How to Save InDesign as a PDF

By Timber Ferguson

InDesign publishing software allows you to save files as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. You can create PDF files to send to others for editing, proofing and printing. Single files, parts of files or entire books can be exported and saved as PDF files. You may also include parts of a file that are not to be printed, such as instructions to the person reading or printing the file.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • InDesign software

Step 1

Open your InDesign software, and you will see a screen that has recent items available and a folder below the recent items. Choose your file from the recent items or click on the file folder below those listed to open a list of other documents. Click on the file you want to save as a PDF then click "Open" to open it.

Step 2

Click on "File" at the top-left of your screen to open a drop-down menu. Choose "Export" from that list to open a new window. At the bottom of the new window is a small, empty box for you to name your file. Click inside that box and type in the name.

Step 3

Click "Save" in the lower-right corner of that window and another window will open. The new window will have areas for advanced users to change the settings for the type of document they are working on. Leave the settings as they are.

Step 4

Click "Export" in the lower-right corner of the window. A pop-up window with two bars going across the screen will open. That shows the progress of the program as it creates your PDF file. When it is finished creating the PDF file, the pop-up window goes away and your screen will show your open file as it was before you saved the PDF.

Step 5

Look for your new PDF in the "My Documents" folder of your computer. Depending on the settings on your computer, the file will either be a picture of a piece of paper that says PDF on it with the title below, an actual image of the file you just saved, or there will be a list of all the files in that folder.

Tips & Warnings

  • After you become comfortable exporting, practice exporting and saving PDF files with different settings.