with the firewall. I Googled a query, and came up with one that might help. This Adobe document is detailed, but dates from 2013.


      This document is written for Adobe® customers who for reasons of security or network access cost may wish to restrict access to Creative CloudTM services by their employees or other personnel. It explains the different types of Adobe Creative Cloud services, the various methods that customers can use to restrict access to those services, and the pros and cons of the different methods.

      Four types of Adobe Creative Cloud services are defined: deployment, licensing, core, and auxiliary. All of these service types can be accessed from various types of clients: Adobe applications, non-Adobe applications and plug-ins, and web browsers. Three methods of blocking access to these services are discussed: configuring Adobe user accounts to disallow access to a service, preventing access to a service at the customer’s firewall, and configuring applications or plug-ins so that they do not attempt to access a service. Also discussed are methods of restricting access to Creative Cloud desktop applications in online situations and of allowing access to the same applications in offline situations.

      Something might be learned from blocking each of those four services.
      Also, you might want to write this up as a bug report to Adobe. Knowing a firewall makes a difference could aid in their troubleshooting. I used to work in electronics. It helps a lot to know what makes a problem go away.

      It’d be great to be rid of this beast, particularly when that 2016 update comes out.

      –Mike Perry

  19. ” so I made a last attempt – BLOCK CREATIVE CLOUD with firewall. It worked!!! ”

    Good luck next month when CC needs to connect to see if your account is still paid for. You may find every piece of CC software going into demo mode…

    • Okay, I’ve turned the firewall on, now how do I block Creative Cloud? I’m on a Mac, and CC 2015 is nearly unusable. Sometimes simple vector files take forever (or at least 3 minutes) to open. Ditto with InDesign files: even a letter size document with one text box and one word. in that text box. It’s ridiculous!

  20. Jonathan, could adblock (Chrome only) be an issue or SelfControl (a firewall for time wasters so I actually get work done – not browser specific). I know that if I am updating ANY CC app, the CC app wants ALL Adobe things closed.

  21. Indesign 2015 is truly awful. I have a brand new computer in front of me, BRAND NEW, imac running 10.11.5, with 32GB memory, 4Ghz i7, and the thing crashes on start up. I’m trying to figure out what is causing it, but I’m coming up short. Perhaps it has something to do with that stupid Libraries palette that insists on popping up on every launch, even though you close it out?

    Right now, I’m hobbled. Stuck. Unable to work. Deadlines are looming, along with a sure-to-come meeting as to why the ball dropped on this assignment. I can’t even work, because Indesign – or rather Adobe – is a joke of an operation these days. They cost me time, money, patience, and worst of all REPUTATION as a designer.

    If anyone is considering working in design, they should honestly reconsider. And not because it’s a competitive field, but because the tools that you have to use these days, which are the Adobe apps because Adobe dominates the market, are absolute crap.

    I want the Adobe of 10years ago back. Weren’t those good times?

    What a joke.

    • I think much of the problem is coming from a wonky implementation of Creative Cloud, not Indesign. After much frustration, I got rid of similar problems by opening Creative Cloud. Sign in if necessary. Then, click on the gear icon. Choose preferences. Sign out. Close Creative Cloud. Reopen it and sign back in. This resets your sign in.

      If you open Indesign from within Creative Cloud, it also works better.

      When you set up a new computer or other major changes, the Creative Cloud app can sometimes lose the sign in info or it gets corrupted. This causes InDesign in particular to crash, spinning wheel, etc. etc. I saw it all. But since I did this, I don’t seem to have any problems at all. I am enjoying InDesign 2015. However, you can use Creative Cloud to install InDesign 2014 which many people prefer. I run both and save legacy backups, so I can pick up a project in 2014 if need be. So far, six months and I haven’t needed to.

  22. “If you open Indesign from within Creative Cloud, it also works better.”

    Nonsense. It is he same app simply started from your HD, wheter you open it from the CC menu or not makes NO difference at all.

  23. I am having many of the rpobelms refrred to above. This si serious for Adobe.
    What is the alternative as this is very frustrating and time consuming.
    i just need to get on with my work

  24. Thanks Michael.
    Another tip our president of our IDUG chapter suggested is to go into the CC app and turn off syncing for the app and fonts. It has helped a bit but ID still loads a little slow.

  25. Are you guys on a Mac or PC? I’ve been training InDesign since it started and right through to CC 2015.3 and a I haven’t come across these issues on any PC’s yet.

