I am a complete InDesign newbie, and this might be a sort of complex issue, so please bear with me!

My company produces maintenance manuals for HOAs and homeowners, in both print and electronic formats. We have a base template for each product type, which is then modified to match the project. Up until now, we've been utilizing Microsoft Word, which has been less than ideal; we frequently either add or remove information and/or photos, and making any changes at all usually breaks the formatting, which requires time-consuming corrections. It's also not the most professional looking. So we're exploring other options!

So far, it seems like InDesign is going to suit our needs; however, I'm the only person in the office with access to InDesign, so I need our templates to be editable outside of InDesign, while retaining formatting. What I'm running into is that when I export to PDF, they are text-editable, but the PDF is treating text objects on separate pages as unlinked, even if they're linked in ID. So, for example, if I have a text object on page 1 that's linked with a text object on page 2 and I delete the text object on page 1, the text object on page 2 doesn't move to page 1; or, if I add more text to page 1, it doesn't move the text objects that follow it. Is it even possible to make that happen?

TL;DR: I want to be able to add or subtract text objects from an InDesign file exported to PDF and have other objects move accordingly. Can I do that?



1 Answer 1


You can not reflow text across frames with anything other than InDesign. What you are seeking is not possible.

What you may be able to do is have everyone work on the text in a Word file. You can then link that text file to the InDesign document. So, changes to the Word file are automatically updated within InDesign. This will not allow others to view the overall InDesign layout though.

InDesign formatting can only really be edited with InDesign. Acrobat is for simple touch ups only and never intended to be a full fledged editor.

  • That's what I was afraid of, thank you though! How do I link a text file to an ID document so that it auto updates? Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 20:30

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