Avoiding Reflow in Adobe InDesign
Moving from one InDesign version to another can be a pain. Opening old documents in a newer version of InDesign can cause subtle reflow that can go unnoticed when flipping through the upgraded file. On the other hand, not keeping up with new versions of InDesign means missing out on new features like endnotes! Newer versions also have bug fixes and updates that would be missed if stuck on an old version.
In a recent blog post, Mike Rankin, describes how the upgrade from InDesign CS6 to CC 2020 fixed a text wrap bug. Unfortunately, he had compensated for the bug in his layout and when the bug was fixed, his layout was broken. Bug fixes are great, don’t get me wrong, however, they can cause unintended shifts when upgrading files. Imagine how changes like this would affect documents with hundreds of pages.
Another common case for reflow is when making large paragraph or character style changes. One small tweak can have cascading affects throughout the whole layout leaving a mangled mess in its wake. It can make any designer or typesetter fearful of making changes to already proofed layouts.
Fortunately, there are comparison utilities that can help show us what changed after upgrading the file. Here’s how to tackle this with ParePdf:
Export a PDF from both the old and new InDesign versions (
File > Export).
Use ParePdf’s comparison tool to select and compare the exported PDFs.
Flip through and review the comparison for any discrepencies. Differences are shown in red or cyan.