Working with a missing DocsFlow plug-in

If you’ve reached this page, you’ve likely encountered a “Missing Plug-Ins” warning dialog from InDesign, describing DocsFlow as missing and strongly advising you not to open the document without DocsFlow installed.

What’s happening is that you’re working with a document that’s had our DocsFlow plug-in used in one or more stories to link to external Google Docs documents or sheets. Most likely one of your colleagues is using DocsFlow and has passed you the document in question.

(See the DocsFlow product page for more information about how DocsFlow can dramatically speed up your workflow, if you’re interested.)

If you were to touch any of the DocsFlow-linked stories (and you can’t know which those are without DocsFlow installed), then InDesign will damage the link, effectively breaking it. That’s why we’re asking InDesign to give you the warning at document opening.

There are two alternate ways to proceed safely.

  • If you’re sure you or your colleagues will never need to use DocsFlow again with this document, you can “cleanse” the links by saving the document as IDML and opening the IDML version, then saving again as a normal version. No trace of DocsFlow metadata will remain, and you won’t be bothered again. (But of course, the DocsFlow links will be gone and can’t be restored.)

  • If you’d like to collaborate on DocsFlow-linked documents and don’t need to use the plugin yourself, you can download and install (by double-clicking the downloaded installer) the appropriate DocsFlow plug-in from the sidebar on this page or the product home page (be sure to restart InDesign after doing so). The whole process shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.

    If you subsequently never use DocsFlow, you’ll never be prompted for a license, nor do you need one. Unless specifically invoked to place or update a link, DocsFlow will not interfere with any of your work, nor will it affect any document you work on. (It will show up in the File menu, but you can otherwise ignore it.)

    Rather, when it’s installed but not used, it will simply, silently “protect” the critical link metadata, when you edit DocsFlow-linked stories. Thus, you can safely work on the document and pass it back to your DocsFlow-using colleagues, and all will be well.

    Of course, if you do decide to take advantage of the installed DocsFlow at some point for your own work, you can simply start using it without re-installing. You have a full-featured 15-day trial period, after (or during) which you can purchase a license to continue working with it.

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