    Sure there have been some minor glitches, like frames not snapping to guides, but that seems fixed now.

  26. I’m running ID 2015 on a iMac 27″ 4gz i7, 32 gb ram – never had a hangup. On my old MacBook Pro – 4gb ram – no problems at all. I dont sync anything or mess with the online Library features as they seem flaky and very unresponsive. With some bandwidth tools you can watch the gazillion adobe servers your system is trying to reach…its ridiculous – so I disable as many outbound options as possible. Maybe I’m lucky, maybe it’s the online connectivity. Maybe try disabling or at least not using some of the features – – the CC suite works flawlessly for me.

    • Bret,

      Many of us don’t know how to use “bandwidth tools” or to disable “outbound options.” You may be right. Some of these issues may be because CC developers sit on high bandwidth, very reliable connections to their servers, while many of us must deal with often-flaky connections from far away. And in my case, the Creative Cloud app that Adobe probably uses for that chatter rarely stays up more than a couple of days before become unresponsive, with a spinning wheel of its own.

      Any chance you might write up how to turn off as much of the chatter with CC servers as possible?

  27. Just upgraded to CC and I’m having real issues. When I scroll through text to edit it, it disappears momentarily. Any movement to navigate across the pages causes the entire column of text where the cursor rests to blank out. Zooming in or out makes no difference. Styling text using paragraph styles causes text to overlay, so that I have one paragraph in the new font and underneath, the text in original font. Text changes to styled font if I zoom out. Weird blank boxes are popping up within the text and causing the text to flow around them, but disappear when the page is moved and text flows normally.

    Working on a 2013 MacBook Pro – upgraded to El Capitan after installing ID CC. Still no joy. I have tried to delete ID preferences and reinstate them – still have the problem. I have a 32 page document to style and a deadline soon – there is no way I can do this with my current issues. Please advise!

  28. once again indesign is causing problems — 1) it never shuts down without force quitting 1) it makes pages disappear for a few seconds or more when making a correction. ANybody else have these problems?

    • Yes! We have three iMacs in the office. We’ve managed to isolate the times when they get stuck shutting down to days where we are using inDesign, which, for me, is most days.

      At one point this caused a critical failure meaning we ended up taking it to the Apple store for them to look at as it wouldn’t boot up again because forcing shutdowns causes its own problems that eventually compound into a major one. Their advice: Make sure you regularly repair your HDD while the problem persists. No help with the InDesign issue, though.

  29. My hunch is that the 2015 version of ID for Macs has a host of memory management issues that appear with larger and particularly book-length documents. The spinning wheel issue I have tend to come either:

    1. When doing something I’ve not done before. The code for that seems to have been swapped out.

    2. When entering or editing text that’s not at the end of a book. ID seems to think it must—absolutely must—reformat all the pages that follow and never mind the hassle that is to me. At times, it gets so bad editing becomes impossible. To enter a single word, I must wait for spinning wheels twice. That’s insane.

    Various ploys will make the problem go away for a while. Redoing the graphics, so they’re smaller, helped for a time. Saving the document, closing it and even restarting ID seems to help too, but only for day or two.

    But the real issue is that ID on Macs doesn’t know how to acquire and manage memory well. It’s been three days since I rebooted and already my Mac has accumultated over 11 MIILION “page ins.” (Versus under 7,000 page outs.) That is ridiculous. I’ve got 16 GIG of memory, but ID refuses to take advantage of that even when I close out other apps.

    Has anyone done a study contrasting problems under Windows versus those on Macs? I’m already ticked off at Apple for gutting the Mac mini (2012 v. 2014) and not making a desktop that suits my needs. (No iMac toys please.) If the 2016 update to CC, which now seems due sometimes in 2017, doesn’t fix this issue, I’m going to give serious consideration to switching to Windows. Given that I’m paying for both and that the documents are compatible, the shift could be done in a morning.

  30. Nine times out of ten, I have to force the app to quit. Today, InDesign has crashed 3 times The problems seem to be never ending!

  31. SO. I was on chat with Adobe last week for a couple hours. We did everything tier one could do. He figured it was a Mac issue.
    Next day, I upgraded to El Cap. That sped things up. Sean at Apple was really great. We got things as clean as we could.

