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Adobe InDesign CC – Advanced Training

How To Speed Up InDesign When It’s Running Really Slow

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 68 of 71




Hi there, in this video we're going to look at how to speed up InDesign if it's running a little slow, especially with longer documents. The quickest and easiest is to go to 'View' and where it says 'Display Performance', switch it form 'High', which I think is the default for a little while now, and we're going to go to 'Typical'. It just means, can you see, that image there changed. I'll turn it back on, just watch, it's kind of pixelated. 'Display Performance' at 'High'. Looks nicer. So with nothing selected you can actually turn this whole document, this 'Typical Display'. Things will just start running faster, but things will look not as nice, but don't worry, they’ll print just fine, and go to PDF just fine. It's just the work flow thing. If it's going really bad, you can go to 'View' and go to 'Display Performance', and go to 'Fast'. It's not really a nice way of working but especially if you're just doing Text edits, they can work nicely.

Now what I found on long documents is, under 'View', 'Display Performance' if you have one selected, you can actually kind of force them to go high and low, and they ignore this. What you can do is clear out the 'Object-Level Display Settings'. It just kind of gets everybody back to being whatever you tell it to be in this. I found that happened on one of my documents, a really long one, one of my notes, and just by clearing out the Object-Level Display Settings life became great again, and I could work at high quality display, or Typical, without overriding that, which is what this option does. So clear it out, go back to 'Normal', life can be better.

One of the other things that can really slow down a document is Dynamic Spelling. If I turn 'W' off I got Dynamic Spelling on, I like it, but especially with Lorem Ipsum, everything's spelled wrong. Smart, just not the right language. So 'Dynamic Spelling' under 'InDesign', 'Preferences' go to 'Spelling'. Remember, it's under 'Edit', 'Preferences', 'Spelling' on a PC. Just turn Dynamic Spelling off if you don't need it. Just turn it on while you're working, turn it off, you'll find life gets a whole lot faster.

Another thing you can do, is down the bottom here, 'Preflight', we haven't done that in this course, we'll do it in the next video. But down here, Preflight's on by default. Shows a little green light on there, means it's trying to check it every time you do a little change. So what you need to do, is this little drop down menu here, go to the 'Preflight Panel', raise this on. Turn it off, close that down, and it's not going to check it every time you paste a bit of text in. I found that speeds me up.

The next trick to speeding things up is under 'Preferences'. So I'll show you what it looks like first. When I drag this image, can you see, it's redrawing it as I move. By redrawing it, I mean, you can see it the whole time. Same with the logo, when I'm moving it, you can see where I'm moving it. I know it seems a bit strange, but same with text, watch this. Can you see, the text flashes. Now I'm just kind of really stressing the machine out. My machine's pretty fast, so it's okay. You might find yours is finding it really hard to move things around. Now you can fix that by going up to 'InDesign', 'Preferences', 'Interface'. Remember, 'Edit', 'Preferences', 'Interface' on a PC. And down the bottom here, at the moment, 'No Greeking'. I'm going to go all the way down the bottom. It says, it's going to 'Greek Images & Text'.

Greeking just means, it's going to try and-- it's going to use kind of Placeholder stuff, not the actual image and text itself. Down here as well, let's turn this down to 'Never'. That's that redrawing that we've just seen. And there's 'Greek Vector Graphics' as well, still not on. Let's click 'OK'. Now when I drag this, you'll notice it's dragging a lot faster, it's not flashing but I can't preview the text. You can see, it's such a good lot, wherever I go, it appears. So, if you can live with that there might be a nice little thing to speed things up. Same with the images, here, let's start dragging it, it doesn't try and preview it, but when I let go, it appears. Same with this image here. Just drag it around, it's fine.

The other thing to do is, not embedding images. So, there is a way to embed images in InDesign. You know if you've got embedded images, basically they're not linked. So this image here, I'm going to go to my 'Links panel'. And see this little icon here, says it's Embedded. How to embed something? It means that it's not going to be connected anymore. So this one here is connecting to a file on my Desktop, called 'Logo Option 4'. I can right click it, and say, 'Embed Link'. The cool thing about that is that, it means when I send the InDesign file, these two images are inside of it. I don't have to package it, or send these files as well. So it comes along with the file. It makes the file size bigger, and it stresses InDesign out. It doesn't like doing that.

So what you can do, is you can unlink them. See this guy here, I can right click and say, actually 'Unembed Link'. You need to say 'Yes', and try to find the file again or it has the file, and you say 'No', and it says "Where would you like me to put it, now that I've kind of un-embedded it?" And I'll just stick it in my 'Desktop', in my 'Advance Coursework', and you can go in there. Nothing really changes, except now this image is linking to that folder I just stuck in. And things will run a little faster. And the last thing is your computer could be just too slow.

If you are looking to upgrade because things are just painful, and slow, and none of those tricks worked, what you're looking for is basically three things. There's two kinds of RAM, and a hard drive, that's going to give you your speed. The first kind of RAM is the normal RAM you get. When you're looking at the shop, and it says I've got 16GB, or 8Gb, or 4GB. That kind of RAM is your kind of general purpose RAM, and that's the main ingredient. So 8's the bare minimum, 16 is amazing, if you can get 32, you are winning. So get as much RAM as you can. Some laptops, mainly just PCs, you can upgrade the RAM. Check how much you can get to put in there. Often it's not expensive. For a Mac, most MACs don't let you put RAM in, that just can't be done. There's hacks to make it work but really if you're going to buy one, go high on RAM because it's really hard to upgrade.

The other kind of RAM is called VRAM, or Video RAM. It's generally publicized a little less in the shop. So basically, you've got a video card in your computer, and it gets its own bit of RAM, and the more you can have in there, the better. Where things are really bad is when they don't display the VRAM at all. That means it doesn't have any. It's like an on-board video card on the motherboard, really bad. Often that's when you're looking at like a $500 laptop. They can keep those prices because they just don't do what's called an external video card. So when you're looking in a shop, and you're like "Hey, does this one have an external video card, or VRAM?" It sounds like you know what you're talking about. They'll hopefully be able to help you in pointing to a laptop that's got both a good bit of RAM, and a good bit of VRAM.

Other thing is the hard drive. Now this is kind of weird. Normally it's a hard drive, how big it is, but recently hard drives have gone through a bit of a revolution. There is your normal tape hard drives. It's a little spinning wheel that spins around, and that's the hard drive's work. Now we've got something called SSD Drive, a Solid State Drive. It works more like a USB stick, a big version of it. The cool thing about them is that they are super-duper fast compared to more standard kind of wearing away hard drives that you buy. The trouble is, they're a lot more expensive and they're a lot smaller for that more expensive price.

So this laptop you're looking at now has 1 Terabyte, and cost me a fortune, because it's a SSD drive. Now, if you're using an old Mac, you can totally upgrade those. The model of MacBook Pro I had before this, you could upgrade the hard drive, that was a little bit of a hack, but man, did it make a big difference in the performance. This new one, I'm not sure, maybe you can upgrade them, I don't know, but it's got an SSD drive, so I don't need to. If you're on a PC, easily upgradable. Definitely cheaper to do than on a Mac but I'd probably take it to a technician to do it. If yours is still running slow you could just have a slower computer, and you need an upgrade. But hopefully in there, you'll find a little bit of nugget of good speediness to help with your InDesign work flow. All right, let's get on to the next video.