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Convert PDF to INDD

Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2017

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Is it possible to do in the Adobe CC (latest) suite? Not looking to use any external software.

It appears not to be an option. I submit an official feature request for the function, you can vote on it here, enough votes and they may put it in the program- Convert PDF to INDD – Adobe InDesign Feedback

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Convert PDF to INDD

Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2017

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Is it possible to do in the Adobe CC (latest) suite? Not looking to use any external software.

It appears not to be an option. I submit an official feature request for the function, you can vote on it here, enough votes and they may put it in the program- Convert PDF to INDD – Adobe InDesign Feedback

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 23, 2017

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Hi,

I dont think it is possible...

I would use pdf2indd by Recosoft. You get first 5 conversions for free...

-Aman

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Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2017

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I said not looking to use any external software, I am already aware of pdf2indd by recosoft

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 23, 2017

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You can Place a PDF into InDesign but it's not editable.

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Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2017

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I said convert not place, I am already aware of placing documents

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Guide ,
Aug 24, 2017

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No.

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Engaged ,
Aug 24, 2017

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As said, no.

But

You can take it apart and put it back together again?

Buy using 'export all images' in acrobat, copy/paste text from acrobat to Indesign, load the pdf into illustrator to 'rip' out any vector elements and obtain any colour/font info.

Not fast if you have a large document but it's better than nothing...

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Explorer ,
Aug 24, 2017

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Yeah, I know I was looking for a quick fix rather than recreating something, thanks though

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Explorer ,
Aug 24, 2017

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It appears not to be an option. I submit an official feature request for the function, you can vote on it here, enough votes and they may put it in the program- Convert PDF to INDD – Adobe InDesign Feedback

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Guide ,
Aug 24, 2017

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The way I understand it, they'd have to code InDesign to make assumptions about how you want a PDF, built in an application that doesn't function like InDesign, to be rebuilt. I just can't imagine ever being comfortable with the reliability of such a conversion.

I think the best you can remotely expect is a way of embedding the INDD into a PDF exported from InDesign, similar to Illustrator and Photoshop.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Danny+Whitehead.  wrote

… I think the best you can remotely expect is a way of embedding the INDD into a PDF exported from InDesign, similar to Illustrator and Photoshop.

Hi Danny,

even better would be an IDML "layer" in an exported PDF so that several versions of InDesign could access the IDML data.

Best,
Uwe

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 24, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Danny+Whitehead.  wrote

The way I understand it, they'd have to code InDesign to make assumptions about how you want a PDF, built in an application that doesn't function like InDesign, to be rebuilt. I just can't imagine ever being comfortable with the reliability of such a conversion.

Even with Illustrator you cannot blindly open and edit any PDF ever created. "Created with InDesign" is not a valid criterion either; I can for instance add a 3D illustration into a PDF originally created with InDesign.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 24, 2017

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You could try opening the PDF in Acrobat, save as Word and then place the Word file in InDesign.

Won't be perfect by any longshot but it will only take a few minutes to try it.

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 24, 2017

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Some observations on this topic …

Ironically, in the early beta test builds of what became InDesign, in fact one was able to not only place PDF, but also open PDF. The feature was very quickly “pulled” since it was exceptionally difficult to guarantee a reasonable mapping of any arbitrary PDF content to the structure of an InDesign document. And this was before transparency even entered the PDF imaging model!

Illustrator tried to support round-tripping by using PDF as a container for private data which is the real Illustrator format. Thus, if you save an Illustrator file as PDF and select the editability option (not available with all PDF export options), the resultant PDF file effectively contains two files, one the actual final form PDF content and the other, the private Illustrator file format which is ignored by Acrobat. However, if you edit the PDF file in Acrobat, those changes don't get reflected in the Illustrator content. To make matters worse, this has led many to believe that Adobe Illustrator is a general purpose PDF editor, which it absolutely isn't. (I discuss that in detail in other threads!) Simply stated, the PDF imaging model is much more complex than the features supported by Adobe Illustrator.

The same issue but with even more complications would be true if InDesign was to support a private-data-within-PDF file save feature. Why? InDesign supports fewer features of the full PDF imaging model than even Illustrator does (although it does support documents with more than one color space).

The likelihood of Adobe providing a PDF conversion to InDesign feature within InDesign (or Acrobat) is exceptionally low due to the literal impossibility of doing a full conversion versus customer expectations.

Personally, I would recommend the third party plug-in or utility route for casual PDF to InDesign conversion, understanding that a 100% conversion of arbitrary PDF to InDesign is literally impossible.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 24, 2017

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Hi Dov,

Thanks once again for that useful insight. Surprising to hear that InDesign was able to open a pdf!

-Aman

InDesign Engineering Team

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