    I was able to upgrade everything but ID. The ID I have was 50% faster and my client library shows up.
    Thing is, it is still slow. And I still can’t get the upgrade to install. After El Cap upgrade, ID would act like a normal install, except slow, get all the way to 99% and then fail.

    We need real answers to this problem of slow load and slow to no install of JUST ID. The rest of my Adobe products are fine. For now.

    Anton, lets just keep the PC snark out. I like how my iMac and laptop work except for the cold shoulder Apple and Adobe give each other every 3 or 4 years. I hate working in PCs and it’s not because I don’t know how. I had to use both at my last job and it was annoying.


    This may not apply to all of you on Macs or even all of your situations BUT for me, the answer is: not enough memory.

    Last year, when CC updated, the requirements said you only needed 2GB to run ID, OR AI, OR, PS. It takes 2GB just to start up ID, according to the tech AND runs best on 8GB. That whole “2GB (8GB recommended)” was not just a recommendation. It was a warning that that you best get on a faster computer or rig up extra RAM somehow. My guess is that they KNEW people with older Macs (hell, might be PCs too) would not upgrade if they knew they only had 1/4 of the memory they needed just to load up the app.

    I have 4GB in mine. Apparently, that is what is causing the slow down. Gotta check with the local tech (read: hetero life mate) to see if we can wedge more in there.

    • Unfortunately, its not wholly the RAM. My 2012 Mac mini is tolerably fast—a 2.3 GHz Core i7, and it has 16 Gig of memory, no small part thanks to the fact that was the last Mac mini model that allows user-installed RAM.

      In an earlier posting, I suggested the memory allocation may be flawed. Adobe may have devoted so much attention to getting ID to run in 2 Gig, it didn’t pay adequate attention to making it take advantage of more than about 2 Gig. Even when I’ve got 8 Gig to spare, ID doesn’t take advantage of it.

      By the way, I paid less than $100 for that 16 GB. The current Mac mini has soldered-in RAM and Apple charges $200 for an 8 Gig to 16 Gig upgrade at purchase. That’s 400% more than I paid. And prices have gone down. Amazon sells 16 Gig of memory for $70.

      In short my bashing of Apple’s current hardware line-up has good reason. Apple seems to regard their customers as so stupid they’ll pay several times the market rate for RAM and endure having no other option—and that’s not taking into account Apple’s bulk purchasing power. My impression is that Apple’s executives are so well paid, they have no grasp of how ‘the rest of us’ live. Nor do they care—hence removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. Personally, I respect them more if they were openly greedly rather than offer bogus excuses.


      Those who’ve got Macs and would like to try adding more RAM might go here:

      You can find out how much memory you can add to your particular Mac. If you can afford it, you might also look into adding an SSD:

      Here’s a review describing what that means:

      Since I’m not using my aging white MacBook any more, I’m toying with moving its SSD to an external drive and putting the ID documents I’m working with on it. If the issue is swapping the document files (as opposed to the ID app itself) then that may help. It will be an added nuisance, since I’ll need to copy those documents back to my regular HD.


      • Ah, so even though we have extra RAM at home, Apple might be proprietary AND Adobe might not take advantage of it. Funny how that never came up in any of my searches either.

        Yeah, that phone thing is dumb.

      • Installed that SSD onto my Mac mini as a USB 3.0 drive. It did have one positive impact. The load time for a 163 page book with some two-dozen pictures went from 10 seconds, which is certainly tolerable, to an amazing 2 seconds. I’ll see if I can come up with a workflow that uses that SSD.

  33. Yeah, I understand that. It might not be the answer for me either but I am going to find out.

    Thing is, why are SO many people having this same problem with just one app and not the whole thing? Is Adobe talking about it?

  34. I don’t understand what the problem is with InDesign as Photoshop works like a dream! Even Microsoft Office is flawless in comparison! ( I never, ever thought I would say that.) So, what is it with InDesign? Is it coming to the end of its life? if so, let us know.

    • Adobe clearly favors some products and families of products over others. Photoshop is at the top. With each new version, I’m amazed at the features they add—haze removing being a recent one. Video and audio editing also seem to get a lot of attention, as does UI developement tools. InDesign is almost ignored.

      Is that because ID doesn’t bring in as much money? Perhaps. I changed my CC subscription to ID-only in a effort to push Adobe to at least use my money for ID. I’ve also promoted the idea of a ID plan for writers like there’s one for photographers. It could also be just a matter of executive egos. Audio and video editing is flashy. Book’s aren’t. Adobe executives may see ID as a feature-complete product. It isn’t.

