Filed Under: How to Edit

How to Edit a PDF in InDesign: Conventional and Easy Ways


Written by Jack Lin

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Edit A PDF in InDesign

If you want to edit a PDF in InDesign, you should first convert it into an InDesign file. We will show you how to do it.

But, if your sole purpose is to edit the PDF, you don’t necessarily have to worry about converting. Instead, there is a very easy way to do that with a professional tool.

For our readers, we explain the conventional way as well as the new, easier way for you here.

Reasons to Edit a PDF in InDesign

As mentioned before, you will want to convert a PDF file if you want to edit it in InDesign. If not, the respective PDF file will not be editable in the InDesign application.

InDesign is a special software dedicated to desktop publishing and typesetting. It is true that you can create professional documents using this software.

However, converting a PDF into InDesign is just an extra step. Also, if you buy a converter tool only, you will have to spend considerable money. So, the alternative is PDFelement Pro.

It is a versatile tool that can edit a PDF without converting. However, if you still want to edit a PDF in InDesign, use the same tool as a converter. That is exactly why we call it a highly versatile tool.

In simplest terms, with PDFelement Pro, you can either edit PDF or convert it to editable formats. We will discuss everything about it in the remaining paragraphs of this article.

Part 1: How to Edit a PDF File Without Converting It to an Indesign File

Let’s talk about the practical side of it. Of course, you can buy a PDF converter tool and convert your PDF file to InDesign.

However, the main issue with such an approach is that it will cost you considerable money. After all, buying an application just to convert a file can be a waste.

Therefore, it is always better to look for a more efficient alternative. The best alternative we can suggest is PDFelement Pro.

In fact, converting a PDF is one of the many functions included in PDFelement Pro. You can use this tool either as an editor or a converter as well. That means you can get its assistance to edit a PDF in InDesign or edit the PDF in it.

As mentioned before, PDFelement is a highly versatile tool that can convert a PDF to various other formats. For instance, it can convert PDF into PPT, Excel, Word, etc.

In addition to that, it can even create fillable forms in PDF format. You can also use this handy application to edit the scanned documents you might have.

On top of all those features, you can purchase them at a very affordable price. After considering all the features of this application, it is a very affordable tool that delivers beyond your imagination. With that said, let’s take a look at the steps on how to edit a PDF file in PDFelement.

01. Installation of PDFelement Pro

Before everything else, you are supposed to download and install PDFelement Pro on your computer. Make sure you visit this tool’s official website and download it.

02. Import the PDF file into PDFelement

The next step is to import the file you intend to convert or edit. To do that, you should launch the software and click on the “Open File” option.

Then, you can navigate to the respective file you intend to convert to an InDesign file.

Import the PDF file into PDFelement

03. Start Editing the Files

Now that the file is imported into the interface of PDFelement, you will see different options. You can either click on “Edit,” “Image,” or “Link.” These options allow you to edit the PDF file, edit or add images, and add or remove links.

Edit files on PDFelement

In addition to that, it also allows you to use options like “Markup,” “Highlight,” “Notes,” “Text Box,” etc. These options become very handy in creating a professional-looking document. So, you can choose them based on the output you expect.

Markup on PDFelement

On top of that, you can even edit pages using an option called “Organize Page.” This option allows you to change the order and the orientation of the pages found in documents.

Organize Page on PDFelement

04. Save Your Document

Once you have made all the required changes, you should save the file. To do that, you should go to the “File” menu and choose the “Save” option.

Edit A PDF in InDesign Using PDFElement

As you can see, the above steps make the whole process shorter and easier. Thanks to PDFelement, you don’t have to convert files to edit a PDF in InDesign. Instead, you can do it in PDFelement itself and save it in any format you wish.

Part 2: Edit a PDF in InDesign After Converting It with PDF2DTP

If you are still curious about how to edit a PDF in InDesign, read this section as well. In this case, you will have to use a special plugin for the InDesign application.

The name of the plugin is PDF2DTP. It is true that it makes editing easier. This plugin is designed to be compatible with all versions of InDesign for macOS.

