InDesign CS5 and footnotes: When the next page goes blank

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 2nd, 2011 • 2:29 pm

There is a bug in recent versions of InDesign CS (including CS5 and CS5.5) which causes problems for people who have footnotes in their publication. When you have consecutive pages that contain footnotes, editing the text on one page (changing its formatting in various ways, for example) can causes the text frame on the next page to go blank.

The problem is described in more detail in this discussion thread on Adobe’s forums.

I got an e-mail from a reader earlier this week thanking me for my posts on Adobe InDesign, and for the ones about footnotes in particular. He mentioned this bug and the discussion thread to me, and the fact that no one appears to have a solution for this. (Adobe certainly does not, which is not too surprising since footnotes were not part of their priorities for CS5. One wonders whether they will ever be part of their priorities.)

I too have experienced this bug in my own work with InDesign in the past couple of years, which is to be expected since my work usually does involve academic documents with numerous footnotes. (I suspect that the link between the use of footnotes and endnote and academia is part of the reason why Adobe is not doing anything about this. I don’t think the academic world is a large source of income for the company.)

I do not have a real solution for this bug, but there is a fix of sorts, which is also mentioned on the forum: Whenever you get a text frame that goes blank because of this bug in InDesign, you can force InDesign to refresh the text frame and reload the missing text properly by just slightly resizing the text frame involved, and then bringing it back to its initial size.

If you experience the bug repeatedly on a large number of pages, it can obviously get very tedious, but at least there is a way to bring the text back without losing all the page layout work with text frames that you’ve already completed.

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