.pdf to InDesign?

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Fred's picture
Joined: 1 Apr 2007 - 7:08pm
.pdf to InDesign?

I have a .pdf of a book I made a while ago [just text].

But I realized, I don't have the original InDesign file.

Is there a way to import this into InDesign, and have the text set up in text boxes with the current kerning and all that?

I can't figure it out, and illustrator is only giving me the text segmented.

Theunis de Jong's picture
Joined: 22 Apr 2008 - 5:06pm

.. I can't figure it out ..

It's just one of those things -- for whatever reason, people believe it is (or, for up-and-coming versions, should be) possible to "read" or "open" or "import" a PDF into InDesign and get their original document back.

Can't do that -- it has been compared to reverting your hamburger into a cow.

You can always try Recosoft's PDF2ID, but mind you, this is not a 'conversion' back to InDesign, but rather an 'interpretation' that may or may not result in something like your original ID document.

[Ed.] And while the above may be true of your InDesign document, if you are only interested in the plain text, you can always try a "Save as .RTF" from within Acrobat Pro.

Stefan Hattenbach's picture
Joined: 7 Sep 2004 - 1:22pm


I love the way you say it... "Can't do that -- it has been compared to reverting your hamburger into a cow."


Max I. Mus's picture
Joined: 5 May 2007 - 1:13am

You could convert the pdf to a word .doc/.rtf file with one of the various tools out there, then reimport into ID.

bowerbird intelligentleman's picture
Joined: 5 Mar 2009 - 5:27am

theunis said:
> Can't do that -- it has been compared to
> reverting your hamburger into a cow.

it's true that you can't do it if you are using
the current standard tools and file-formats,
with a .pdf created with those current tools.

but with "better" tools and file-formats,
it's possible to "round-trip" your .pdfs...

that is, the text that you pull out of a .pdf
can -- with just a little minor massaging --
be used to create the very exact same .pdf.

the biggest problem with text from a .pdf
is that the paragraphing is lost. but it is
quite simple to write out an "empty" line
-- that is, a line with a "dummy" marker --
between paragraphs to retain that structure.
but it's just that most tools do not do that...

so, no, it's not really equivalent to turning
hamburger back into a cow. or at least it
doesn't _have_ to be that impossible...