Remember the old InDesign Stubborn Swatch problem? We rarely see that any more.
My standard fix for Evil InDesign files is probably your primary voodoo weapon, too—export to IDML to scrub off the rust, open the IDML file, and you’re a hero.
But I encountered a customer file this week that wouldn’t respond to treatment. Looking at the Document History in the Component Information display, I discovered that the file started in QuarkXPress. Then, once it was converted to InDesign, it was worked on and saved over 70 times between June 2007 (PC; CS) and July 2013 (Mac; CS5.5). Its history was sprinkled with minisaves, version changes, and, finally, platform-jumping. No wonder it was a bit dog-eared.
NOTE: To view Component Information on Mac: hold down Command while choosing InDesign > About InDesign. PC: hold down Control while choosing Help > About InDesign. It’s a rich source of information about your install of InDesign and plug-ins, and the life story of the document.
When IDML didn’t do the trick, I used Standard Voodoo Fix Number Two: delete half of the content at a time. Pursuing the Aristotelian Dichotomy Paradox, I continued to delete half of the diminishing content until I had nothing (thus proving that the ancient Greek logic problem is BS). However, my triumph over the age-old theorem was sullied by the fact that, even when the document was completely devoid of frames and styles, I still could not rip the swatches out by the roots.
Now I was in full-blown Nancy Drew mode. I opened the IDML file in BBEdit (can’t live without it. Plus, you have to love a product whose tagline is “It doesn’t suck.”) and started poking around. Ever looked in an IDML file? It’s weird in there.
In the Resources > Graphic.xml, I struck gold (well, M10-Y100) — swatches with the attribute ColorRemovable=”false.”
On a hunch, I used Find/Change to change “false” to “true,” resaved the IDML file, and opened it in InDesign.
Now I can go to bed.