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Adobe InDesign is crashing on new MacBooks

Adobe users have narrowed the InDesign crash problem down to the software running on OS X 10.7.4 on newer Apple hardware.

A number of Adobe users who have purchased one of Apple's latest MacBook systems have been experiencing crashes of Adobe's InDesign layout software.

Yesterday, AppleInsider reported that a number of users had been complaining on the Adobe discussion boards about InDesign becoming unresponsive (for some displaying an empty warning dialog box) and requiring users to force-quit the program. This happens when performing several different tasks, including after deleting a page that has content on it and when packaging a file.

Following these complaints Adobe has been investigating the problem and has narrowed the issue down to an incompatibility between its software and the new Apple hardware when running OS X 10.7.4. Unfortunately, for now Adobe doesn't appear to have a firm grasp on what is causing the issue, and speculates that the problem may persist even if users upgrade to OS X 10.8 when it is released.

InDesign warning window during crash
This empty warning window may appear when InDesign crashes. Screenshot by Adobe user Marko272

So far, the workaround that Adobe has presented is for users to restore OS X 10.7.3 on their systems until Adobe can issue a software fix; however, this may not be possible for many affected systems. Most of the new Mac systems have shipped with OS X 10.7.4 and to ensure hardware compatibility it is never a good idea to install a version of OS X prior to that which was shipped with your Mac. This is particularly true for those with newer and unique hardware like the Retina Display that requires unique enhancements only available in OS X 10.7.4, so rolling back to a version prior to 10.7.4 would either introduce loss of function or overall system instability.

If you use InDesign and have upgraded your system to OS X 10.7.4, then you might consider restoring a backup of OS X 10.7.3 to continue using the software. Optionally you can install Lion to an external drive and upgrade it to OS X 10.7.3 and then run InDesign from there temporarily while Adobe addresses this issue. If you have just purchased a new system that came with OS X 10.7.4, then do not attempt to downgrade the OS. Instead, for now use your older system to run InDesign.

A final option for getting InDesign working is to use a virtual machine program like Parallels Desktop 7 to install OS X 10.7 and then upgrade it to version 10.7.3. Starting with OS X Lion, Apple changed its OS licensing to allow for virtualization of the OS (at least on Apple hardware that is already running Lion). Therefore, since the affected systems are already running Lion, they can set up a virtual Lion environment. To do this, open Parallels Desktop and select "New" from the File menu. Then select "Install OS X Lion using the Recovery Partition" in the Parallels Wizard that appears, and follow the steps to set up OS X in the virtual machine. Once done, log in and then manually download and install the OS X 10.7.3 combo updater, followed by installing InDesign to the virtual machine.

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