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I have a four page document set up in Illustrator. It's a pretty complex design and I want to convert this into an InDesign document, due to the fact that this is primarily a layout job, with nothing set up that is specific to Illustrator in terms of features. From it, I need to use it as a basis for 4, 8, 12 and 16 page documents, set up for both print and interactive PDF. It's going to be a damn sight quicker to do in inDesign. So, from Illustrator into InDesign as a 'native' file, not just placed onto a page as a linked image. Do-able?
I am afraid you have to redo most of it in InDesign.
You may be able to import objects, character and paragraph styles using the CC library and use the Illustrator pages as some sketch in the background, but that's about it.
Thanks, Ton. I wondered if there was an easier way, especially as you can copy drawn elements from Illustrator and paste them straight into an InDesign document. I've since found out that it will work to some degree - I opened a simple PDF layout in Illustrator and then copied and pasted the whole page as one directly into InDesign; the layout remained the same but in the case of boxes, for instance, rather than being a single frame, all four sides were separate lines. Plus the text layout came in looking like the original, but each line was split into several textboxes, often spanning across words - putting that back together as full paragraphs would be WAY too much effort! So for anyone else, the answer seems to be yes - it CAN be copied and pasted, but the downsides in terms of a layout maintaining its integrity makes it, in my case at least, fairly useless.
Simple, single objects copy/paste well from Illustrator to InDesign, but InDesign doesn't have native support of many of Illustrator's effect and appearance construct possibilities. And, the type engines differ significantly, as you already found.
when I have a similar task, I divide it to 3 parts.
1. Select the main background items, save them as a new AI or PDF file and import it into InDesign as an external graphics. Place it to Master page, add page number markers etc.
2. Copy/past (or, for complex illustrations, save and import the separate files) the certain graphic elements and put them on the needed positions.
3. Convert all point textes in Illustrator to Area type, connect them, then "Select All" using Type tool and copy/paste it. Correct the text frames in InDesign, get the styles using Library, apply.
What you get this way? Having styles and masterpages, you can scale the main design to any amount of pages; having the graphics linked, you can edit them any moment without the risks of damage of the whole design.