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Send Those Crash Reports!

Recently, Zak Williamson of Adobe put out the call to InDesign users to please send in any crash reports. Zak is the Technical Director of the “Text Technology Team” (go, Text Technology Team, go! this is your year!) at Adobe Systems.

In his post to the InDesign Talk listserv, Zak said, “I’d like to encourage everyone to send this information if you encounter a crash. We do look at the logs. They are very helpful.” I’m thinking that perhaps now is the time when Zak and his teammates can make sure any bugs that may have caused the crash aren’t in the upcoming InDesign CS3, due out in spring of 2007.

I hardly ever crash — actually, “unexpectedly quit” — in InDesign, but when I do, 80% of the time I’ll get a prompt asking if I want to send in a crash report. Until I read Zak’s post, I routinely clicked the alert’s Cancel button. Now I click OK and put a little note in the top including my e-mail address:

adobe crash report

I include my e-mail address in the comments because in his post to the listserv, Zak also said:

I’d like to ask that you consider including your e-mail address in the field that allows you to enter information about the crash.

In order to protect your privacy crash logs don’t normally retain information that would enable Adobe to identify you. However, if you include your e-mail address in the crash description, we may choose to contact you to learn more about the crash, request the document, fonts, graphics, etc.

A crash log alone is a bit like a photograph of a crime scene. It tells a bit about the end result, but only provides hints of how that result may have come about. In some cases a crash log alone is not enough for us to be able to identify the cause of, and the right fix for, a crash. Having the option of being able to contact you if you report a crash, would be very helpful.

An addendum: Sometimes, the OS takes over and asks if you want to send Microsoft or Apple the crash report. In this case, Zak says that Adobe has access to the Microsoft reports but not the Apple ones.

So if you’re on a Mac and InDesign crashes and the alert asks if you want to send a crash report to Apple (not Adobe), Zak asks that you click OK to generate the report, and then copy and paste the report text into a new e-mail message. Send the e-mail to applecrashlog [at] and they’ll thank you kindly.

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie “Her Geekness” Concepción is the co-founder (with David Blatner) and CEO of Creative Publishing Network, which produces InDesignSecrets, InDesign Magazine, and other resources for creative professionals. Through her cross-media design studio, Seneca Design & Training, Anne-Marie develops ebooks and trains and consults with companies who want to master the tools and workflows of digital publishing. She has authored over 20 courses on on these topics and others. Keep up with Anne-Marie by subscribing to her ezine, HerGeekness Gazette, and contact her by email at or on Twitter @amarie
Anne-Marie Concepcion

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9 Comments on “Send Those Crash Reports!

  1. Thanks for posting that, Anne-Marie. Zak made it very clear to me at the recent InDesign Conference that Adobe really wanted users to send that info in. In the vast majority of cases, they will not contact you even if you add your email address, but it can be really useful for them in eradicating bugs in some cases.

    It was a completely surprise to me that Microsoft made that information available to Adobe and other developers. My understanding is that Apple can make that available to Adobe, too, or perhaps that they will be next year or something of the sort. But in the meantime, that email address is a good workaround.

    Helping Adobe to get rid of bugs helps all of us!

  2. hi…i am havinga hell of a hrd time with my indesign copy….dont know what is teh meaning of this messege at the point of lunching teh soft shows “adobe indesin is missing system fonts or CMAP files”…the rest of my CS2 suit is working fine …this one is just a mess and i need it so bad for my schooling..please help…

  3. Wow, my Indesign crashes like crazy. Whether it’s copying and pasting a few lines of text, or changing the size of a font in paragraph styles, it crashes. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my computer usage since 1987, it’s so unstable. It’s also interesting that it seems to remember the last crash and do it again when trying a similar procedure. Any advice (as I’m kind of forced to use this program)? Thanks.

  4. my copy of indesign was crashing all the time until i fixed user dictionary in preferences. before that the selected dictionary had a question mark before it. just relink it from indesign preferences on your computer and that should fix your problem with pasting text or graphic

  5. I continue to have InDesign system crashes everytime I use the “place” command. The program shuts down and when I restart InDesign to try again, it does the same thing. I am able to “drag and drop” images, but just had a crash trying to do that. Any suggestions or should I just try to reload the software again??

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Please advise.


  6. Pat, this happens with every InDesign document, even new ones? Have you tried rebuilding your preferences? Deleting the recovery folder? Logging on as a different user and trying it there?

    See this post for more info on rebuilding prefs.

    BTW I edited your comment so I could delete your phone number. Never a good idea to post a phone number in a comment unless you really don’t mind thousands of strangers knowing it. ;-)

  7. I really don’t know what is happening to my indesign CS3. I want to export my file into PDF and it keep on crashing on me. Why?!? does anyone know why?.I just got my MacBook…

  8. Mary, look up at comment 6 that Anne-Marie wrote. Rebuilding your prefs may help. Another option: Try different Acrobat compatibility settings. For example, if making an Acrobat 4 file crashes, will an Acrobat 6 file work?

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