1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 9, 2012 12:03 PM by Daniel Flavin

    Can .pdfs be used in InDesign files?

    ceilr Level 1



      I have CS5 (for PC), and I write for a small magazine that's assembled by someone else.  The designer continually messes with my articles, which I lay out in InDesign5: paragraph indents go missing (yes, I set up paragraph styles with distinct names to prevent this from happening), and typos wind up in them that I don't send, plus funky formatting (bigger spaces between type lines that I didn't put there) and hyphenation issues (I sent one long sentence as two shorter lines of type connected by Shift-Return, and the mag winds up with one line of type going entirely across the page, with the last few letters of a word on a second line all by themselves.  Needless to say, I'm unhappy when the magazine arrives.  For the last couple of issues, I have frozen some of the smaller bits of text in a non-Adobe program and copied them to InDesign so they can't be mess with!


      So, I really have three questions, the first relating to .pdf.


      1. I sent my latest article in InDesign3 (from my old PC; see question #2, because there is no need to address this).  I then found Ctrl-Export by which to send the article as a .pdf so that the designer can see my intentions for indents and such.  The managing editor just happened to mention that they can't use .pdfs in the magazine.  Not that I was suggesting this, but what's the problem with it?  I've never tried File\Place with a .pdf; can it be done?  Also, my local print shop >likes< .pdfs to print from.  Again, what's the problem?


      2. The receiving computer is a Mac (don't know what OS), using CS>4<.  (I just learned last week about saving backwards from InDesign5, and am going to test this with the designer, in hopes that works for next time.)  How much of a difference can I expect to see in kerning/tracking when a .indd travels from one computer to another, as well as different platforms?  I'm wondering if I need to leave a significant widow on the last line of each paragraph to allow for spill-over if the characters come out a little wider on the Mac.  This issue has been ongoing, anyway, and I would like to know if a change in kerning/tracking is a computer given or due solely to human error.


      3. Is there anything I can do to simply freeze all text in a .indd, without making a .pdf, so that the designer's only choice is to copy and paste?


      I hope there is a way to put a stop to all of this so that my articles come out WYSIWYG.  Thanks,

        • 1. Re: Can .pdfs be used in InDesign files?
          Daniel Flavin Level 4

          This belongs in the InDesign forums but I can sum up most of the answers you would receive there.

          You need to work with a competant provider for the magazine. Period. That is not going to happen.


          Yes, a pdf file is perfectly acceptable for use in an InDesign document. It would be the norm if you were supplying ad copy - but as I understand, you are writing article copy. If they have style sheets in use, there would be a potential conflict of nearly everything; column width, font styles, margins, run in, etc. and you page(s) would not match the balance of the magazine.


          If they were savvy, you would use InCopy. InCopy allows writing and editting of InDesign text content where many individuals are required to get the content written; the final layout and graphics are handled by one user (obstesibly), one final InDesign file.


          Your use of unique styles would work if they retained formatting upon place; they may choose not to, or they do not know the Paste command modified to retain formatting. But, you have seen the danger of using soft returns as well.


          To your questions.

          1. PDF is perfectly acceptable for Place and use in InDesign. (And since CS3 you are also able to place a live InDesign document as well) The magazine may prefer to format and allow reflow however. PDF locks that ability.


          2. InDesign documents see no text engine or document changes relevant to OS within the same version. Font availability/matching is the caveat. Use of OpenType fonts allow the same font to be used in both OS's. I may be less than correct here, but - Mac OS is able to use PC True Type and Type 1 fonts if they are placed in the InDesign > Program > Fonts folder. The equivilant is not possible with Mac fonts on a PC due to Mac's research fork type file format.


          3. No


          I hope this all helps. The InDesign forum is full of helpful individuals who can elaborate on all the above.