been using ID professionally for years and know most of the ins and outs. I have one situation though that pops up sporadically: that one ID File will just bog down and react so slowly. There has to be something in the file which is causing it to mud down - all other files of similar size and content work fine, so it's not a computer problem. But I can't for the life of me figure out what element(s) in the file are causing it. Worst case is I go through the file removing elements until the problem is gone, but that'll take longer than I have time for. (It's not a big file, only 20 pages, but still).

So I'm wondering if anyone has any things in mind that could be prime suspects.

I have tried:

  • Display performance is of course set to Typical Display
  • Saving as IDML to clear out the rubbish.
  • All images (Bitmap and Vector) are placed, not embedded.
  • Removed all Paragraph and Character Styles.
  • No overly complex Vector Graphics (well maybe one that is a little bit, but only on one page (perhaps I'll remove that and see)).
  • Hardly any effects - just a couple of transparencies/shadows.
  • Only one embedded PSD has Smart Objects in it - I've had problems once or twice with such PSDs, but this one doesn't seem to be affecting anything

Anyone else have something they've noticed which will cause an ID file to slow down so badly?

Thanks, Angus!

  • What is your preview quality? If that is set to 'High Quality', just about any file with more than a few images may slow down.
    – Vincent
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 10:04
  • Hi Vincent, sorry should have mentioned, Preview is always set to Typical. (Fixed that)
    – DHXAngus
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 11:37
  • I'd try to remove pages one by one or in small chunks to figure out which page causes it... Assuming it's not just like your antivirus software doing a scheduled scan or something...
    – Joonas
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 12:29
  • In my experience, any slow down in INDD performance is most often directly related to the screen redraw associated with linked images on a page. i.e. A document will behave just fine, but then clicking to display pages 7-8 takes several minutes to happen. It's generally due to the screen redraw of those pages. If it's happening across the entire document, it's typically due to a master page element.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 12:46
  • 1
    Also note.. of the Pages Panel has thumbnails, redrawing "heavy" page thumbnails there can slow things down as well.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 12:54

1 Answer 1


Save a copy of the document, literally, using Save As. This will clear out the rubbish in the file and create a literal new file.

See if the copy behaves the same.

You will likely get a surprise.

  • If going through an IDML save doesn’t clear out the rubbish, a regular save as likely won’t either. Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 20:44

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