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2021 | How to Convert PDF to InDesign

Crystal Chen updated on Jun 30, 2021 to PDF Knowledge Center

Adobe InDesign is a well-known desktop software used to create digital materials like ebooks, presentations, etc. Also, it is the best solution to design documental text and images. With an editable .indd or .indt file, you can develop a more efficient workflow. You are allowed to modify the text, images, and make other necessary adjustments.

Converting your files like PDF to InDesign files helps enrich the content and enhances your workflow automation. Here, in this post, we show you several extension effective tools and guide you on how to convert PDF to InDesign in detail.

Are you looking for an excellent way to save .indd or .indt file as a PDF? Have a look at the below tutorial!

Related Article: >> How to Save InDesign as PDF

Why You Need to Convert PDF to InDesign

It's not easy to edit documents like PDFs. Therefore, this Adobe design software becomes useful as it has various features to help you edit content over from these files. Before editing, you should get a .indd or .indt file on this software. There, conversion for PDF is a necessity if you want to enrich your project layouts and create extensive digital projects. Then, you can use many tools to edit it freely. Followed are two methods for you, including with plugin and without it. 

How to Convert PDF to InDesign with Plugin

If you use any extension tool on your Adobe design software, you can open PDFs in InDesign. PDF2DTP and PDF2ID are both helpful for that. To follow our below guide, firstly, you need to install one of these plugins on your InDesign CC.


If you want to get an editable InDesign file from a PDF, it's necessary to have an effective plug-in like PDF2DTP. This tool allows you to make an effective conversion, creating a new INDD or INDT file with the original information over from PDF. One incredible feature is that it can help you handle multiple PDF pages, which saves you much time.

For macOS users like you, this plug-in is helpful as it can be compatible with InDesign CC 2020, CC 2019, and other older versions on Mac. After simple clicks, you will get a new type of editable file that also maintains high quality.

pdf2dtp indesign

Followed is a list of simple steps for you to obtain INDD and INDT files from PDFs.

Step 1. Open the Adobe software with this plugin, and then click "Markzware" to select "Convert PDF".

Step 2. Now, choose your targeted PDF from your computer and click "Open".

Step 3. After that, wait for the processing dialog window, and you can save the new file a few seconds later.

Tool 2. PDF2ID

Also, one solution for getting an editable InDesign file from PDF is using the PDF2ID plug-in, providing you with accurate transformation for all documental elements. Using this method, you don't need to copy and paste your text into InDesign manually. If you are constantly dealing with such files, you should have this tool to increase your work efficiency. 

Meanwhile, you can choose to convert the whole PDF file or move some part of the PDF, including the text, data, or images in PDF. Also, it's a good solution when you want to reset the file's layout by forming some elements. 

pdf2id indesign

Here, we show you how to convert PDF to INDD using this PDF to InDesign converter.

Step 1. Firstly, click "Recosoft" in Adobe and then select "PDF2ID". Followed, you should choose "Convert PDF/XPS File".

Step 2. This plugin allows you to customize the task. Based on your needs, you have more options in the "Preferences".

Step 3. To finish, click "OK" and wait for a while. Then, you will get a satisfying file with original content.

How to Import PDF to InDesign Without Plugin

When converting PDF, the above techniques provide you with more advanced settings in their Preferences. Here, this method guides you on importing PDFs into InDesign directly. Although it may not have more advanced settings as a plugin does, it's enough for a basic need. Then, without any installation, you can efficiently convert PDF to InDesign.

Followed is a list of simple steps for opening PDFs in InDesign.

Step 1. Set up a new .indd document in this software and make sure the number of pages is the same as your PDF.

Step 2. Click "Place" from the "File". When a dialog window appears, choose the "Show Import Options".

step one indesign pdf import

Step 3. Select the PDF you want to import. Finally, you should click "OK" to operate it.

Bonus Tips: How to Edit a PDF on Windows

We have shown you two solutions to convert PDF to InDesign and one method to import PDF on it. No matter what method, it provides you with an editable .indd or .indt file. However, one limitation for .indd or .indt files is that you cannot simply transfer them to most devices. You have to output the files again, which increases cumbersome work.

Here, if you want to edit a PDF on your PC, EaseUS PDF Editor is a good helper. You don't have to take complex steps with it, just directly editing your PDF and then saving it on your PC. This Windows PDF editor allows versatile features, such as highlighting in PDF, extracting images from PDF, reducing the size of files, etc. Now, try this tool for free!

Main features of this functional PDF editing software:

  • Add a header or footer to PDF quickly
  • Change font size in PDF without losing any content
  • Create, crop, merge, rotate, and split PDF
  • Effectively black out selected text
  • Fill out a not fillable form in PDF

Unlike most designing software that specializes in editing, this tool is also the best PDF converter that helps you get more types of files. You are allowed to convert PDF into various formats like Word, Excel, Image, PowerPoint, and vice versa.

FAQs About the PDF to InDesign Conversion

To solve some common issues, the following are related answers for your convenience.

1. How to convert PDF to InDesign online free.

Few PDF to InDesign online converters are supported in the market. Therefore, you can simply follow the above guide.

2. How to make an editable PDF in InDesign.

Firstly, you can use the above plugin to help make the conversion, which gives you a new type of editable file. The file will contain your original content. Or you can choose to import your PDF directly into this software. Then, you can use these editing tools on InDesign to help you edit. 

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