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InDesign file extension – using the Adobe file type

by Casey Schmidt  |  November 10, 2019

3 min. read
Numerous design features illustrated.

An InDesign file extension is a staple in different company digital prints such as newsletters and flyers. It’s a cutting-edge format that enables creation of extensive design formats. Use this guide to learn the basics of this important tool.

What is the InDesign file extension?

The InDesign file extension (INDD) is a file type for the software Adobe InDesign. The elements included in the InDesign file extension are layouts, page data and other files. The most common uses for INDD files are publishing flyers, newspapers and other business layouts.

One helpful benefit of an INDD file type is it upholds the visual layout of an entire project or presentation during any changes implemented, such as adding text or graphics. This is crucial for anyone working on company projects that require graphics or animated text of any kind.

An illustrated business newsletter.
The INDD is perfect for creating business newsletters.

When should I use an Indesign file extension?

An INDD file type is commonly used for things with extensive visual layouts, such as flyers and newsletters. The main reason to use INDD is to maintain the visual structure of business projects and presentations. Especially when a project is large and has numerous pages, INDD keeps the visuals invariable. Once the presentation has a decided upon visual outlook, the INDD holds it intact no matter how many changes are made or graphics added.

A screenshot of the INDD logo being used by the company Canto's systems.
INDD files are perfect for visual layouts.

INDD files are perfect for editing numerous pages at once. It’s the ultimate extension when working on multi-page projects. For example, when a user changes something on one page, it stays consistent with the rest of the layouts. This separation is necessary in order to successfully complete projects that require multiple edits of different pages and sectors.

How do I open an InDesign file?

Adobe InDesign opens INDD files by default. Unfortunately not everyone has access to Adobe products. Luckily, there are some alternatives. The first option is a conversion, which will be addressed later. If that’s not ideal, there are online programs that allow users to view and edit INDD files without Adobe products.

If you’re using a Mac system, there are different apps from the Mac store capable of opening INDD files. One such app is ID Util by Markzware. It allows users to open INDD and also preview their content. If you’re using a Windows system, Adobe InCopy opens the INDD files. It’s a collaborative design tool that is part of the Creative Cloud suite.

A picture of the INDD file icon.
The INDD can be opened using Adobe software.

How can I convert an InDesign file?

When you need to convert an INDD file extension, the Adobe software has all the tools necessary. You can use the Adobe InDesign software to change the file extension to more favorable image file types.

  1. Open the file you wish to convert in InDesign.  Then select ‘File’ from the dropdown menu
  2. Choose ‘Export’
  3. In the prompt, choose which file type best suits your needs
  4. Rename the file if you would like a copy of the INDD extension saved as well
  5. Save the file to the location of your choice

You should consider converting from an INDD file when you want a more reasonably-sized file. This usually depends on the type of storage systems you have available. Also, if a client or other third-party needs a copy of the project you’re working on and you feel INDD would be an inconvenience, a conversion is ideal. Finally, sharing is easier when you package InDesign files.

Evaluate the different ways to use an INDD to see if it fits your needs for your next project or campaign.  Lastly, consider a digital asset management system to store large INDD files.