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Why InDesign Crashes When Placing Word Documents and How to Fix It

Adobe InDesign CS5 has stopped workingI occasionally create PDF documents using Adobe InDesign. The source document always comes from Microsoft Word. More often than not, when placing (think importing) the document in InDesign, it crashes and says, “Adobe InDesign CS5 has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.” It gives no indication of what the problem might be, forcing me to search the Word document to see if I can locate the issue myself.

I proceed by dividing the document in half and then trying to import each half. The one that fails, I divide in half. I repeat this process over and over (and over) until I’ve located the page or paragraph with the problem. Since there’s no visible problem with the text itself, I use PureText to wipe out all the formatting and problem code and then reformat it by hand to match the original. It’s not a fun process, but it gets the job done.

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