What’s with back-save to earlier versions of InDesign? | in-tools.com

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This has been a source of a lot of grumbling over the years. I’ve heard all kinds of silly theories as to why this is so — including one that Adobe does this on purpose to “force” you to upgrade. Conspiracy theories are exciting and everything, but there’s really no conspiracies related to InDesign…

This issue will be brought to the forefront once again with the release of InDesign CS5.5. InDesign CS5 will not be able to open InDesign CS5.5 files. Here’s an explanation as to why:

The InDesign file format is in reality one of a database, and InDesign is a (very complex) transactional database application. Every action in InDesign is a database transaction and all these transactions are saved as a database file for InDesign to be able to read. The fact that InDesign works this way allows for many of its advanced features such as unlimited undo and its almost flawless file recovery. (Interestingly enough a lot of “fluff” is saved in the file resulting from previous transactions which get cleared out by doing a “save-as”.)

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3 Responses to What’s with back-save to earlier versions of InDesign? | in-tools.com

  1. Reed Laughlin says:

    So, Adobe is committed to breaking file compatibility every 12 months, and if you don’t upgrade after 12 months, you may get files that require two separate versions of InDesign to save down to a format you can read. Not being able to save further than one previous-version-back’s format has been and continues to be a valid complaint.

  2. Christina says:

    So, you have to upgrade to view older files, because the older version won’t let you view newer files. Am I understanding that correctly?

  3. Reed Laughlin says:

    Heh. I am and idiot. Although, maybe a different excerpt might have been more representative.