11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2011 12:48 PM by Stix Hart

    Threading PDF's in InDesign


      Hello all,


      I have a CS4 InDesign document and I want to automatically thread a multiple page PDF within linked text boxes already created. If InDesign does not have the ability to do that, is there a plugin or 3rd party software that can accomplish that task? Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

        • 1. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Check your scripts panel. There’s a sample script there that will do just what you need.





          • 2. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
            Stix Hart Level 5

            What Bob is referring to is the PlaceMultiplePagePDF (or something like thscript but that won't do what you're asking.  You'll have to run that script first (or google "InDesignSecrets Scott Zanelli PDF" for a much better one) which will put the PDF in InDesign for you but then you will have to cut the PDF pages individually and paste them into the text box.

            • 3. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Thread them in text frames? No. (Or am I missing something about the sample scripts, Bob?)


              As far as ID is concerned, PDFs are placed as images, each page being separate image. Not knowing the final result you want, and if morte than one page of the PDF is supposed to appear on the InDesign page, I'll suggest you look at this link to see if it will help you: InDesignSecrets » Blog Archive » Zanelli Releases MultiPageImporter for Importing both PDF and INDD Files

              • 4. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                I didn’t take the threading literally. If that’s what the OP meant, then never mind.





                • 5. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
                  geraldy12 Level 1

                  Thanks Stix for the reference. Although it is a great script, it doesn't do quite what I was looking for. Here is a little more detail of the project I am working on.

                  I am attempting to create a calendar that fits into a #10 envelope (approx. 4x9inches). As you can imagine, the 12 text boxes for each month are pretty small but legible. They are arranged in 2 rows of 6. The design of the months were exported as a 12 page PDF file. Now what I was attempting to do was to automatically place the 12 page PDF (each month) on linked text boxes already created within the document. For example the first left most text box will have the month of January, the one next to it will have the month of February, etc... Similar to the way text can be automatically threaded if setup correctly in a word processing program. Sorry if I was not as clear earlier but I hope this helps and thank you for your assistance once again.

                  • 6. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
                    Stix Hart Level 5

                    For 12 PDFs I wouldn't bother thinking too much about it, just get them into your document (Place with Show Import Options ticked then select All pages), scale them all at once by selecting the whole lot, then a few clicks later you'll have thwm in place.  Use guides too, I don't see why you need text boxes, although if you've got them already you'll be able to snap the PDFs to them.

                    • 7. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
                      geraldy12 Level 1

                      Yeah for 12 boxes it might be easier to manually import them as a batch or individually. However imagine now its a 64 page PDF that is for a company handbook or catalog. Even importing them using the native InDesign script (PlaceMultipagePDF) or the third party software such as  MultiPageImporter 2.5, they both do not give you the ability to automatically flow the pages within linked text/image boxes. Let me know what you think. Thanks

                      • 8. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
                        geraldy12 Level 1

                        Reading the comments on the link you provided me, I think the ImageCatalog script might work better because it can place it on one page instead of adding pages in the document. I just have to play with the settings to get them just right. I'll keep you posted. Thanks anyway.

                        • 9. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
                          Stix Hart Level 5

                          No there isn't a way to do that.  What you are describing are "Anchored Objects" and the ability to place multiple PDFs at once as anchored objects would be great.

                          • 10. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
                            E Diane King Level 2

                            I did an entire text book placing another ID document into a "teacher" book and had to do it a page at a time, but it wasn't really as difficult if you set it up in advance. How I did it:


                            • Placed one page of the imported document on to the master page.
                            • Scaled and arranged the imported page the way I wanted it to look on all the pages. (this was a facing page spread, so I did two pages worth on the master.) Then I deleted the contents of the frame, leaving the frame scaled and ready on the master page. Then returned to the main document and added all the pages I needed in the file.
                            • I then scaled my view so I could see a lot of pages at once and imported my ID doc, and chose to import all pages.
                            • I was then able to cmd (ctr) click on each of the master frames, which populated them with the prescaled pages for every page of the book. This didn't really take that long and the book contained over 300 pages.
                            • 11. Re: Threading PDF's in InDesign
                              Stix Hart Level 5

                              P.S.  If they're images you have a lot more options, including data merge and making a grid with them when placing.