My client would like a catalogue designed using PDFs that they already have. These PDFs have been exported for web use so I don't believe they will be good enough quality for print.

I have asked if they have the original design files, which they have provided in a powerpoint. Is there any way of importing the files into InDesign? Or will it be a case of trying to match the style and creating the pages from scratch in InDesign?

I'm fairly new to professional design, any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

  • Sounds to me like you wouldn't necessarily gain anything from converting it to Indesign.
    – Joonas
    Jan 19, 2018 at 14:37
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    From scratch. If your client acts in powerpoint i hardly belief that any of the image material is of good quality. That's what i would check first. And.. if you do it from scratch, why don't sell them a redesign?
    – Pat_Morita
    Jan 19, 2018 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


In most cases, you can't easily use anything they are providing. There's no easy conversion given the files you were provided.

Powerpoint does not directly transfer to InDesign, in addition Powerpoint typically uses low resolution RGB images.

If the PDF was generated from PowerPoint, then odds are the PDF will also have issues with commercial printing. Not to mention you probably want to redesign things which a PDF doesn't really allow.

Your best bet is to start from scratch with InDesign. Export all the text from the PDF or copy/paste it from Powerpoint. And recreate a layout with InDesign. Chances are high you will need them to supply better, high quality, product images, logos, etc. What is acceptable in Powerpoint is customarily not acceptable for commercial printing.

I don't really understand:

will it be a case of trying to match the style

Why would they hire you if you are merely going to mimic what they already have? Aren't you expecting to create a design? If they just want the PDF/Powerpoint catalog printed.. send the PDF to a printer and let them deal with the issues... why are you even in the loop?

In other words, what is your exact role with the project? A designer? A print liaison?

  • I upvoted this answer for the first half, which is adequate, but the second half gets off track. Their design process is not in question. It sounds to me that the client wants a catalog that looks like the .PDFs. I would add to your answer that the media from the PowerPoint may be fine for print. Images can easily be extracted by saving the .PPT as an .HTML, a folder is created within which are the original images before PPT stylings. These may be print quality.
    – Webster
    Jan 19, 2018 at 20:48
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    I don't feel it's my place to guess at what anyone's client "means". I haven't been part of the conversations and have absolutely zero knowledge of the client's demeanor. My experience is that if the PDF itself is not suitable for press.. the PPT won't be any better. But that's my experience.
    – Scott
    Jan 19, 2018 at 20:54
  • I read a lot of guessing and assumptions. The question was practically yes or no. I do understand wanting to add advice when it sounds like someone is going in the wrong direction. Thank you for helping the OP.
    – Webster
    Jan 19, 2018 at 21:22
  • I'll guess and make assumptions about files based upon my experience, but never about client intentions... which is why the last part of this answer really seeks clarity there.
    – Scott
    Jan 19, 2018 at 21:32

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