Can't import PDF, Pages, Word, or RTF. Why would Indesign do that?

Explorer ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Just got the 2019 version of Indesign. And to my frustration, it won't let me import any of the docs in my title.

If I try to import Pages, I get this: “…Adobe Indesign may not support the file format, a plug-in that supports the file format may be missing, or the file may be open in another application.”

I get it the same with one of the others--can't remember which. I also get a message to convert the doc into an Indesign doc. How can I convert to an Indesign doc if the app prevents me from uploading ANY doc?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019
Sounds like you're trying to open them, not place them. They should all place with the exception of Apple Pages. You'll have to save them as RTF.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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So let's be clear about it. Tell us exactly what you're doing with those files. File > Open? File > Place?

InDesign won't open those file formats. Start a new file, then use File > Place and navigate to a PDF or Word .doc. Select it and click the Open button. You should now have a loaded cursor. Click on the page. Does that work?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Sounds like you're trying to open them, not place them. They should all place with the exception of Apple Pages. You'll have to save them as RTF.

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New Here ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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Isn't it astounding that ID can't import Pages text files? Is there any rational reason?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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>>Isn't it astounding that ID can't import Pages text files? Is there any rational reason?

 

Yes--for the limited number of users of Pages that need to convert to InDesign, it's probably not worth taking the programmers' time to code the translation. The same is true for Microsoft Publisher. 

 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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New Here ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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@Creamer Training:


*"Yes--for the limited number of users of Pages that need to convert to
InDesign, it's probably not worth taking the programmers' time to code the
translation. The same is true for Microsoft Publisher." *

Microsoft Publisher is a layout program; no surprise that another layout
program
wouldn't import its files (one exception: PageMaker, which Adobe bought).

Pages is a word processor supplied free with every new Mac.
If ID won't import from a widespread word processor,
I suspect corporate rivalries at users' expense.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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Or, there aren't enough Pages users needing to import into InDesign for Adobe to create an import filter. If you take the percentage of Mac users overall and then take the users only using Pages, the number isn't that great. Then add in who is responsible when new versions of Pages mess up the import. 

 

Also, I feel that Apple likes to think of Pages as more than a simple word processor. Just look at the templates they offer and examples of the work they display. Pages can do some nice layouts. So, I don't see Apple developing an import filter anytime soon either. 

 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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That's quite the hot take on the situation.

 

I have seen very, very few requests for bringing Pages files into InDesign and every one of them was satisfied with saving it as RTF and then placing it. That is the suggestion I made three years and four days ago and it is, to the best of my knowledge, still valid.

 

This is hardly Flash.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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ID can't import Pages text files? Is there any rational reason

 

It’s not a cross platform format? On Mac OS the conversion and placing could be scripted via AppleScript

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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There are a number of free InDesign tutorials supplied via the Adobe Creative App yon would find useful.

Adobe InDesign Learn & Support

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 11, 2019 Mar 11, 2019

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Hi there,

I think Bob is right, you are trying to open those files instead of placing them. Please check out this help article for more details about the supported formats in InDesign: Supported file formats for InDesign CS5.

Regards,

Srishti

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Engaged ,
Mar 16, 2019 Mar 16, 2019

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Via PDF, you can import with  a third-party tool, such as Markzware PDF2DTP. This converts multi-page PDFs of any sort (even those from Pages and such) into fully editable InDesign layouts with live text and the works. Here is a recent interview with a happy customer of ours:

The Simon Group - Marketing agency using PDF2DTP - PDF to InDesign - YouTube

Friendly regards,

David Dilling

of Markzware, makers of PDF2DTP

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Guru ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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Hello David,

Not sure how this solution relates to the issue been described?

 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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New Here ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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Thanks, Rob -- this link is informative.

 

For some reason Adobe sent me an email saying the "correct answer"

was Bob Levine's "Sounds like you're trying to open them, not place them."

This 2019 answer may have been correct to a query posted at the time,

but was patently not a correct answer to my question.

 

Oh well, at least it's confirmed that Adobe spurns Pages

(which I don't particularly like, but some of my clients do;

neither do I like the klutzy new version of Word I was forced
to buy 
when my old iMac died).

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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Bob's answer was correct to the original post. You will need to start your own post when you have a different question, regardless of how similar they are. 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 12, 2022 Mar 12, 2022

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LATEST

It‘s been posted in feature requests, so you could vote for it—only 7 votes in 4 years, so I’m guessing there’s not much chance.

 

https://indesign.uservoice.com/forums/601021-adobe-indesign-feature-requests/suggestions/35826985-im...

 

As I mentioned above it could be easily scripted with Applescript—if something can be scripted it usually doesn’t  get added.

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