How to Convert Adobe InDesign to Illustrator

Adobe InDesign and Illustrator are both powerful graphic design software applications, each with its own strengths and capabilities. InDesign is primarily designed for page layout and editorial work, while Illustrator excels in vector graphics creation and illustration. While InDesign files (.indd) are not directly compatible with Illustrator (.ai), there are methods for converting InDesign content to Illustrator format.

Method 1: Exporting to PDF and Importing into Illustrator

  1. Export to PDF: In InDesign, open the document you want to convert. Go to “File” > “Export” and choose “PDF (Print)”. Select the desired PDF settings and click “Export”.
  2. Open PDF in Illustrator: Launch Illustrator and open the exported PDF file. Illustrator will attempt to interpret the PDF elements and create corresponding vector graphics.
  3. Review and Adjust: Review the imported elements in Illustrator. Some elements may require manual adjustments, such as text formatting, object positioning, and path editing.

Method 2: Copying and Pasting Elements

  1. Copy InDesign Elements: In InDesign, select the elements you want to convert, such as text boxes, shapes, or images. Copy the selected elements using “Command + C” (Mac) or “Control + C” (Windows).
  2. Create New Illustrator Document: In Illustrator, create a new document with the desired specifications.
  3. Paste Elements: Paste the copied InDesign elements into the new Illustrator document using “Command + V” (Mac) or “Control + V” (Windows).
  4. Edit and Convert: Illustrator will convert most elements, but some may require further editing, such as text formatting, object positioning, and path editing.

Method 3: Using Third-Party Plugins

  1. Install Plugin: There are third-party plugins available that can directly convert InDesign documents to Illustrator format. Research and install a reputable plugin that suits your needs.
  2. Launch Plugin: Open the plugin application and select the InDesign file you want to convert. Follow the plugin’s instructions to initiate the conversion process.
  3. Import Converted File: Once the conversion is complete, import the generated Illustrator file into Illustrator for further editing and refinement.

Considerations for Conversion

  • Color Profiles: Ensure both InDesign and Illustrator use the same color profile to maintain consistent color representation.
  • Linked Images: Linked images embedded in InDesign documents will not be automatically converted to Illustrator format. You may need to manually relink the images in Illustrator.
  • Complex Layouts: Complex InDesign layouts may require more manual adjustments and refinements when imported into Illustrator.
  • Text Formatting: Text formatting may not be perfectly preserved during conversion, and you may need to reapply text styles in Illustrator.

By following these methods and considering the factors mentioned, you can effectively convert Adobe InDesign content to Illustrator format, allowing you to utilize Illustrator’s vector graphics capabilities for further design work. Remember that each method has its advantages and limitations, so choose the approach that best suits your specific needs and project requirements.