      Also, keep in mind that Adobe is improving ID. It’s just that the changes are taking place at the periphery. Fonts, stock photos, and similar CC assets do benefit ID users. I’m also finding Publish Online to be marvelously effective working with teams and in promoting books without the expense of printing and mailing review copies. But that too is at the periphery. Not endnotes. No decent main dictionary. No scientific/legal dictionaries. No project or document specific dictionary. Adobe, Apple and Microsoft all exploit Hunspell but give it little money.

      The problem is that the core product hasn’t seen significant improvement in several years. The fact that Adobe had to make a big deal about glyph selection in ID 2015 illustrates that. In a good upgrade, that would have been a mere addendum. And add to that the fact that ID 2015, with is sluggishness and crashing, seems to be a poorer product than than ID 2014.

      We’re long overdue for the entire CC-2016 update. Perhaps we’ll see a host of new ID features and these sluggishness problems addressed. Given how frustrating the sluggishness and crashing is, Adobe should release those fixes ASAP. They don’t have to fit into the file format changes that accompany a major update.

      Then again, maybe there won’t be a CC-2016 release. Going with one this late would push the 2017 one into 2018. I’ve never seen the sense of linking updates to years.

      • I can understand your frustration, as I had to turn work away on the weekend owing the unreliability of ID 2015 –
        non-stop crashing. After all the ups and downs over the past three years, it was the final straw and I cancelled my subscription. A change of direction was needed – I’m now using Scrivener and iBooks Author.

    • When I lived in Seattle, I knew some of the developers for the then-Seattle-based ID team. They were great people to know. From them, I got the impression that Adobe developers were well aware of the problems we discuss but couldn’t get managment to fund them. The result morale problem may be why, a few years back, the ID program manager let developers choose one special project for themselves, some one feature they wanted ID to have.

      In this case, the distortion may be an illustration of the ‘cheap boss syndrome.’ Those working for themselves or for an agile company, know that time is money. If getting better hardware will save them time, they’ll spend it. RAM is a good illustration. With 16 gig selling for under $100, you’d be foolish not to max out your computer. My 2012 Mac mini was hardly out of the box when I bought extra RAM.

      Unfortunately, the ‘cheap boss’ doesn’t see matters that way. If you can get the work done with an older computer with but 2 Gig of RAM, he sees no reason to buy you more. If you’re salaried rather than waged, he’s particularly unconcerned if you have to stay late to get a project done. For you, time is money. For him, hardware is money.

      And alas, these cheap bosses often carry a lot of weight with companies such as Adobe. You and I buy one CC package at a time and use it heavily. These bosses determine whether hundred of people under them use ID or not—or at least how many employees will use ID or be stuck with Word. And these cheap bosses, whom I might add mean well, are more interested in whether ID will run in 2 Gig of RAM than whether it will run faster in 16 Gig. And I do see their rationale, without some checks in place, employees will go for more computer than they need and more software than they can use.

      Our frustrations may well be to consequence of that.

  35. Ok, I’ll probably get a lot of haters, but here goes…

    I’ve been in the design world since 1995. I have worked in various advertising agencies over the years.

    In the early years Macs were superior, they could handle large files waaay better than PCs.

    Skip forward a few decades and Apple have done this:

    Limited their product features and capabilities to control how you use it. You can’t even connect your phone to a desktop computer to get music onto it…noooo you have to go through iTunes.

    Now you can’t upgrade the hardware like RAM on some devices.

    Apps and in-app purchases are on average 20% more expensive than Android. Not to mention hardware. Even software is limited and more expensive.

    Instead of working with Adobe, they decided to kill Flash. Which is why I think this whole InDesign issue you guys are having is due to restrictions set in place by Apple.

    Why can Apple restrict how you use YOUR purchased products? Why can Apple charge you 20% more in the app store? Why Are their products do damn expensive? BECAUSE YOU QUEUE OVERNIGHT TO BUY IT!

    Wake up people, reduce the Apple hype and you will get more, not less for your cash.

    Go get yourself a good PC with 64-bit Windows.

    • Apple’s gotten enormous rich and unfortunately some at the company clearly can’t cope with that. The richer they get, the richer they want to be. Look at what Apple did to evade EU taxes. That’s going to create a lot of hate over there, particularly since it intends to fight and get the Obama administration to assist them.

