Cannot open Data Source Definitions dialog, select a DDF, or recreate a missing DDF

Normally, if you encounter a problem opening the Data Source Definitions (DDF) dialog or selecting a different Current DDF (Data Source Definition), or if you see a warning that information in a DDF is not supported, this means that your internal configuration file which stores all of your DDF information has been corrupted. It is rare when this happens, however this file can become corrupt, for example, when InDesign quits unexpectedly or when you force-quit InDesign.

RESET YOUR DATA SOURCE DEFINITIONS

To resolve this, you will need to quit inDesign and replace this file in your DesignMerge configuration. This will remove all of your existing DDFs. Note that DesignMerge provides several features to recreate missing DDFs. For more information to recreate a missing DDF, see DesignMerge Documentation

Replace the file automatically

Follow the steps below to automatically reset this configuration file:

  1. Launch the InDesign application.
  2. Open the DesignMerge menu and choose Options > Support Utilities > System Maintenance.
  3. When prompted, click Yes to continue.
  4. On the System Maintenance dialog, select 3) Reset Default DDF and click Continue.
  5. A status message will appear indicating whether the file was replaced. 

Replace the file manually

This method allows you to retain the original configuration file so that you can send it to us for our examination to see what became corrupt inside it and then provide you further guidance based on that information.

To remove the corrupt file, follow these steps:

  1. Start InDesign, open the DesignMerge menu and select Help > Open Settings Folder.
  2. Once the settings folder named Meadows has opened, quit InDesign, but keep the Meadows folder open.
  3. Inside the Meadows folder, you will see a DesignMerge folder. Open this folder.
  4. Inside the DesignMerge folder, you will see a file named Record Definitions. Move it to your Desktop.
  5. Start InDesign. DesignMerge will automatically create a new Record Definitions file.
  6. To confirm this resolved the problem, open your Data Source Definitions dialog. InDesign should not quit. On the Data Source Definitions dialog, open the Current DDF menu. You should see only one DDF entry, the Document DDF. Close the menu and, if available, click the New button that is on the Data Source Definitions dialog. Name the new DDF something unusual, for example, "Test", and then click OK to create this new DDF. Again, InDesign should not quit unexpectedly during these events. If InDesign does not quit, the problem has been resolved.
  7. Before you open any production documents and choose when prompted to have DesignMerge create the document's Missing DDF, send us the Record Definitions file that you placed on your Desktop. Recreating a DDF from a document could reintroduce this problem if the DDF information that was last saved in that document was the corrupted version of the information.
  8. To send us your problem Record Definitions file, archive/compress (ZIP) the file, open a Support Ticket on the Meadows Help Desk, and attach the ZIP file to your support ticket. We will examine your Record Definitions file immediately to let you know how best to proceed in order to avoid recreating this situation.

You may find it helpful to use the DesignMerge Export DDF Set feature from time to time to create a backup copy of your DDFs so that should you ever encounter a problem with your current set of DDFs, you can import the DDFs that you exported previously. For more information, see DesignMerge Documentation.