Adobe InDesign – most common issues & troubleshooting

@Damian Rozmiarkowski May 6, 2025


Below are the most common problems clients report in tickets concerning the Adobe InDesign server and InDesign files.

Issue description & Solution

“Invalid file” as the result of the analysis process

If you access the workflow and see an Invalid file message, there are two possible causes for this status:

  1. The file has an incorrect structure

Solution: First ensure that an InDesign file has the correct file structure:

  • Avoid using text for translation inside images. Text inside raster images (such as PNG/JPG/JPEG) cannot be sent for translation.

  • Ensure that hidden characters are being displayed.

  • Use hard return correctly, to create a new paragraph, not to wrap text!

  • Avoid using tabulation (the Tab key): use indentation instead.

  • Use Paragraph styles to format text.

  • Make sure that the language attribute is applied correctly.

  • Pay attention to hyphenation.

  1. The InDesign server that XTM Cloud uses to process files has either stopped or is having problems processing the file

Solution: In such a case, create a suitable ticket for the XTM International Support team and provide details.

“No content” as the result of the analysis process

If you access the workflow and see the No content message, there are two possible causes for this status:

  1. By default, XTM Cloud is not extracting locked and/or hidden layers

If your file has its all layers locked or hidden, and no custom configuration is present, the system will mark this file as having no content.

Solution: Make sure that the content you do want to translate is neither in the hidden or locked layer because it is not extracted by XTM Cloud.

  1. InDesign configuration (ITS) has been applied incorrectly by our XTM International Support team or a file with a different structure has been used with a particular set of ITS rules

Solution: In such a case, create a suitable ticket for the XTM International Support team and provide details.

File has “erred out” as the result of the analysis process

If you access the workflow and see the Book icon, that means that there was an error and the file was not processed. Below you will find the most common reasons for this situation:

  1. Invalid InDesign version

XTM Cloud uses a specific InDesign server version for file processing. It means that if you have the INDD file created with a version higher than the one currently supported by our product, such a file will fail to process.

The IDML file, on the other hand, due to its specification, is not subject to this version restriction and XTM Cloud will process it correctly.

Solution: To resolve this issue, either downgrade the InDesign version of your INDD file or try using IDML files instead.

  1. Temporary server issues

Solution: On rare occasions, there are problems between the XTM Cloud and InDesign server. In the majority of situations, such issues are temporary and after a time, when a user triggers reanalysis of the project, the file will be processed correctly.

If the problem keeps on persisting, create a suitable ticket for the XTM International Support team and provide details.

InDesign file analysis process takes too long

Solution: The InDesign Server places files in a queue and processes them one by one. In some cases, with many large files, the analysis might take quite a long time. This is because the file is still in the queue and must wait until the analysis of the preceding files finishes. In XTM Cloud, we currently only have one queue for analyzing InDesign files. Once the files have been processed, they are sent back to XTM Cloud.

Font text overflows outside of a text box or button

Text boxes and buttons in InDesign documents are in capable of "stretching". It means that each time a particular text box has a predefined length, any text that will exceed this length will end up overflowing a particular element.

Solution: Since XTM Cloud, due to the InDesign files' specification, has no technical means to address this issue, it is advised either to design your files to be ready for future translation or to engage in an additional DTP step. Design text boxes so that there is plenty of space left for translation texts, which might be significantly longer than the source text.







InDesign plugin deleted on target file generation

Some clients use various plugins in their InDesign when creating source documents. Such plugins are likely to be removed from a document upon target file generation.

Solution: If you find that your XTM Cloud instance has removed a plugin of this kind, and it is crucial to have it, contact our XTM International Support team and provide details.

Source INDD file produces INDD and IDML target files upon generation

Generation is performed if you submit an INDD file that has been created using an InDesign version that is older than the one installed on our server. The output INDD will be updated to the version we are operating on, and for some users, that would render it inoperable. For this reason, we deliver an additional IDML file that can be opened by virtually any InDesign version.

Solution: This is expected behavior on our system's part.

Source INDD file produces only an IDML file

This is a variant of the issue above. It usually happens when the InDesign server has difficulties producing an output INDD file. The most likely root cause of this problem is that the translation overflows a text frame/box that is set in the source file.

Solution: Below are some steps that you can take to either prevent this issue or resolve it post factum:

  • Ask the file's creator to change the file's design so that the text frame/box will have more room for the potential translation.

  • Take the output IDML file and perform an additional DTP step to reshape the text frame/box. Once you have finished, convert the file to INDD format.

IDML/INDD target files are not opening

It might happen that you generate a target file from XTM Cloud but it does not open in the correct software. On the other hand, there is another version of the same file, translated into a different language (or not translated, but generated as a target), that does open, which means that it is not a "reversor" problem. This leaves us with the inline tag placement issue: incorrectly placed inline tags might be anywhere in the file.

Solution: You can easily track down the affected segment in XTM Workbench with a few steps:

  1. Take the faulty target IDML/INDD file and create a TEST project with it.

  2. The analysis will most likely fail, and you will see the reason in an error message in Project editor → Workflow → (open “error message” log).

  1. Unzip the IMDD file on your computer and go to the file using the path from the above stack trace.

  2. Search for the suggested keyword (in this case, xtm:style).

  1. Use the translatable text along with search/filter segments in XTM Workbench.

  1. As you can see, this segment causes the issue. If possible, arrange a better placement of the inline tags.

InDesign issues relating to XTM Visual mode (Visual Editor)

There is a separate, dedicated article that deals with various issues relating to XTM Visual mode (Visual Editor), including but not limited to InDesign issues. Read it if you did not find the solution above: XTM Visual Mode (Visual Editor) – most common issues & troubleshooting.