      It’s starting to look like Microsoft in the mid-1990s. I watched that from Seattle and saw it wash the mystique off Microsoft and I saw friends who work for the company go from enthusiastic to guilty. Fighting those EU taxes will do the same for Apple. Paying a tiny fraction of 1% when most European companies are paying around 20% isn’t a way to improve your image.

      Apple’s move to soldered-in RAM illustrates that growning greed. A decent company that insists on making RAM upgrades impossible would sell RAM at market prices and encourage customers to max out their RAM. Instead, Apple puts too little RAM in its base product (Macs, tablets and phones) and then charges four times the market price to get a decent amount.

      Do Apple’s executives and marketing people really think we’re too stupid to notice that? Do they think the more savvy among us aren’t aware that making hardware hard to upgrade is a clumsy effort to force us to buy new sooner than necessary?

      The ancient Greeks called this hubris: “(in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.”

      • You’re right! I’ve had 4 macs in the past 20 months and I’ve had problems with all of them. Now I’ve returned to MacBook Pro 2012 because the later models aren’t as good.This model has everything I need. I’ve also checked that it is Sierra compatible.

      • Haha, Vista was a mistake. I think the good thing about Microsoft getting slapped around by competition is the fact that they are trying really hard to fix things and make a new name for themselves. Maybe they’ve left it a bit too late, but Windows 10 is really good if you install it from scratch and not as an upgrade.

        I’m not saying that PC’s are perfect at all, I get just as frustrated as the next guy, but at least I haven’t paid a premium for my PC, so if it has an issue it is easy and less expensive to fix.

  36. I remember I used to tell people Apples were so awesome because they never crash like PCs. Then I subscribed to CC and got InDesign and now crash is my middle name. I’ve resorted to using an old cracked cs6. Hasn’t crashed once! Up yours adobe

  37. Indesign CC {2016 install}
    46 Blank Pages suddenly appeared in a novel I am writing. {PP 340 to 386} They are in the middle of a sentence and so far I cannot get rid of them.
    InDesign CC behaves as if they are not there.

    My current plan of action is to copy up to page 339 and save it to a text file, then do the same with page 387 onwards; combine them and save AGAIN to a text file. Then create a new Indesign file copy/paste or import the text file and replace my text styles. {My standard method of converting Word files to InDesign to get rid of Word’s invisible nasties.}

    This will involve several hours tedious work for me, unless anyone has a better idea. Of course, this cure will only last until I accidentally perform the unlisted key combination that inserted the 46 pages in the first place.

    Adobe, please take note, your customers are dis-satisfied, please eradicate these bugs.

    • If there’s no missing text, meaning that p. 387 takes up where 339 leaves off, then you’ve simply got some blank pages inserted. Check the text flow and see if p. 339 links to 387. If it does, simply use the Pages panel to delete those blank pages and the problem is solved.

      I’m not sure what the reason is, but I’ve had ID occasionally add a blank page or two, although never 46. If it’s a bug rather than a user blunder, Adobe needs to fix it. But since it is easily fixed it isn’t of the same priority of these ID slow-downs many are experiencing. ID’s memory management seems grossly inadequate.
      I’m more concerned about your comment “in a novel I’m writing.” I love ID for editing and laying out books, but I always try to at least feel I have a near final text before importing it into ID. It’s not intended for all the cutting and pasting of novel writing. Doing that may have even triggered the problem you have. And all that editing may create glitches in an ID document that aren’t easy to track down.

      Scrivener and several kindred apps make far more sense for writing. They let you focus on the content rather than the layout and make moving a scene from chapter 7 to chapter 9 much easier. There are versions of it for macOS, iOS and Windows and a 30-day-of-writing trial version. The time you save will more that recoup the $45 cost.

      There are several such apps on the market, including StoryList and Ulysses. All are intended to make book writing easier, so you might want to try several before committing. I went with Scrivener years ago and have never felt the need for any other app. With its built-in outliner, it works well for those who write from an outline. But it doesn’t force you to do that. You can do what I do and just throw down ideas and arrange them later. One of the major advantages of those apps is that, since layout isn’t their main purpose, there’s no guilt when a book is still rough-hewn and ugly.

