A Step-by-step Guide to Save InDesign as a PDF File

Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Tina Clark

InDesign is a desktop publishing software application developed by Adobe. Many professionals in the magazine, newspaper, and book industries are familiar with it, partly because the project created by InDesign can share in both digital and print formats. Today, more and more marketers and advertisers use it to do a creative job. Whether you get a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud or purchase it individually, you need to learn the usage. Such as how to open a PDF in InDesign. That is what you can get from this post.

How to Save InDesign as PDF

Part 1: How to Open a PDF in InDesign and Save InDesign as PDF

Adobe InDesign is not freeware. And the cost varies based on your subscription plan. The individual subscription for InDesign is $19.99 per month for a year. A single-month subscription costs $2.99. The Adobe Creative Cloud with InDesign costs $49.99 per month for a yearly plan and $74.99 per month.

Key features of InDesign include:

1. Open PDF and enhance the accessibility.

2. Utilize Adobe text package to create professional work.

3. Add and edit each item on the layer.

4. Include extensive bonus function for creativity.

5. Support exporting both still and interactive PDFs.

6. Compatible with PDF, JPG, PNG, RTF, SWF, SVG, etc.

How to Open, Edit and Save PDF in InDesign

Step 1: Open PDF in InDesign

Open a File

Launch Adobe InDesign after you installed it on your hard disk. To create a new project, you can select Document, Book, Library under Create New.

If you already have a PDF and wish to open it in InDesign for editing further, click Open under Open a Recent Item, find the desired PDF and open it.

Alternatively, close the message and enter the main interface. Go to the File menu on the top ribbon and choose the Place option. Then select the PDF file you wish to open in InDesign in the Place dialog. Check the Show Import Options, select the PDF file, and hit the Open button. Now, go to a popup dialog with options. Set them based on your situation and click OK to confirm it.

Open PDF in InDesign

Step 2: Edit PDF in InDesign

InDesign will open a PDF on a Layer. To open the Layer palette, go to Window -> Layers or press the F7 key on your keyboard.

Layers Spread

Your PDF file contains several items, like text, images, graphics, and more. After you open PDF in InDesign, you will see a down-arrow icon on the layer. Click on it. Then the layers palette will open to arrays of sub-layers showing the individual item. Now, you can select an item and edit it independently, delete an unneeded item, or add a new item to the PDF.

Step 3: Save InDesign as PDF

Save Window

When it comes to saving the InDesign project as PDF, it is a bit complicated.

To save InDesign as a PDF for print, you can go to File -> Export to open the Export dialog. Enter a filename in the box, and choose Adobe PDF(Print) from the Save as type option. Click the Save button to open the Export to Adobe PDF dialog. Expand the Adobe PDF Preset option and choose a specific quality. Go to the Marks and Bleeds tab from the left side and check your printer’s preferences; otherwise, check All Partner’s Marks. If you wish to include a bleed in your PDF, check Use Document Bleed Settings or set the width manually. Click the Export button to save InDesign as a PDF.


If you wish to save InDesign as a PDF for sharing online or create a PDF with interactive items, go to the File -> Export, name the file and choose Adobe PDF(Interactive) from the Save as type option. Click on the Save button. And you will go to the Export to Interactive PDF window. Decide to display the PDF as individual Pages or Spreads. Locate the Viewing section and choose Fit Page if you wish your PDF fits the screen size. The Default option is for automatic sizing. The Open in Full-Screen Mode under the Presentation area will provide an immersive experience. You can also add a password to the PDF in the Security tab. Finally, click on the Export button to save InDesign as a PDF.

Note: There are plentiful options on the export window in InDesign. And you have to set them up correctly; otherwise, the PDF won’t show as you wish.

Part 2: Best Method to Edit PDF for InDesign

As you can see, InDesign is not only expensive but also hard to use. Therefore, many people search for an alternative to InDesign to edit PDF. However, it is hard to find the best way to open, edit and save PDFs for people. From this point, we recommend WidsMob PDFEdit. Its key features include:

  • Open a PDF or create a new document with a single click.
  • Edit each item on PDF, such as text, images, graphics, etc.
  • Modify PDF pages, like rotate a page, adjust the order, and more.
  • Encrypt your PDF files with a high-level security password.
  • Save a PDF after editing with no custom options.

In short, it is the best alternative to Adobe InDesign to open and edit your PDF files. No matter you are a beginner or an advanced user, you will find this PDF editor helpful.

Add Text to PDF in PDFEdit Win Download Mac Download


Based on the guide above, you should master how to open a PDF in InDesign, edit it and then save the project as a PDF. InDesign is a powerful publishing program for professionals. However, beginners and professionals may feel frustrated to use InDesign partly because of the plenty of custom options. Fortunately, it is not the only option to edit PDF. WidsMob PDFEdit is easy to use and can produce pro-level document files. We hope that our guide is helpful to you. If you have other questions related to InDesign, please leave a message below.