Member Offer
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Open / Import PDF in Adobe Indesign for Editing

Discussion in 'Adobe Forum:' started by @GCarlD, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,

    I have a 35+ page PDF document (images & text) from a client who has requested every page to be edited or amended. I always use Adobe Indesign when it comes to multiple page layout/design and I was wondering whether it was possible to import the PDF into Indesign to then make the necessary amendments, or is this a kind of 'copy & paste job.' The text will remain the same (unless I come across any typos), but the structure and overall layout needs to be adjusted, plus certain tweaks here and there. I basically have all of the pieces to the puzzle (full text & individual images), but was wondering whether there was a quicker/ more straightforward way to go about this by simply being able to fully edit the existing PDF rather than re-create it from scratch, with lots of copy and pasting to and from the PDF document into Indesign.

    Hope that all makes sense, thanks in advance for any help.

  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    This script

    Using Indesign scripts

    That will generally place a linked file into the document for you - basically like an image.

    You won't be able to make any amendments directly in InDesign. You'd have to edit the original.

    But that's how I place a multiple page pdf into InDesign.

    I absolutely avoid at all costs to Edit a PDF - PDFs are not for editing, and editing them can cost you if by editing it adds complex masks that a printer won't catch etc. (prepress).

    Honestly, I'd recreate it from scratch, using the PDF as a "Template Layer" and redo the entire design in InDesgin.


    The short of it - suck it up cupcake :)
    @GCarlD and Stationery Direct like this.
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Depending on the complexity I've had ok success with exporting (simple stuff) to word etc but it still isn't as easy as working on the original because it often breaks sentences etc.
    Personally I'd be going back to the client and saying straight I need the original file/files as you can't really edit a pdf without it costing him/her a small would be cheaper to 'work from scratch'

    I'm guessing he/she is trying to get out of paying the original designer for amendments or the original file... this is one of those cases where it likely would end up costing more to edit a pdf than the cost of working with the original designer (who quite rightly didn't supply the editable copy).
    @GCarlD likes this.
  4. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    You could edit each page individually in illustrator BUT that usually renders gigantic file sizes and by the time youve finished farting around, you may as well have started from scratch.
  5. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Big Dave, I'm not a fan of opening PDFs in Illustrator, they can cause major issues a prepress, and end up costing even more for a prepress person to fix your files.

    I avoid it and only ever do it as a last result.

    Acrobat DC actually has really good editing capabilities, but again, you really do need the source files for major changes.
  6. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I know. I was merely pointing out that you could do that. My preference would always be to start from scratch than try to bastardise pdfs in any software
  7. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    It's always the advice I give too.

    Although one time we had a week to make edits to a book that was delivered in printed... and we had to make the changes... every page was scanned and then edited by putting text over the scanned pages to make the edits.

    It was a bloody nightmare, but we got it done in the end, and you'd never know from the reprinted version that it was done that way.

    But never again!
  8. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member


    PDF's are not for editing, unless they are interactive! :p

    But thanks for your help, I would naturally just recreate it from scratch, but I was just wondering if there was some fancy new feature in CC or something that I was not upto date with, that could save me from doing so. It's a pretty straight forward job, just a bit repetitive & time consuming more than anything. That being said, after watching a couple videos from those links you sent me, it seems like it could do the job, but there's bound to be issues with the output using such software and I'd probably wish I'd just started from scratch myself.


    No it's not one of those jobs, and it's not one of those clients; this client is one of the good ones :)
    The original file would not be of any use to me, as it was not created in any kind of industry standard software, and I am pretty sure no Adobe product would recognise the file type.
    He has asked me to finish the job, rather than continue with the person he was using because... well... I'm a much better designer! :D (Don't worry, I'm not this cocky in real life!) lol.

    Thanks all, for your help and suggestions.
  9. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    what file format is the original in? There might be a way to translate the file to another format other than pdf
    hankscorpio likes this.
  10. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure, but it was created using a free software that I have never heard of. I could find out, but I think I will just recreate it myself, that way I have full freedom and control.
  11. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    free software.... got to be serif then lol likely pageplus or something similar. The only other real options are things like open office or libre office.
  12. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I found out that it was infact created in MS Word... o_O:eek:

    Copy & paste it is!

Share This Page