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Network crashes in CS2? Try Adobe Dialog.

Here is a tip for creative teams who are experiencing a lot of “unexpectedly quit” crashes when opening files from a network server in Adobe Creative Suite 2 applications.

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It appears, under certain conditions, the new “Use Adobe Dialog” option introduced in CS2 can prevent crashes in InDesign and Illustrator while accessing documents over a network.

Creative Suite 2 adds a new Adobe dialog box.

use-adobe-dialogAmong the many features introduced in Adobe Creative Suite 2, is a seemingly innocuous replacement to the standard Mac OS X open dialog box.

UseAdobeDialog-Button.png

To access Adobe’s new dialog, click on the “Use Adobe Dialog” button in the lower left of any Open, Save, or Place dialog box in Illustrator CS2, InDesign CS2, or Photoshop CS2.

Tip: You don’t need to be using Version Cue, but you must have the Enable Version Cue preference turned on in your Creative Suite applications in order to use this Adobe Dialog box. This checkbox can be found in the File Handling preferences for InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

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Recent Troubleshooting: Adobe Dialog saves the day.

One of our clients, a Seattle-area creative team, was experiencing mysterious InDesign and Illustrator crashes when files were accessed over the network from the main server. However some designers who were using the Adobe Dialog box had never even seen the crash once.

Switching everyone over to Adobe’s new dialog box for opening and placing network files eliminated the crashing problems for the whole team.

After further research, it turns out similar crashes can be reproduced in at least two different conditions:

Situation One: Networks with extremely complex and heavy traffic.

Situation Two: Computers with multiple listings for individual servers in Mac OS X’s hidden “/Volumes” directory.

In each instance, attempting to access files on a remote server with the default OS dialog causes InDesign or Illustrator to crash. Using the Adobe Dialog allows the network files to be opened and placed without a crash.

Why does the Adobe dialog box make a difference?

It appears Adobe’s dialog utilizes different file-handling procedures than the standard Mac OS X dialog box — which side-steps problems that causes crashes when importing or opening files under poor network conditions.

Tip: This work around can get a team back to work. However any underlying network issues should still be addressed.

This tip would be more satisfying if we fully understood why Adobe’s new dialog box made a difference. We have confirmed this behavior in several environments, and we’ve talked at length with at least one other consultant who has experienced this behavior.

If this tip helps you, please leave a comment below! If you can add details on why the Adobe dialog box makes a difference, we would appreciate your input at tips@creativetechs.com.

Source: This tip uncovered and reasearched by CreativeTechs’ newest consultant Jordan Bojar. The details of this problem were both confirmed and expanded upon by our friend David Ball of Random Consulting, whose detective work to reproduce our results was enormously helpful in verifying the cause of these crashes.