[Solved] How to Fix InDesign error “failed to export the pdf file”?

By | December 31, 2015

InDesign error "failed to export the pdf file"


InDesign user may face different types of error messages while dealing with this popular file. Some of them can be easily fixed but some are little tricky and you need to apply professional and tested solutions to fix them.

In this blog, we will discuss about an irritating InDesign error, “Adobe InDesign Failed to Export PDF” and trying different fixes to get rid of this issue.

Many regular InDesign users have encountered this error with Adobe InDesign when trying to export a PDF document. Well, nevertheless you can follow the below-mentioned solution that can help you to fix the above error messages.


“When I tried to export a document in InDesign CS6 as PDF file, I get an error message: Adobe InDesign Failed to Export PDF. After closing the error dialogue box, the export process also quits and no PDF file is created.

There is no further notice, warning or error messages. The document itself is valid, no update is required, no links are missing and all in used fonts are available on the system InDesign.

I don’t know how to fix this error? Please let me know any solution to fix InDesign error “failed to export the pdf file.


Fixes For Failed To Export The PDF InDesign Error


1. Close and Restart InDesign

  • You can try to close and restart your InDesign and then start to export PDF file. For example – a user found that InDesign failed to export PDF” when he tried to export in smaller section (40 pages per time), but when the error occurred again and again then all he has to do is close InDesign and restart it. After this, the PDF file was exported successfully.
  • If it fails then you can try to reboot your computer as this sometimes fixes the problem. It is also suggested that when you use InDesign then close other application on your Mac system.


2. Create a Copy of the Document and Remove Unwanted Elements

Well, you can also try to create a copy of the document and remove some unwanted element as this solution can fix the above error message:

  • Reduce the font size.
  • Merge all the layers
  • Remove the items from the hidden layers or from the pasteboard
  • Instead of using Multi-line and Paragraph Composer, make use of Single-line Composer


3. Avoid Overlapping / Grouping / Cropping / Crossing the fold

If you have grouped the images then it is suggested that you must ungroup them. One of the users found this error due to this image grouping. Other than this you can get the above error when:

  • A stray image is hiding behind another one
  • A text box going over the spread
  • Two images overlap each other on the same layer
  • When two png images or tiff images with transparent backgrounds overlapping


4. Change InDesign Options

  • Adobe TechNote recommends that the InDesign preferences file which saves all settings to their defaults. If preferences files get corrupted then it can throw unexpected errors and behavior when exporting PDF files. So, in order to fix this issue, you have to recreate the preferences files (You might also be interested in reading – How to Repair corrupt InDesign Adobe files)
  • Try to turn off the option “Optimize for Fast Web View”. This problem has been solved by one of the users when he upgraded from CS2 to CS3.
  • You may switch export compatibility from Adobe 5 to Adobe 6 to fix the error.


Also Read: 3 Easy Ways For Corrupt Or Deleted Adobe InDesign File Recovery


5. Use InDesign File Repair Tool to Fix InDesign error “failed to export the pdf file”

Well, if any of the above methods don’t help you to fix the InDesign Fails To Export PDF Error then in such situation you can take help InDesign File Repair Tool.

If there is any corruption in your InDesign files then it will help to fix the corruption and thereafter you can easily export PDF document to Adobe InDesign with ease.

This tool is specifically designed to repair and recover all design and contents of the file such as images, text, notes, media files, links, bookmarks, animations, standard shapes special characters, etc.

Below find out step by step guide on how to repair failed to export the pdf file InDesign CC error that will help you to fix the above error.


Steps to Repair Corrupt InDesign Files to Fix “Failed To Export The PDF File InDesign CC”

Step 1: Download and Install InDesign Repair Tool. Here, the main software interface shows the features and capabilities. Click ‘Next’ to proceed further.



Step 2: In this section, you can click the ‘Select File’ button so that you can browse the desired destination in your Mac and then select the corrupt INDD file.



Step 3: Or, you can also select the individual volume or hard drive in order to check for all INDD files. After the INDD files are listed, you can select the troubled one and click the ‘Repair’ option.



Step 4: In the progress bar, you can see the process is on.



Step 5: The software opens up the repaired file with Adobe InDesign to show its preview when the file is repaired.



Step 6: When you click on ‘Save’, the InDesign Repair tool then save the repaired INDD file to the default location or to any other specified location.




Hence, this error is very tricky and you need to follow all the above-discussed solutions one by one in order to get rid of “Adobe InDesign Failed to Export PDF” error message completely.

If you are not able to apply the given manual solutions or it doesn’t help you more then you should go with the automatic solution. Apply the INDD File Repair tool and make your InDesign File Error Free without paying more effort.

The automatic solution is especially suggested for the new or inexperienced users. Because it is a completely automatic tool, you need to only click on the “Repair” option to repair the corrupt INDD file.