I'm not a design professional but I've been using PS Elements to layout our work product catalogue. However, even though it's easy to move elements around, it's very clunky and has no style sheets. I'd like to transfer the whole 120-page catalogue to InDesign to make life easier, however I'm not sure if this is possible. Any recommendations? I'd rather not start from scratch as 120 pages took me a long time last year!!

  • 1
    well, simply that something like this took a long time in PS emements is pretty obvious. However even if starting from scratch in indesign will take much much less time. Mostly the time you originally used really was all wasted.
    – joojaa
    Sep 25, 2017 at 14:37
  • Yes I'm aware of that thanks. So, my question is: Is InDesign definitely the right programme for me to create a catalogue in. And, is there anyway to import all the images and text i have already input into PSelements?
    – Rachel
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:08
  • Yes, InDesign is the industry leading, best choice of software for multi-page documents. There is a lot of flexibility between the adobe programs regarding compatibility and file type. Do not give up hope that you can paste your whole PSE into InDesign.
    – Webster
    Sep 25, 2017 at 19:08
  • Make your life even easier by using EasyCatalog Plugin with Adobe InDesign. I simply can't imagine doing a catalog without it.
    – Loic
    Sep 26, 2017 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


Here's a workflow which will allow you to salvage what you have:

  • place each Photoshop document in Adobe InDesign on the correct page
  • as pages are edited, send the PSD to a non-printing background template layer and lock it
  • open the .psd files in Photoshop to copy the text out and paste it in and re-create the pages (you could dupe the PSD using a _notext filename after hiding all the text to preserve the photos and so forth)

Alternately, to re-create the whole thing:

  • open your .psd files in Adobe Illustrator using settings which discard Photoshop effects and preserve text as text
  • from AI, save as a basic .pdf
  • concatenate all of the .pdfs together
  • use a tool to convert PDFs into InDesign documents (I think Markzware has one)

That said, 120 pages isn't all that many --- I'd really suggest breaking down and re-creating. If it was done in Photoshop, it probably needs a re-design anyway. Moreover, you'll want to look up / use the following things in InDesign:

  • master pages
  • text variables (including folios)
  • paragraph and character styles
  • cross references
  • index markers and index generation
  • Table of Content generation
  • By ‘folios’, are you referring to page numbers? Or is there something I’m not aware of in InDesign’s text variables? Sep 25, 2017 at 18:44
  • Thanks guys, helpful info there. I guess I need to get on to Youtube for some tutorials now. ;-)
    – Rachel
    Sep 26, 2017 at 16:27
  • folio is the traditional term for a page number which is printed on a page
    – WillAdams
    Sep 26, 2017 at 18:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.