We are designing a magazine using InDesign.

Our Setup:

  • 1 InDesign Document (we cal it the Ladder) that binds all below mentioned document into the Magazine.
  • A lot of Single Page InDesign Documents.
  • A few Double Spread (2 pages next to each other, facing) InDesign Documents.

Using a new InDesign (We use CS6), it is possible to place an InDesign file inside another (this is how we bind all the pages together). This gives us the ability to have the whole team working on different pages at the same time (InDesign locks the file when it is opened).

By using the Double Spread pages, we are able to easily design the longer article pages to have a single PSD background, text continuity etc.

The issue we are facing:

When we place a Double Spread into the Ladder, only the first page is shown/imported into the Ladder. We can't get the second page to also be placed in the Ladder.

What we have tried:

  1. Expanding the rectangle of the placed page - this stretches the first page over the 2 pages.
  2. Searching for an answer - found a lot of answers, all for placing a singe page or multiple pages which are not Double Spreads.

Any help will be greatly appreciated


1 Answer 1


The key is the “Show Import Options” checkbox in the place dialog screen. Go File => Place (or use your keyboard shortcut if you prefer) and look at the screen that comes up.

The Show Import Options checkbox offers options for various file types when placing. It is particularly useful when importing PDFs and Word files.

Now browse to your multi-page (here shown for a PDF File works for InDesign Files too) and click OK. Instead of going directly back to your document to place the file, InDesign will show you this options screen:

The Import Options screen for PDF files allows you to select pages, whether to include bleed or slug, and whether to make the background transparent or opaque.

This lets you do several things. Not only can you select any page in the PDF you wish, but you can also select a page range. The pages will be loaded into your cursor to be placed one at a time, sequentially, by simply clicking or click-dragging the page repeatedly. You can also choose to include the bleed (as I have done in the sample picture) or other optional areas of the document, or whether the file’s background will be transparent or opaque.

  • Thank you very much @Chris, this is exactly what I have been looking for.
    – Jacotheron
    Jun 30, 2014 at 8:04

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