How to Import a PDF to InDesign

In this handy guide, we've shared how to import a PDF to InDesign, so that you can place Acrobat content in a larger InDesign project. 

Importing PDF to InDesign
To learn the basics of importing, you need to get familiar with the Place command. First, open your current InDesign project, and choose "File" > "Place" to bring up the Place dialog box. Here, you can select a PDF and specify which pages you want to place into the InDesign document. 

Depending on your needs, it's possible to place a single page, a defined range of pages, or the entire PDF into InDesign. In the Place dialog box, click on "Show Import Options" to choose your page range.   

The dialog box also contains a preview window, with thumbnails of any PDF pages that you're going to place. Keep in mind - InDesign will not import any sound, hyperlinks, movies, or clickable buttons from the PDF.  

The Place command will import your PDF at the best possible resolution, depending on the scale and screen used. If you're using a non-PostScript printer, the PDF pages will print at the same resolution as the original InDesign content. 

Keeping PDF Links Intact
Once you've placed a PDF page in an InDesign document, it will appear as an onscreen preview. This acts as a link between the InDesign project and the original PDF. However, links can be broken if you add a password to the PDF. 

Meanwhile, if you change the original PDF's page order, the link will point to the same page number. This may affect which page is displayed in InDesign, so make sure to preview those pages before sending them to the printer.  

Preserving Color in PDF
InDesign preserves every color in a placed PDF, even if the original color library is not installed. The software also preserves color traps, so that your overlapping colors maintain a visual edge. 

Maintaining PDF Security
Any security settings associated with the original PDF are preserved when placed in an InDesign project. This is because the PDF is linked to the InDesign document, instead of being pasted inside it. If you decide to update the PDF's security settings, they will be updated in the InDesign project as well. 

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