How to Open a PDF in InDesign

Even though PDF is an incredibly useful file extension that does support images, it’s not exactly known for being the ideal format for more advanced graphics and editing. However, there could still be some instances when you might want to import a PDF file into a program such as Adobe InDesign, whether you want to quickly edit the file in a more detailed manner, or you simply like the shareability of the extension.

So, how can you actually import a PDF file in InDesign? Here is a short guide that might help:

Opening the PDF in InDesign

Unlike some specific PDF editors, InDesign doesn’t give you the ability to import PDFs in the usual manner. Instead, you will need to use the ‘Place’ option in order to open your file. Here’s how:

  1. On your computer, open InDesign and then create a new InDesign document.
  2. Make sure that the page sizes and numbers of your new document match the PDF you’d like to open.
  3. Now, press the File tab in the toolbar at the top, and then select the Place option. A new Place window will then appear.
  4. Here, check the box located next to Show Import Options, and choose the specific PDF file you’d like to open by double-clicking on it.
  5. In the Place PDF window that appears, you can set any preferred settings, such as page ranges, layers, and cropping options.
  6. Once all the settings have been chosen, press the OK tab, and finally click on your new InDesign document to place your chosen PDF.

Additional things to consider

Keep in mind that when you use InDesign’s ‘Place’ option, the original PDF is connected to the new InDesign file you create. This means that any changes you make to the original PDF will also be updated in the new document. However, you will be free to edit the placed file as you normally would any other document.

As InDesign is known for its useful features regarding images and other graphics, it might be a good idea to extract pictures from your PDF, and then open them in InDesign separately, if you only wish to edit the graphics, instead of the entire PDF file.

And there you have it; all the necessary steps you need to take in order to open a PDF file in Adobe’s InDesign, as well as some additional considerations you should think about, for the smoothest editing experience.