I have an inDesign file, a booklet of mostly text in a table (names addresses etc) and my client would like the file set up so they can edit it themselves, add to the table. Is there a way to convert my inDesign file to a template/editable format (not PDF) in a more common program such as Word, whilst keeping my formatting/fonts? They do not have inDesign or inCopy.

3 Answers 3


You can actually export as .doc from InDesign, sort of.

Export your INDD as PDF (File > Export > Adobe PDF), and then save the PDF as a Word Document (File > Save as > Microsoft Word).

You can also export the PDF to HTML, and open it in Word, but it looks like it's not recommended.

In this Adobe forum thread some users mention two programs that you might be interested in trying if you want to do INDD to DOC automatically: Rorohiko Text Exporter and PDF to Word Converter. I haven't tried them.

In general, I would recommend you design directly in Word (or equivalent, but Word is probably the most familiar program), as any conversion will affect your layout or quality.

You can find the complete list of InDesign's exporting formats and options here.

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    I HATED when clients did this at my old office, and they did it ALL THE TIME. "Hey, we hired you to create something beautiful and professional, and you did a great job, thanks! Now we need you to totally break it and redo it in a program with half the capacity and twice the workarounds, but it has to look exactly the same. And cross-platform." ::headdesk:: After a while we started asking up front if the client was going to need the project in Word, and refused even to boot InDesign if that was the case. We just designed in Word from scratch. Jul 2, 2013 at 10:00
  • thanks - i just exported to PDF then to Word. it lost some formatting and fonts and if they edit it they'll completely butcher it so i'll expect a call to fix it eventually anyway. will first tell them it's not a good idea and then if they insist I can send them the file. Jul 2, 2013 at 20:17
  • I used this information to convert my Indesign file to PDF and then to Word and wow, it looks amazing. I'm very impressed with how it turned out and I only had to fix 1 small issue. Now, some of the wording based on paragraph styles (where I forgot to indicate not to hyphenate) will have to be updated, but other than that, in my opinion the best workaround ever. I should be able to create a set of Styles based on this, and subsequent training materials.
    – user20051
    Feb 20, 2014 at 20:12

In my experience using any of these programs just converts InDesign text boxes to Word text boxes. Text boxes in Word are a pain to be avoided at nearly all costs. The only way to do it properly is to manually recreate a Word (or PowerPoint) document or template using the features of Word.

  • Hi David, welcome to GD! While we appreciate your contribution, our community is not an advertising platform for enterprise solutions. Our site's core virtue is sharing knowledge; soliciting work within answers isn't appropriate here. You are more than welcome to edit your profile to include links to your business if you're inclined to do so.
    – JohnB
    Feb 4, 2014 at 15:22
  • Fair point, sorry. Feb 5, 2014 at 16:20
  • Not always. The latest versions of PDF have settings where you can choose 'layout' or 'flow'. Layout will create textboxes for each paragraph of text, as you answered. Flow will use regular textflow. May 5, 2014 at 8:55

This is something that I regularly have to do. I was so excited when Adobe enabled saving/converting from InDesign or Acrobat as Yisela mentioned, but you can forget it. The amount of work you have to do formatting afterwards in Word is too much.

BUT, as Yisela also mentioned, pdf-to-word-converter. It works extremely well. Everything stays where it's supposed to unlike the other methods. The only thing is it changes is the font to Arial, but that's quickly remedied.

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