I have an InDesign file with many character styles and paragraph styles defined in it, including use of the features "next paragraph style will be ____", numbering, indentation, hanging indents, grep styles, et. al.

My InDesign subscription has expired and I would rather not renew it (but would be willing to do so for a month for a one-time transfer activity).

I'm looking to recreate the character style/paragraph style and text editing workflow I had in InDesign, using free software. LibreOffice seems appropriate (though I'm open to other suggestions).

  1. Is there a way to directly import or read character and paragraph styles from an .indd file (into LibreOffice, or some other free tool)?
  2. If not, is there a way to export these from InDesign (if I renew my subscription) so they could be read in by LibreOffice or some other tool?

A quick review of the options in LibreOffice paragraph styles suggests that most of what I've done in InDesign could be replicated in LibreOffice (with the possible exception of grep styles). However, I would rather avoid the painstaking work of creating each style again by hand.

2 Answers 2


I don't think there's a direct path from INDD style to anything else, even other Adobe products. They are essentially embedded within the INDD document.

You might have better luck with the XML from a saved .idml document. (Just choose IDML in the InDesign Save As window) You can examine the IDML file and see the styles in XML form...

enter image description here
This image shows BBEdit with the .idml file open.

So you can get them as XML data, LibreOffice might possibly be able to utilize that data.


Huh... recreate an Indd document with another software?!
"Headache is coming" :-)

That said, you can export Indd stories in RTF format, which carries styles.
Not sure about which properties will be retain. For sure, not all of them, you'll have to experiment...

To export all stories as RTF files, run the ExportAllStories.jsx script from the Scripts panel.
Note that it will export a file per story. I know nothing about LibreOffice, but maybe you can merge them if needed.

See illustrated example:

enter image description here

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