Indesign to Photoshop?

fredcastle's picture

Is there a way to convert an Indesign file to Photoshop?

I designed a website in Indesign and need to send it to the developer.
I want to preserve live type / text boxes as much as possible.

Don McCahill's picture

Basically no. And why on earth did you think Indesign would be a good tool for creating a web page.

david h's picture

> I designed a website in Indesign.....

Bad idea!

(try to export the layers as pdf (text) and/or eps -- to keep the transparency; but this is a big waste of time)

fredcastle's picture

What program do y'all use? Fireworks?

I had a lot of type, so Photoshop would have been difficult.
Photoshop is for photo editing, not layout.

david h's picture

Look for the book : The Hidden Power of Illustrator CS Web Graphic Techniques -- Steve Kurth (published in 2003, but still good)

JamesM's picture

I've used InDesign for some initial web layouts (just to study them onscreen or on a printout), since I can work quickly in InDesign and it has good text tools, but it's not a good choice for actually building web pages.

In CS 5.5 (and perhaps earlier versions) can export InDesign to html (File > Export > html), although I've never tried it myself.

You can copy and paste objects from InDesign to Photoshop, which I think works pretty well for images but text becomes rasterized if you paste the entire text box as an object. But you could create new text boxes in Photoshop and then paste text into them, although you'd probably have to reformat the text.

oldnick's picture

Just send the developer an unsecured PDF; if he/she's any good at what they do, recreating the look and layout shouldn't be a problem, and they can copy and paste the text as needed.

riccard0's picture

+1 to what Nick said. Also, you can preflight the document and send the various pieces along the PDF.

5star's picture

+1 PDF.

david h's picture

> Just send the developer an unsecured.....and they can copy and paste the text as needed.

Just sent to my printer a file; he said there's a problem -- book design with Dreamweaver. any solution? :)

riccard0's picture

That’s not an apt comparison, David.

tmac's picture

Fred, I pit you. I did this once too.

Sometimes I'll mock up a site in inDesign in order to show a client what the text will look like. Otherwise, I would build it all in photoshop and also send along a spec sheet for the typography and a file of the text. I don't bother to put all the actual text into the photoshop file.

You will find benefit from learning rudimentary html and css in order to mock-up column widths etc so you can see what the sizes and proportions look like in actual browsers and devices.

JamesM's picture

Another approach is to ask the developer if they have InDesign. If they do, just send them the native files (use File > Package so that all necessary graphics are automatically collected) and let the developer handle the conversion to Photoshop however he/she feels best.

evilfansanfran's picture

Wouldn't that be a lot of extra work?

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Look here for a possible solution:


BTW: On occasion I design websites and am also wont to do that in InDesign (because I am more comfortable with it & because the type tools of PS suck — the new PS CS6 beta is a great improvement) — after everything has been okay’d by the client I supplement the ID-doc with annotations re measures, sizes, etc. and send that off to a web-designer. Works great.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

What's the deal with indesign, anyway? I've never used it. Is it in any way better than having both Illustrator and Photoshop already?

hrant's picture

Illustrator is to InDesign what a cereal box is to a book. Photoshop? That's just paint.


Ryan Maelhorn's picture

So Indesign is a book thats not painted?

JamesM's picture

Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign are each designed for different purposes. Photoshop is mostly for editing bitmapped images (like photos). Illustrator is for editing vector images (illustrations, logos, etc). InDesign is for doing page layout (creating brochures, posters, etc.).

You can certainly create a printed piece entirely in Photoshop or Illustrator, but in most cases (especially if it's a multi-page document) you're better off creating it in InDesign, and then import graphic elements (photos, illustrations) that you've created/edited using Photoshop or Illustrator.

Theunis de Jong's picture

InDesign is also not a lot of things -- dumbfounded first time users abound.

It's not a writing tool.
It's not a graphic image editor.
It's not a Flash button or banner creator.
It's (most emphatically) not a web designer.
It's not for ebook designing.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Ryan, Adobe InDesign is the design tool for books and magazines and a lot of other stuff that gets printed. QuarkXPress used to be king of the hill, and before that Aldus PageMaker. Before that we are talking about paste up and other stuff belonging to the Dark Ages.

Ask any oldtimer about these apps and you will notice their eyes misting up…

JamesM's picture

> Ask any oldtimer about these apps and you will notice their eyes misting up…

I'm one of those old-timers.

There are many things from the early days that I remember fondly, but not doing pasteup with rubber cement. Never liked the fumes, and a fellow designer was hospitalized for a week after rubber cement vapors were ignited by a candle and set his clothes on fire. Nor do I miss using tweezers to position a single, missing comma into a layout, or reflowing a long paragraph by cutting apart each line and manually reassembling it.

(Eventually I switched to wax, which was an improvement but still kind of messy.)

Never used PageMaker, but used Quark for many years, and those days I remember much more fondly. At the time I liked it a lot. It seemed like a miracle to be able to manipulate type live onscreen. I don't think people today appreciate how amazing it seemed at the time.

I wasn't tempted by version 1 of InDesign, as I really liked Quark and InDesign had some shortcomings, but eventually I made the switch and never looked back.

hrant's picture

My first word processor was a Commodore-64 cartridge called Quick Brown Fox. I think it was $60, which at the time sounded ludicrous to me (my older brother had bought it, and swore it was so worth it). It was all control codes - but it had an amazing View mode!


maxt's picture

We recently made updates to AppleScript on - well, more like replacing a broken link to someone else's script with our own, that also converts InDesign file into layered Photoshop document.

In the next version of our script we will try to keep InDesign text fully editable when it is transferred to Photoshop

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