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Many users have encountered this mysterious problem with Adobe InDesign when trying to export to a pdf file. Web searching shows that various strategies have helped some people but not others.

Possible solutions are summarised here with links to their sources. You may have to search the linked webpage to find the relevant part, since some pages contain several solutions.

General strategy

The general strategy employed by users seems to be to try exporting a few pages at a time until you locate which page or pages are the source of the problem. Sometimes exporting the document in sections solves the problem, and the resulting PDF files can be stitched together in Acrobat to create the finished product.

Firstly you should try loading a different InDesign file and try exporting it as a PDF. If it exports fine, the problem is with your file - if not, you may have a problem with your computer configuration, installation, permissions, memory, disk space, etc.

Other solutions seem to centre on one of seven areas dealt with below:

  1. Close and restart InDesign
  2. Simplify a copy of the document
  3. Grouping/overlapping/cropping/crossing the fold
  4. Correcting problems with image formats or fonts
  5. Changing InDesign Options
  6. Computer permissions and configuration
  7. Software bugs

Adobe made some suggestions

in their April 2007 TechNote Troubleshoot problems that occur when you export documents to PDF (InDesign CS, 1.0-2.x) with stepwise instructions for many of the remedies.

If you want to check that you're using all the recommended InDesign settings for export,

there's an excellent step-by-step guide called "Configuring applications" with screenshots of all the dialog box settings available free from the pass4press website.

1. Try this first - close and restart indesign

2. Simplify a copy of the document - remove unnecessary elements

3. Grouping / Overlapping / Cropping / Crossing the fold

4. Correcting problems with Image Formats or fonts

5. Changing InDesign Options

6. Computer Permissions and configuration

7. Software Bugs

| (1) Close and restart InDesign | (2) Simplify a copy | (3) Grouping/overlapping/cropping/crossing the fold | (4) Correcting problems with image formats |
| (5) Changing InDesign Options
| (6) Computer permissions and configuration | (7) Software bugs |

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