just wondering if I'm going crazy or there's a legitimate reason for this. Whenever I pop open an inDesign document and export it to PDF, my document becomes "unsaved" as if I did changes to it.

However, all I did was Export. As far as I know, Export isn't supposed to change anything to the state of the document, no?

Should I re-save after an export? It's a bit of an annoyance, I often forget this happens and I always wonder if I accidentally moved a textbox or if it's just my export.


3 Answers 3


The InDesign document stores the name of the PDF you exported. That way the next time you export the file name will be the same.

So after you export, the document is unsaved because it wants to include the actual PDF file name you used, that's all.

You can choose to save or ignore. It doesn't really matter.

Other Adobe apps do the same thing at times: Why an unsaved asterisk appears after saving for web?

  • Eh, figured it was something as simple.I think I'll give myself a strict no-save policy after exporting to make sure I don't accidentally save an accidental textbox move or something. Thanks alot! Mar 12, 2015 at 19:14
  • 1
    See I'm the opposite. I always save just in case I made a minor change I forgot about. :)
    – Scott
    Mar 12, 2015 at 19:18
  • aren't any export settings stored as well? (i.e. crop and bleed)
    – Yorik
    Mar 12, 2015 at 20:22
  • Crop/Bleed etc are all controlled by the PDF job options. I don't think they are saved. From my use, the only thing that remains when exporting again is the actual file name. Job options are set from the "last used" state (at least concerning PDFs).
    – Scott
    Mar 12, 2015 at 20:29
  • Of course, if you alter the document set up in InDesign, yes, those are saved. But they aren't specific to the export command.
    – Scott
    Mar 12, 2015 at 20:48

I would consider this a bug 15 years running… Especially if documents are part of a book, this triggers a lot of changed links that need to be updated.

Also, there is no easy method to return to the standard PDF filename (the actual document name).


This had been annoying for a while as well especially since I often repurpose InDesign files for new projects. I really wish there was a way to modify this behaviour and having it ALWAYS use the current file name as the export name.

@Lars: The easiest method I found is the double click on the current file when exporting my work hence grabbing the whole name without the extension.


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