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InDesign plugin for Affinity Publisher?

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I know this is asking a lot, but when the Affinity Publisher eventually hits the street, it would REALLY helpful if it could open InDesign files? Rather than let Markzware get there first. I hate Adobe subscription and I don't want to go back to Quark.

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I think at best there will be (at least eventually) an IDML import. If you have a perpetual license copy or a current subscription, then I would recommend beginning to either exporting as IDML (CS6 and below) or using Package and making sure that it has the IDML option checked. At least for any projects you believe will need to move forward in an ID alternative.


I don't move most existing work to another layout application. I opt to do new work in it and use the former application for the odd edits. But there are times I do need to move existing files from ID or QXP to the other. ID to IDML to Q is easy enough currently. Q to ID is a bit more work, even with Markzware's plug-in. The ID to Q plug-in works decently. Their Q to ID plug-in? Not so much in my limited experience.


Quark just added a beta of IDML import to this month's (January's) update of QXP 2017. By the time version 2018 hits, it likely will be fleshed out well enough for many/most/all IDML importing. There are some limitations to the beta in 2017 (like it currently skips tables). But Quark are actively improving the IDML import. As I do not use tables or ad hoc bullets (versus as a paragraph style), this first beta release is working fine for me.

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IDML seems to be astonishingly robust format, smaller than INDD with few problems. I think that in normal design projects it could replace INDD easily :-)

But as I tend to recreate designs anyway when changing design apps ID>Publisher conversion is not a problem for me. 

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  • 6 months later...

I just installed the new public beta of Publisher and the first thing I tried to do was to open an InDesign file. Affinity Photo and Designer both do good jobs of  opening PSD and AI files so I was expecting the same from Publisher. I've tried opening INDD, IDML and XML files exported from InDesign but none of them are recognized by Publisher.

I can still open up InDesign to access the INDD files but anyone who didn't get on board with Adobe's subscription service (like myself) will be running an older version that's already got barely limping along on the current OS. I have no idea if it will work at all under the upcoming Mojave OS.

I have completely switched over to Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer and even though opening PSD and AI is sometimes not perfect, it's certainly close enough. I never used InDesign nearly as often as Photoshop of Illustrator but I've still got files created over nearly two decades (the early ones converted from Quark) that I may need to revisit at some point.

It would be nice if a representative from Affinity would weigh in on this and let us know if there are plans to include the ability to open INDD files in Publisher.

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I have been waiting to ditch InDesign (CS5.5) because I am not a commercial user making money with the application. I haven't upgraded Mac OS because they aren't compatible with versions below CC6. I am VERY disappointed that I cannot open InDesign documents with Publisher Beta that I waited for for such a long time. Can you PLEEEEEEASE make this feature available in the final product.Almost all of my personal documents are in InDesign and I really need to be able to convert them.

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On 8/30/2018 at 7:47 PM, otheroom said:

Affinity Photo and Designer both do good jobs of  opening PSD and AI files so I was expecting the same from Publisher

As Affinity opens just the PDF part of AI file, Publisher has practically the same import capabilities as AD... PDF opens fine.

Serif has announced that IDML will be supported in the future.

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Only just started playing with this - but I have found that you can import files in PDF format - they seem to keep text as text, vectors as vectors and images in the same format. The only thing seems to be that you have to manually add bleed back and that means replacing the images completely. I have opened a few different files and sometimes all the fonts come in as they should, but sometimes they don’t - so you may need to manually activate the fonts in Suitcase (or other), prior to importing.

Personally, I would like to see the following:

• Import from INDD
• Export for INDD (although, quite honestly, I would rather get away from INDD altogether, plus will never touch QX ever again).
• Slug Area (really important for me in the way I work and supply files to print).
• Separations Preview (with Ink Limit)
• Collect for Output
• Print Preview (with and without bleed and slug)

Separate note - twin Studios (both sides) has quite an impact on the page view area, and cannot seem to be adjusted - would rather have on one side only. I know it is possible to move Pages to the other side - but there is no option to save the settings - only able to revert to default - changing Studio also seems very inflexible at the moment - new additions seems to go the top and you cannot seem to move them about - takes quite a bit of planning.

Other than that - absolutely love it so far - but cannot start producing actual jobs until I am 100% happy that it can replace INDD completely.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For now you can copy-paste texte from ID CC to APub, and the styles are created in APub.

If you can open your ID's files and use some scripts (I'll check later where I got them) that can create a text frame with examplzs of all the paragraph styles in use in a document, copy and paste them in APub, coupled with opening a PDF to get back the graphical parts, you can begin to "convert" ID files to APub.

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Here the scripts from the previous post:

They are modified version of this one from Dave Saunders (and you'll find instructions to install them on this page too).
One list the paragraph styles, the other one the character styles in a frame at the left of the 1st page of an ID document.
Copy and paste the content (text) of those frames in frames in your APub document > this will add automatically the styles to your document.

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