How to Cleanse your documents (to repair Required Plug-In, and other issues)

Sometimes, when you open an InDesign document, you may receive an error message stating that some "Required Plug-In" is missing. When this occurs, you are forced to perform a "Save As..." operation on the document, and the document may give you some trouble in automated workflows.

If you are experiencing these types of warning messages (or even if your document is exhibiting some strange behavior in general), it might be a good idea to give it a "Cleanse".

To Cleanse a document, you simply export the document to IDML, and then reopen the document and resave it in Adobe InDesign document format. This should remove any required plug-in information, and give you a fresh start.


If you are running Meadows DesignMerge Pro or DesignMerge Catalog software for Adobe InDesign CC 2019 or newer, there is a built-in utility that will automatically cleanse the document for you. Just follow the steps outlined below:

1) Open the document with DesignMerge software installed.

2) Next, select DesignMerge > Options > Support Utilities > Clean Document...

3) Follow the prompts

The document will be cleaned, reopened, and resaved. A backup copy of the original document will also be stored in the same folder with the suffix of "-ORIGINAL" added to the filename.


Remember to review your document before running the utility to determine whether any DesignMerge Page Rules have been assigned to any of the pages in the document. The Cleanse utility will retain all DesignMerge tags and other settings in the document, however, it will NOT retain any DesignMerge Page Rules that may have been applied to the document.

Even if you are using Page rules, this condition is relatively easy to repair. Once you have converted the document, just reassign the Page Rules to the pages. The definition of the Page Rules still exist, so all you need to do is reassign them, which is very easy to do.