InDesign CS5 running slow?


When I upgraded from InDesign CS4 to CS5 I was surprised at how slow my documents were running, particularly when bringing in large XML files. I found adjusting a couple of settings really helped:

Live Screen Drawing

InDesign CS5 now has a default setting to redraw the page if any changes are made to it. This is particularly problematic when you have a file with a lot of pages in it and it’s redrawing heavily-tagged XML (as is standard in dictionary work). If any changes are made to the lines on the page it seems to reflow the full document. You can fix this by going to:

Indesign – Preferences – Interface – Live Screen Drawing – change the selection to Delayed

Overprint Preview

The overprint preview allows the user to get a more accurate view of how a document will print and if there are any likely spot colour, transparency, blending mode and overprint issues in the document. CS5 has set the Overprint Preview to be automatically on. When you load XML into InDesign you can see easily where the individual tags are within the document by the colour-coded square brackets at the start and end of the fields. This is useful when editing the text – ensuring you are editing inside the correct tag. However, the Overprint Preview really slows down InDesign and you will be amazed by how much quicker everything is when you turn this setting off.

View – Overprint Preview – unselect

Hope this is useful!

Regards, Sharon

© Sharon McTeir



Filed under Design, My work, Software

5 responses to “InDesign CS5 running slow?

  1. Great tips! I will give them a try on my next import 😀
    Performance is really a concern with huge xml file.


  2. Thanks Loic! Let me know how it goes.

  3. just a tiny enhancement: the preference Live Screen Drawing is found under

    Preferences – Interface… – Live Screen Drawing

    my biggest concern with long xml test document is the story editor which gets teribble slow under windows (mac works fine).
    unfortunately these settings do not affect the performance of the story editor.

  4. I really like your post and appreciate you to this post, keep posting more. I am incredibly satisfied with your ability as a copywriter and also with the style of your publish.

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