Once the plugin is installed, you will see a new menu item in InDesign. To use it, you should open InDesign and choose the option called “Markzware.”

Then, go to “PDF2DTP“. Choose “Convert PDF” and then go for the document you intend to convert into an InDesign file. That’s it. The PDF is not converted into InDesign. You can edit a PDF in InDesign with this method.

However, this plugin costs $199/Year, which can be a pretty high price tag. This is particularly true with those who want to make a minor change to a PDF file. In addition to that, this plugin works on Macs only.

Edit a PDF in InDesign after converting it with PDF2DTP

Part 3: Use PDF2ID to Convert PDF to InDesign

PDF2ID is another option you can use to convert PDF to InDesign and edit a pdf in InDesign. With this option, you can export PDF files into InDesign.

In addition, it can convert XPS and Adobe Illustrator files to InDesign. Moreover, this tool features the batch conversion process as well. Using PDF2ID is very easy. In this case, please download this tool and launch InDesign.

After that, you should find the option “Recosoft” in the menu bar of the InDesign interface. After clicking on it, you can see an option called “PDF2ID-Convert PDF/XPS File…“.

You can now navigate to the PDF file (the file you intend to convert into InDesign). After that, you can even change the output options as well.

Once all the values are set, you can press the button labeled “OK.” That will convert your PDF file into InDesign with ease. The PDF2ID plugin is pretty expensive, just like the previous option.

You can buy its Standard version for $199 and the Pro version for $299. This plugin, however, is compatible with both Windows and Mac versions.

Use PDF2ID to convert PDF to InDesign and Edit a PDF in InDesign

Part 4: Import PDF into InDesign Directly

There are many users who want to place a PDF file’s content in an InDesign file. But they don’t actually need to convert the file. In that case, you should follow the steps below.

Launch InDesign and go to “File.” Then, you should choose the option called “Place.” Make sure you use the Place tool and define the pages that should be imported. This is necessary when you are dealing with a multipage document.

Import PDF into InDesign

Part 5: File Formats that Are Compatible with InDesign

In general, InDesign is compatible with some specific file formats only. Mentioned below is a list of file formats that are compatible with Adobe InDesign.

  • .indd – InDesign document
  • .indl – InDesign library
  • .indt – InDesign template
  • .indb – InDesign book
  • .inx – InDesign interchange
  • .idml – InDesign Markup language
  • .pmd – Adobe PageMaker

You should also know that Adobe InDesign is compatible with QuarkXPress and QuarkXPress Passport as well. It can easily import files in various other formats, especially when it comes to placing graphical objects.

For instance, it can import files such as PDF, BMP, GIF, JPEG, MOV, and so on. Moreover, it is compatible with a range of export file formats.

File Formats that Are Compatible with InDesign

Also read: How to See Word Count in InDesign?


1. Can I edit a secured PDF in InDesign? Yes, but only if you have the password. InDesign will prompt you to enter the password when you try to import a secured PDF.

2. Why are the images in my PDF blurry in InDesign? This might be due to the display performance settings. Go to “View” > “Display Performance” and select “High Quality Display” to improve image quality.

3. What if the text in my PDF is not editable? This usually happens when the text is part of an image. In this case, you’ll need to use an image editing tool to edit the text.

4. Can I save my edited PDF in other formats? Yes, InDesign supports several formats including JPEG, PNG, and EPUB.

5. Does InDesign support batch editing for multiple PDFs? No, InDesign does not support batch editing. You’ll need to open and edit each PDF separately.


As you can realize, Adobe InDesign is a pretty handy program that can be used to create various documents. It can also create newsletters, advertisements, brochures, and books with professional, clean output.

Basically, it is a professional desktop publishing application. The files created in InDesign are usually saved using PDF. Once the file is exported in PDF format, it becomes hardly editable.

That is because PDF format retains the document’s original format no matter how you share it.

So, the solutions mentioned in this article will be handy if you want to edit a PDF in InDesign.


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