Want to close an Indesign file, but keeps asking to save changes?

A small annoyance that I’ve recently discovered when using Indesign is when you go to close a document and it asks to “save changes” … when in fact, you haven’t even touched any of the elements within that file. Here’s what I found out.

Although I can’t take any credit for the solution to this problem, I can at least sum up the results and the experience I had. Credit goes to J van E, a member of the Adobe.com forum.

Recently, the computers I work on have been updated to Adobe CC. I am constantly switching in between Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign and came across an issue where it would prompt you in Indesign to save your document when closing, even if you hadn’t manipulated it in any way.


It doesn’t sound like too much of a hassle, but after a week or two of opening and closing hundreds of files, it might start to take its toll on your patience. I did know that it had to do with CC, as our team hadn’t had any issues prior to upgrading. Also, it wasn’t just my computer, so that was another good indication.

After searching online, which wasn’t necessarily easy to do given the keywords that needed to be entered, I found this thread from Adobe forums.
Here is the part that best describes the problem:

“What got me on track of the problem was colrim’s post about Maverick being the problem. I have access to a few Macs at my work and one of them doesn’t have Maverick installed yet but it does have InDesign CC on it, although not in use. So I fired up InDesign CC on that Mac and no saving problem! So could Maverick be the problem indeed? No! I noticed that copy of CC didn’t have our companies default settings installed yet so I closed ID CC, copied the proper preferences into the Library, started ID CC again and… the saving problem was there again!

This led me to the conclusion there has to be something in the preferences that’s causing this constant prompt to save even unchanged documents!

The next step was quite logical: I deleted the pref file and restart ID CC with new default settings. No more saving problem again: good! I then simply changed every setting screen by screen, so I first changed all General settings to our companies preference and opened a test document: no saving problem. I changed all Sync Settings, no problem, all Interface settings, no problem, etc. etc. and then I got to the Guide & Pasteboard settings: after changing those settings I immediately got the saving problem again!

So I reset all setting on that screen to default and now changed them one by one to see if a specific setting caused the problem and the first one was the right one: so here is what I believe is the cause and thus also the solution to this nagging problem:

go to Preferences > Guides & Pasteboard > DISABLE Preview background – Match to Theme Color.

That should be it! As soon as you enable it, you will get that nagging save problem again! I would love to see you all give this a try to confirm my findings. If this is indeed the problem then 1. you have the solution and 2. maybe Adobe can fix this because it seems a bit like a little bug to me. I can happily live with this setting off though.”

To fix this, the line “go to Preferences > Guides & Pasteboard > DISABLE Preview background – Match to Theme Color” is the important thing to take a look at. We opened our Guides & Pasteboards on 3 different computers (all running CC) and noticed 2 out of the 3 had this box checked and the other computer didn’t. After unchecking, the problem was gone.

It’s amazing how one tiny check box can have such an impact on your entire production.