Previous 1 2 3 Next 34 Replies Latest reply: Dec 23, 2015 6:24 AM by TrevorGainesville
squidz Level 1 (5 points)

On my MBP, when I export a PDF from InDesign to save over the previous version, which I may have saved just moments before, I constantly get the error: Can't save to the file "filename." You may not have permission or the file is in use.


HOWEVER, I am the only user on the MBP. I just saved the freaking original file the first time. The file is NOT in use. The only way I can save the file with the same name again is to delete the original.


If I check Permissions via Get Info, it clearly shows that I have Read & Write perms. Everyone else show read only, which is still a bit restrictive.


How can I convince OSX to apply the proper perms when I save a file? Why is it preventing me from saving over my own file?

MacBookPro5,3 2.8 C2Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,639 points)

    Please launch the TextEdit application, type some text in the window, and then save the document to the same folder as the PDF (but not with the same name.) Does that work?

  • squidz Level 1 (5 points)

    That is simply saving the same source file over itself, which will work all day long.


    I've run a couple more tests and have narrowed it to this:


    I export a PDF from InDesign. If I do NOT open the PDF, I can re-export with the same name just fine and save over it.


    Once I OPEN the PDF, I will no longer be able to save over it even after it is closed and I quit Acrobat.


    ---- edit ----

  if I even select the darn PDF in Finder, without opening it, I will no longer be able to save over it. That is just crazy.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,639 points)

    That is simply saving the same source file over itself, which will work all day long.


    I'm not sure I understand this response. Does that mean you tried the test I suggested and it worked, or that you didn't try it?

  • squidz Level 1 (5 points)

    Yes indeed, I specifically did what you asked successfully, but I save and resave files with the same name all day long every day whether it's InDesign or Text or Illustrator or whatever.


    The issue is solely with exporting PDF with the same name from InDesign.


    I've narrowed this further now. The action that is actually kicking the error is:


    >> If I have the exported PDF selected in Finder, not open, just highlighted in Finder, I am prevented from re-exporting the PDF using the same name. This is only happening with PDF. If I export EPS or JPG from InDesign and select it in Finder the same way, I can export the file over the original every time. PDF export while the file is selected in Finder seems to be the issue. I have never encountered having to deselect a file in Finder just to re-export it. As soon as I deselect the PDF, I can again export it with the same name. Only PDF. Only exporting from InDesign.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,639 points)

    If the problem is as you describe it, then it's specific to InDesign. It's not a problem with the permissions of your home folder. Frankly I don't know how InDesign would even know what's selected in the Finder, much less why it would care. Maybe Adobe tech support could enlighten you.

  • squidz Level 1 (5 points)

    Frankly I don't know how InDesign would even know what's selected in the Finder, much less why it would care.


    That is why it seems to be an OS related thing rather than the software. It is specific to exporting a PDF that is selected in Finder. I can export JPG, EPS or any other format from InDesign while the previous version is selected in Finder. It is very odd and I just don't recall this happening on any of my other computers. Now that I see what makes this happen, I'll test on a different system at work and perhaps have a colleague test as well. Thanks for your time on it.

  • squidz Level 1 (5 points)

    This issue does appear to be OS related. On my G5 running 10.4.8 rather than Snow Leopard, using the same InDesign CS4 I can repeatedly export a PDF with the same name while that PDF is selected in Finder. The only difference is the OS version. So, either there is a setting somewhere or Snow Leopard has a problem with PDFs being selected and considering that "in use."


    Is there anyone that has experienced this behavior that has determined why this is happening and how to prevent it? I know I can save a new file name, but that creates an inefficient workflow at times where versions of the exported file are unnecessary. I edit a spelling error or pop in the proper logo...why shouldn't I be able to export the file again without shuffling to Finder to deselect the PDF?

  • marc55 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Squidz


    Did you ever find out a solution to this problem? I'm having the exact same issue (ID CS4 runnng in Lion). I've found that if I email the PDF to someone, I then can't export over it, I basically have to either delete the original PDF, or export the PDF using a different filename, even though the permissions before and after emailing it have remained the same. Frustrating...

  • squidz Level 1 (5 points)

    Hey Marc55. Technically I never found a solution. Illustrator doesn't seem to care whether a PDF is selected when you want to resave over it. InDesign, however, fails every time. Still does this using CS5. I have to either delete or deselect the PDF. Still a pain in the butt.

  • BrendonWBrown Level 1 (0 points)

    I may have an answer for you, squidz. My workflow is generally Create in InDesign > export PDF > email > receive feedback > tweak > export over last PDF > email. What I think is the culprit is Apple Mail keeping a preview of the file open long after it's been attached and sent.

  • marc55 Level 1 (0 points)

    It beggars belief that Apple, with more cash reserves than many first world countries, can not be bothered to fix a seemingly simple bug in it's Mail programme. Just saying...

  • mtvessell Level 1 (0 points)

    Have had this exact same issue verbatim for months. It will not save over the original pdf file. It's ridiculous that Acrobat has to be completely closed with absolutely no open pdfs, or exporting my pdf from InDesign will not save over the existing pdf.

  • deejson Level 1 (0 points)

    Bump. Same problem here. OS X 10.8 (lion) with CS6.  If I close all open apps and relaunch this usually solves it but this really isn't any better of a solution than saving with a new name.  I used to have this problem on a PC and had hoped I'd be free of this once I moved to the Mac but alas Mac OS appears to think PDFs are in use long after they aren't

  • squidz Level 1 (5 points)

    I have noted that if I have attached a PDF to an email that is open and not yet sent, I will get the alert, as BrendonWBrown mentioned. I haven't noticed long term holding in use by Mail.


    The original issue has basically forcably trained me to ALWAYS make sure I do not have a PDF selected in Finder if I want to save it again with the same file name. This has pretty much taken the issue out of my sight. However, occasionally, the "in use" alert will pop for reasons I'm not sure of. But that sole action of making sure the previous PDF is not selected in Finder has improved life.

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