InDesign 2020 v15.01 makes corrupt documents when using Alternate Layout
The "Create Alternate Layout" in indesign 2020 v15.01 is toxic.
After using it, chances are high that documents will at some later stage become corrupt. It may manifest itself by crashing on copy/paste or just a spinning beachball of death (Mac).
I have seen this on at least 20 different documents since upgrading from version 2019 to version 2020 (15.0.1). We never used version 15.0.
This is my guess on what happens:
Using "Create Alternate Layout" it will make some of the Paragraph Styles corrupt. Version 2020 seems to crash (beachball) whenever one of these are accessed. This might very well be when you open the document, making the whole document inaccessable. It also might happen at a later stage, a minute or two after you have opened the document. (Maybe when some routine tries to read some of the corrupt text styles?)
Maybe "Copy Text Styles to New Group" is also involved in the plot.
We are using fairly advanced Paragraph styles with nested styles, based on styles, grep styles, rules etc.
If I try to use ID 2019 to open the corrupt document using the "Convert" feature, it will somewhat surprisingly likely manage to do so. As opposed to v2020 that only crashes. It will however delete most or all of the Paragraph Styles and assign Standard to all text leaving the document a royal mess. We have not tried to continue to work on such a "Salavaged" document, so if it is still "usable" I do not know.
Using the exact same features on the same documents in version 2019 never produced such corrupt documents. This has been rampant since upgrading to v2020.
(I have samples, but not for posting publicly.)
The issue has been fixed in the recently released update to InDesign version 15.0.3.
Please update to this version to get the fix.
Adobe InDesign team
Now we are back at Level 2 I've finally been able to download the pre-release and it seems to have fixed the problem of corrupted files and crashes.
I can't download the pre-release build at the moment. I'm working from home [we are now at COVID-19 Level 3] with a limited data cap on our rural broadband service which is already stretched to the maximum. My fix for this is to go back to InDesign 2019 which is working just fine. From what I have experienced with the toxic 2020 build so far, it crashes when I am making an A4 4 page portrait version of an A3 2 page landscape file which is set to print to SRA3 as a duplex document and folded in the middle so that we effectively have 4 x A4 pages. I get to the bit where I've created the A4 version and am starting to move the blocks of text and images into their correct places and at some stage during this it just sucks a kumara and hangs resulting in my having to reboot the pc because it is all locked up. Then when I open the file the layout is completely corrupted and I can't do a thing with it.
I hope that makes sense. I'd love to download the prerelease version but we are trying to run a multinational company from our farm and with the terrible wifi broadband service that we have here, it's all struggling to cope. My partner is the CEO of the company so his work has to take priority over mine which is doing the marketing stuff., website etc
Cesar Albornoz commented
The pre-release build 188.8.131.522 recommended by Ravi really works and saved me a lot of work. The alternative layout crashes ceased to happen, even when you have complex Paragraph styles with lots of nested styles and GREP. You should give it a try.
I'm having the same issue with InDesign 2020 on PC which crashes during work on A3 printing files containing alternative A4 email layout - sometimes when creating these but mostly when editing the alternative layout during initial stage and it completely corrupts the .indd file. It has created a lot of extra work. Happens every single time and I've been sending crash reports. Sometimes I am unable to open InDesign after this so end up rebooting PC as well. Also the page format when creating the alternative layout does not change to A4 portrait, but usually remains stuck on A3 landscape so I end up having to move items around after editing the alt layout to A4 Portrait, it is usually then when it crashes.
It's very frustrating, please fix it!
Håvard Graudo commented
The below sequence seems to be a sure way of crashing Adobe InDesign and end up with a corrupt document:
1) Create new A4 document
2) Draw a text-box on page 1 and fill it with Placeholder text
3) Make a new paragraph style and assign that style to the text
4) Go to Page -> Create Alternate Layout
5) Select Page Size A3, choose "Scale" and check "Copy Text Styles to New Style Group"
6) In the Pages panel: Delete the alternate page you just created*
7) Repeat step 5; creating the alternate layout again with the same settings
8) Save the document somewhere as "my corrupt document.indd"
9) Go to the alternate page and select the textbox. Boom! Beachball of death.
If you try to open that document again InDesign will crash if you touch the textbox on the alternate page
The above sequence does *not* crash InDesign 2019
* it does not seem to be a difference between delete the page only or delete the entire Alternate Layout
* saving is just to show that the document is corrupt. The error will show up either it is saved or not
Please submit the crash report to us. (Guidelines to submit crash are available at (https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/kb/submit-crash-reports.html)
Also, please send the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
• Reproducible Steps – What were you doing when InDesign crashed?
• Video recording of the crash?
• Is(Are) the issue related to a specific document(s)/asset(s)? If yes, could you provide the document(s)/asset(s) to us? Please package the entire document (To package the document, choose File → Package…)