I just "discovered" that search (note: I talk about search, not replace!) doesn't work for text on locked layers.

Some people suggest to enable "Include Locked Layers and Locked Objects" and "Include Locked Stories" options to workaround this issue, but this solution doesn't work for; neither for Anne-Marie, co-founder and CEO of Creative Publishing Network, creativepro.com, see the discussion here: https://creativepro.com/topic/indesign-cs5-question-finding-a-text-in-locked-text-frame-79/

enter image description here

I use CS6. The issue might have been fixed in newer versions, but I don't really know. Is it so?

And are there any workarounds (except for using GREP instead of normal search)?

  • erm.. can't one make the layers visible and perform the search, then turn off visibility again? The layer visibility toggle is global for the document.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 15:50
  • @Scott Of course, this is a possible workaround. But I'm wondering are there any other ones :) And sorry, actually I assumed locked layers rather than hidden ones; I've corrected the question.
    – user90726
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


I knew this should work, and tried again in my CC version. Created a text box with the text "XXX" included, layer locked, searched with the Include Locked Layers and it seems to find it.

I have also hidden that layer and with the Include Hidden Layers option, it can still find it.

enter image description here

  • Well, yes, I got the same message, sorry for not being clear enough. What I mean is that InDesign doesn't select the found text for you. The window that simply says that searched text exists (somewhere) is barely useful, in my opinion...
    – user90726
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 20:45
  • If you hide the layer, it actually DOES select the text and then if you UNHIDE the layer, the text remains selected.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 21:09
  • Yes, but I don't care about hidden layers. The subject of my interest is how is it possible to search text on locked layers.
    – user90726
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 21:22
  • 1
    @jsv I don't think it's possible. The dilemma is that InDesign highlights found text but selecting it but you can't make a selection in locked objects.
    – Wolff
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 7:57
  • 1
    OK, so I mark this answer as correct (although the task is impossible)
    – user90726
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 9:40

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