      • I have to echo “I’m more concerned about your comment “in a novel I’m writing.” I’ve worked in the publishing industry and these days most want word docs emailed to them (with illustrations as jpgs). I know indesign is lovely when it comes to making sections fit with a bit of clever tracking and slight leading adjustment, but you’ll find the majority of literary agents/publishers will be put off by an ID doc (definitely on email, raised eyebrows via post)

      • I’ll add to Shihab’s comment, doing my best to avoid a Word-is-dreadful-for-writers tirade.

        Most (probably all) these writer apps allow you to export what you’re written as Word or rtf document. So if you go with a publisher mired in the ‘Word is king’ world of the nineties, you can make them and their antiquated workflow happy. And you’ll have the considerable joy of working with an app that lacks all the bloat that afflicts an app that tries to do everything but does nothing well.

        Indeed, I have long suspected that Microsoft not only deliberately makes the UI of their Office apps difficult, but changes them every few years so that business and their employees get locked into that UI. And yeah, I did get into a Word tirade.

        What writers and publishers need is a descriptive-free, tagged format. It defines what a word or block of text is while specifiying absolutely nothing about how it looks. First-level headings would be describe as such but not defined as bold or larger than body text. That’d remove all the horrors of moving between apps and the gruesome bother of cleaning out unwanted formatting and applying styles.

        I’ve ranted for years that Adobe, Apple and Microsoft don’t do that as well as improve the gosh-awful Hunspell spelling checker they use without adequately funding. I think there are reasons for this failing.

        1. Corporate executives don’t have to worry about formatting, spelling etc. They babble about what they want said, and someone else gets stuck with the details. Many bad corporate decisions are the result of executives far removed from life’s front-line trenches.

        2. That tagged-by-meaning approach would make users more platform and app independent. Writers, for instance, wouldnd’t have to use Word to please agents and publishers. Major software companies want us to have to use their products and see little reason for us to use any one else’s.

        One reason I do my own writing, editing and publishing is that I experienced the publishing industry approach when I did a little writing for the giant Pearson back in the late 1990s. There are staff at those companies who will defend to their dying breath clumsy, Word-based workflows that date back to the late 1980s. As an independent, I need not deal with that. I do what works best. That’s a Scrievner to ID workflow without Word between.

        Also, keep in mind that if, as I suspect, ID’s slow-downs are a result of a memory management scheme that makes running with little RAM work (sorta) at the expense of taking advantage of lots of RAM, the corporate world is one reason. There’s more than one publishing executive out there that keeps too beady an eye directed at hardware costs. He’ll keep his department running on PCs with outdated Windows and little RAM as long as he can. The idea that giving staff good hardware could save time and money is beyond him. And when these cluesless executives threaten to shift to a different app if ID starts to require more RAM—even when 16 GB of RAM costs under $100—Adobe has to listen.

        That’s why I’m not certain Adobe is the one ultimately responsible for these slowdown woes.

  38. If you don’t want to purchase any more apps and you have Word 2016 for Mac, then click on View, then Focus (on the right side of Outline & Draft) and type away.

    • Sorry Anita, but you’re still recommending using Word and it’s core problem is that it tries to do far too much and thus does almost everything badly. Outlining isn’t just a check-box on a feature list. It has to be done well to be worthwhile.

      Will Word let you tag every item in that outline with a keyword and display only those with a certain tag? Scrivener will.

      If you’re weaving multiple items together, taking up first one and then the other, you need to make sure that each hangs together. For fiction, does John know something in a scene before John is told it later? That’s bad. In history or biography, is a subject brought up before it is explained later? Again, that’s bad. Manging that with a Word document or a series of them is horrid.

      Simply outlining won’t tell you that flow. Scrivener will let you selectively display items in an outline that deal with a specific theme or person. You can read them in sequence, excluding all else. And if you have a complex timeline, Scrivener will work with Aeon, an app specifically designed to manage timelines. It’ll also let you manage your work, showing at a glance which scenes are complete and which aren’t. It is designed for writers. To the extent that Word is designed to do anything, it’s to create office memos and letters.

      Word fans strike me as like those who think a Swiss Army knife and a crescent wrench are the only tools they need. “See, look at all the things these two can do.” Yes, but how well or poorly does it do them? It’s not for nothing that mechanics call a crescent wrench a “knuckle buster.”

      Microsoft Office products typically add features so some tech pundit has something to write about and so corporate departments have reason to upgrade. “See, it now does squibbly discombobulation,” they say. Yes, but does do that well? No, almost never.

