It’s worth highlighting David Baldaro’s latest comment on the original post. There have been some discoveries.
“Folks, I’ve been chatting with the R&D team on this issue. For all the details check out my blog, http://david.baldaro.me.uk/2009/03/xmpie-and-the-missing-plug-in-issue/”
Here’s an excerpt from David’s blog:
[From one of the XMPie R&D folks] “The problem that is experienced is a result of XMPie adding properties to certain components of the document. For example – A spread gets the property of whether it has a visibility ADOR or not. A box gets the property of whether it has text length handling (auto flow, copy fitting) and if so In what way.”
“The way this is implemented is by using the only technology available for this by Adobe which as a by-product forces that the properties are added to the document whether you actually place valid values or not (meaning – whether you set them or not). If they are not set to specific values they simply get null values – but still the properties are there. Since the properties are there taking the document and opening it in another InDesign installation provides a warning that there is no support for these properties – i.e. the “missing plug-in” warning.”
“So, the answer here is not straight forward, and XMPie is talking to Adobe about this matter it would seem. Gal goes on to mention that they have seen this issue replicated in several other Adobe Plug-ins that make changes to the document in the same way; so it would seem that this is not solely an XMPie issue.
The best way to overcome this?
* You could always install the XMPie plug-in I guess; free-of-charge and fully functional from www.xmpie.com.
* If you are the creator of the document then disabling or removing the XMPie Plug-in; before resaving the document should work.
* Exporting the document to an INX or IDML file will also do it’s best to remove any conflicting tags.”
My thanks to David for doing all this detective work. Clearly, the problem is not solely an XMPie issue: it seems that some of the normal interactions required for a plug-in may force the plug-in to modify the document in ways that permanently alter the underpinnings.
Have you encountered similar circumstances with a plug-in? We’d like to hear about it!
If you have a webcam and a printer, you can play along with GE’s “Ecomagination Augmented Reality” technology. Here’s the link.
Follow the instructions to download and print the PDF target, then click on the “Wind Turbine” or “Solar Energy” button on the right side of the web page. Show the printed target artwork to the webcam, and watch the fun literally unfold. Very cool!
Look in the Swatches panels of InDesign and Illustrator, and the Colors list in QuarkXPress, and you’ll see a mystery color named “Registration.” It’s intended for page information, registration marks, and trim marks. When we used to output film and strip it up on light tables, we used registration marks to ensure that all the inks printed in alignment. Registration is intended for use only by the application, not the user, except in rare cases.
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You, of course, would never do such a thing. But you might have a friend who would, or an evil twin brother…
To resize an ad to fit in another publication, you should change the dimensions of the document, then resize and move existing content as necessary. In this case, however, the ad creator took a simpler approach, electing to just change the document dimensions. What’s wrong with that?
How Not to Resize an Ad: It looks fine, until you realize the discrepancy between the document trim and the artwork. Oops.
Ah. Don’t look at the image and text; note where the black border indicates the trim edge of the InDesign page. Yep, that’s right. If this mistake had not been caught, the ad would have printed like this:
A quick trip to Preview Mode would have warned the ad creator, who surely would have fixed the job.
(This isn’t the actual ad. It’s just my quick example of what can go wrong.)
I’m trying to think of a rational (and charitable) explanation for this: Perhaps the designer had changed the document size, and was about to massage the contents, but was suddenly abducted by aliens. I post this not because I think this is a common problem, but because we laughed so hard when we saw it. And then we trembled in fear: oh, dear — what will they send in next time?
I was raised on Macs (well, actually, I was raised on X-Acto knives, but let’s fast-forward a bit). But I learned Windows in self-defense many years ago. At first, it was a bit foreign (we’re talking Windows 3), but not painful. After all, it’s not as if Microsoft hasn’t, ah, emulated the Mac interface.
Why did I do this? So that I could handle customers’ PC files when they came into the printing plant. We had quickly learned that it wasn’t smart to try to move the files to the Mac: fonts didn’t translate, text reflowed, and things generally fell apart. It made more sense to keep the jobs in their native habitat.
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A client sends their InDesign CS3 files to a printer, who makes any correx, then returns the corrected file to my client. When the client reopens the file, they receive an error message indicating that they are missing plug-in “XMPBackEnd5.pln.InDesignPlugin.” Usually, this is just a courtesy announcement; plug-ins for InDesign are supposed to be written so that their absence doesn’t mess things up for a recipient who doesn’t have the plug-in.
But in this case, it’s not so innocuous: the file opens, but my client cannot package it after they have worked on the file. The only solution is to run it through InDesign Interchange and open the INX file; this removes all desire for the missing plug-in. Then, the file behaves normally, and can be packaged successfully. Nice that there’s a workaround, but this is no way to live.
LATER NOTE: the XMPie uDirect plug-in seems to leave this residue only if personalization data is added to the file. If a clean file is simply opened, worked on and saved, there’s no problem down the line. The issues arise when personalization data is added, and then the file is passed on to someone who doesn’t have the uDirect plug-in. So it’s not universally dangerous.
I received this response from XMPie support: “Thank you for pointing us into this problem. I have sent this request to our Product Manager and I hope that this problem will be handled in future versions of XMPie.”
If you don’t know what XMPie is, it’s a powerful and nimble variable-data solution for InDesign. I’ve seen it in action, and it is very cool. But beware of this glitch until it’s fixed.
Need to find the area of a selected object in Illustrator? Illustrator can’t do it on its own, but you’re in luck — there’s a free filter for Illustrator that will.
Go to the Telegraphics website and download the free Path Area filter. Yes, free.
It’s intended for CS2, but I found that it will also work in CS3 and CS4, although it appears under a different menu in CS4.
Download and unStuff or UnZIP the archive (it’s available for Windows and Mac; I confess that I haven’t tried it on Windows), then copy the “patharea_cs2.aip” file into the Adobe Illustrator/Plug-ins/Illustrator Filters folder.
To use in CS2 or CS3, select an object, and choose Filter > Telegraphics > Path Area.
In CS4, select an object and choose Object > Filters > Telegraphics > Path Area.
A dialog appears, displaying the linear length of the path, plus the area in millimeters squared and square inches. It’s a one-trick pony, but it’s very good at the trick.
I’m happy to announce that Worker72a has updated the spiffy Scoop plug-in for Illustrator CS4. Scoop gathers up the necessary fonts and placed artwork for an Illustrator file so you have everything you need. It’s like InDesign’s Package feature, but for Illustrator. If you own Scoop for CS3, the upgrade to CS4 is a paltry six bucks. Shoot, the full retail price is only $47. If you work in Illustrator, I don’t see how you can live without it!
For more information, see the Worker 72a website.