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[Full Guide] Converting a PDF to InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a well-known desktop publishing software that can create appealing and interactive magazines, newspapers, brochures, flyers, and books. Looking at the capabilities of InDesign, there are many users who intend to convert PDF to InDesign and make it part of the design project. Therefore, this guide is going to cover everything about converting a PDF to InDesign. So, let's head right to our main discussion!

Part 1. Pick the Right Method Based on Your Situation

Different users have different reasons to search for how to convert a PDF to InDesign. Therefore, it is important to pick the right method based on your situation. Below are two possible scenarios that users may encounter:

  1. Convert/Import PDF to InDesign for Editing or Reading: If your purpose is to edit or read a PDF on InDesign, then you should choose a better alternative way, such as UPDF. It is a dedicated PDF reader/editor tool with a free trial for unlimited time and works for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Check part 2.for this.
  2. Other Scenarios: If your purpose is beyond editing or reading PDF, or you still want to stick with InDesign, check part 3.

Part 2. How to Edit/Read/Open PDFs without Converting/Importing Them to InDesign

Oftentimes, users looking to convert PDF to InDesign are targeting to read and edit a PDF with InDesign. However, InDesign is not friendly for editing PDF files. For that, it is recommended to use a dedicated PDF editor tool. This is where UPDF comes to your rescue.

UPDF is a feature-rich PDF reader and editor tool that incorporates all the features you need to read, edit, annotate, or do almost any customization with PDFs. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android and offers the most intuitive interface to handle PDFs proficiently. The best thing is that its features are AI-driven, meaning that you get the most efficient and advanced PDF-related features. So, download UPDF and test its PDF read/edit features yourself.

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Want to know more? Below are the key features that reflect why UPDF excels compared to InDesign for reading/editing PDFs:

  1. Offers a free trial with unlimited time and is more cost-effective than InDesign and Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Can edit PDFs and create interactive PDFs.
  3. Can read PDFs and display them as slideshows.
  4. Can convert PDF to other file formats.
  5. Can summarize, translate, explain, and rewrite PDF with its AI assistant.
  6. Can compress, encrypt, organize pages, and batch process PDFs with ease.

Overall, UPDF represents itself as the ideal alternative and the most feature-rich PDF editor tool to handle all PDF-related activities proficiently. Therefore, download UPDF right now and experience a hassle-free PDF reading/editing experience.

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Below is a quick glimpse of click-based steps to read/edit/annotate/convert PDF with UPDF:

  • Launch UPDF and click "Open File" to open the PDF file.
  • Read PDF: After opening the PDF, you can read the PDF in different display modes. To do that, right-click the page and select "Page Display".
  • AI Assistant: Moreover, you can also use its AI assistant to ask specific document-related questions.
  • Edit PDF: Click the "Edit PDF" icon from the left sidebar and add/edit text and images.
  • Annotate PDF: Click the "pencil" icon from the left sidebar and choose the annotation option of your choice, such as highlight, mark, draw, etc.
  • Convert PDF: Click the "Export PDF" icon from the right sidebar and pick the convert/export format of your choice.

This way, UPDF's click-based approach allows you to seamlessly read, edit, annotate, convert, and do other activities with PDF. In short, UPDF is an ideal alternative to converting a PDF to InDesign. So, why think more? Download UPDF and handle your PDFs proficiently.

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Part 3. How to Convert/Import a PDF to InDesign

Although InDesign is not meant for PDFs, it does offer a Place command to add PDFs to designs. This command allows you to either add an entire PDF or a few pages to InDesign.

Follow the below steps to learn how to convert a PDF to InDesign:

  1. Open the project in InDesign.
  2. Click File > Place.
  3. Tick the "Show Preview" box.
  4. Click "Show Import Options" and select the PDF file you want to convert/import.
  5. Select all or selective pages you want to convert/import.
  6. Click "Open" to open the PDF in InDesign.

Once done, you should be able to see the preview in the Import Options window. It presents how you will see the PDF inside your design.

InDesign allows you to open PDF in it by importing single or multiple pages. You even get to crop, pick individual layers, or use the pages as placeable art, etc. However, it does not handle large PDF files proficiently and does not support powerful PDF reading/editing features you might be expecting. In contrast, UPDF offers the ultimate PDF solution that you can use to read, edit, annotate, convert, and do other activities with PDF. So, if that's what you need, then download UPDF right away.

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Part 4. FAQs about Converting a PDF to InDesign

Q1. How do I insert multiple pages of a PDF into InDesign?

To insert multiple pages of a PDF into InDesign:

1. Click Windows > Utilities > Scripts menu item

2. Select "Application" and click Samples > AppleScripts > PlaceMultipagePDF.applescript

3. Double-tap that item and pick the multi-page PDF you want to insert.

Once done, the document will open page by page in InDesign. Alternatively, you can avoid all the above steps and use UPDF to instantly open a multi-page PDF in one click.

Q2. Why is InDesign failing to open PDF?

If InDesign fails to open a PDF, then it is likely that you are trying to insert an incomplete or damaged PDF file. Besides that, it can also fail to open a PDF if the file involves some protection, such as a password, etc. Therefore, try to open a PDF in a dedicated PDF tool, like UPDF, to identify the root cause of the issue.

Q3. Why does my PDF look blurry in InDesign?

If the PDF looks blurry in InDesign, it is because InDesign displays it in low resolution to save memory and improve performance. To make it less blurry, click Object > Display Performance and change the setting to "High Quality".


The powerful features of Adobe InDesign attract users to insert their PDFs into InDesign. However, many wonders can I convert a PDF to InDesign? Therefore, this guide discussed in detail converting a PDF to InDesign. Nevertheless, InDesign is only useful if you want to insert a PDF into your existing project. If your intention is to read/edit/annotate PDF, then you should use UPDF. UPDF is a complete PDF editor tool that offers a dedicated and feature-rich tool to view and edit PDFs easily and effortlessly. Therefore, download UPDF and customize your PDFs the way you want.

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