      That’s why many of thus who remember Word 5.1 consider it the best version ever. It did what was needed for writing and did it well. Since then, Microsoft has simply slapped on features and done so not just in some clumsy fashion, but changed how its done every few versions, lest its open-source competitors catch up. It’s not just bad, it’s unstable too. By the time you learn one clumsy technique, it’s changed and you must learn another.

      The solution to that “purchase any more apps” problem is to quit purchasing Word, particularly now that Microsoft wants you to buy a cloud subscription. In my layout work, I often need to look at Word documents in the original. Word 2008 does that well enough that I don’t need to get onto Microsoft’s upgrade wagon or its oft-repeated learning curve.

      Instead, I do like any talented craftsman would do and get the proper tool for any task. I write with Scrivener because it’s best for that. If I maintained a blog, I’d look into using iAWriter, because that’s one of the purposes for which it was designed. If I were crafting a tale with Lord of the Rings complexity, I used Aeon’s integration with Scrivener..

      I’d no more use Word for those purposes than I’d use a heavy framing hammer with little ticky-tacky nails from which to hang pictures. Word’s problem is that it claims to be the universal hammer but isn’t. Not app can do everything well. My earlier post was that ID isn’t great for the early stages of writing.

  39. Sorry, Michael, but you’re labouring under the misapprehension that I’m using Word. Nothing could be further from the truth as I use Scrivener. All I suggested was if people didn’t want to go to the added expense of purchasing another app and they have Word 2016 on their hard drive, then try Focus!

    BTW, the only Microsoft app I like is PowerPoint!

  40. Dear Michael W Perry; Shihab S Joi; Anita,

    Thank you for your swift and helpful responses.
    I’ll need some time to take in everything.

    I am guilty of primary writing in InDesign and do take your point that it should be in Scrivener or similar.
    The reason is historical. I learned on Pagemaker on Mac
    Moved to–>
    Word on Mac{When Adobe bought Pagemaker}
    Moved to–>
    InDesign C6 on Mac {When Word began to really cause chaos with its inserted invisible nasties–>
    5 year old Mac slowed to crawl then died}
    Moved to–>
    InDesign CC on Wintel Home Build.

    Michael W Perry, yes the text does reflow, missing out the 46 pages, it does re-connect when I delete the pages.
    So far so good.
    If the problem is sorted, I am happy. I will squash into a cupboard the niggling worry of, ‘Why did it happen, and when will it reappear?’

    Your comment, ‘does John know something in a scene before John is told it later?,’ is critically valid for me because I write scenes and join up later. This also could be upsetting InDesign, it certainly opens the gate to accidental key combination mistakes.
    I am decidedly, ‘locked into that UI’, as in the dreaded attraction of the, ‘familiar and comfortable with.’ You are restating criticisms that I have already heard, but, this time with reasons, not just some self-important’s pet thing. The reasons you gave I understand and accept, thank you.
    Ironically, I don’t own a Swiss army knife, but the toolbox that replaces it could stock a small hardware store. I’m coming around to the view that I should apply the same thinking to my writing apps.

    Shihab S Joi, thank you for the insight into submitting manuscripts. I can be Sovereign in my own office, but I must accept that the World outside works to different rules.

    Anita, when I was working in Word, I’m not sure which build it was. It may even have been 2004-ish because I bought 2008, installed it after breakfast one morning and uninstalled it before lunch the same day. {No further appraisal needed.} I have been solely InDesign for over a year now.
    But thank you for the tip, it might help others.

    Thank you all.

  41. My guess is you sometimes use the Enter key and not the Return key which do different things in InDesign AND you have Smart Reflow on in your preferences. This causes insert of empty pages. Do not use InDeign as an texteditor….

    • You are correct, Frans vd Geest, about the keys.
      I do use the enter key to force a new page on the occasions when one is required. It is remotely possible that I leaned on it for long enough to insert 46 pages into the middle of a sentence, without noticing.
      I also always work in InDesign with ‘Show Hidden Characters’ active and those 46 pages contained nothing visible, not even the tiny blue symbol of a new page.

      Development, I bought Scrivener this morning and plan to use it as my text editor. {This makes it easier to bite down on a knee-jerk reply to being instructed, rather than advised, not to do something by a stranger.}

      Those of you who gave me reasoned advice, higher up, thanks again, I’ve acted upon it.

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