Two methods for Converting InDesign files to Microsoft Word format

InDesign to Microsoft Word (.docx) conversions


We’re going to demonstrate the techniques and solutions available when exporting (converting) InDesign (.indd) files to Microsoft Word (.docx) type.


Creative Professionals who work with InDesign day in day out often need to collaborate with clients and colleagues that use non-Adobe products. When working with clients and colleagues that don’t use Adobe InDesign (or the Adobe Creative Cloud products), many require the InDesign documents to be shared and delivered as a Microsoft Word file for example.

InDesign users have a few ways available in converting and exporting their InDesign files to Microsoft Word type easily; alleviating having to recreate the InDesign file in Microsoft Word from scratch

Exporting InDesign to Word

We’re going to go over 2 distinct methods and explain the pros and cons of each method.

1. Save InDesign file to PDF and Export PDF to Word using Acrobat DC

Acrobat DC has the capability to convert PDF to Word. InDesign can export an InDesign file to PDF. So, we can simply export the InDesign to PDF then use Acrobat DC to convert the PDF to Word.

The steps for converting from InDesign to PDF then from PDF to Word are outlined below:

A. Open the InDesign file, click the File menu and choose Adobe PDF Presets and select the [Press Quality] or [High Quality Print]

Exporting InDesign to PDF

B. Export the file as a PDF

C. Open the PDF file in Acrobat DC and from the File menu choose Export to and select Microsoft Word -> Word document and save the file

Create Word document from PDF using Acrobat

While the InDesign to PDF to Word works to a certain degree, a lot of information is lost. All style sheet information, paragraph properties, table properties and many other high-level properties are lost. While Acrobat does a decent job in replicating the layout as a Word file there may be layout inconsistencies also. Finally, when foreign language characters such as Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean or Japanese text are involved, the text may not be converted accurately. Generally its a hit and miss and the quality may not be what you require.

2. ID2Office plug-in to convert an InDesign file to Word

ID2Office is a plug-in for Adobe InDesign created specifically to export InDesign files to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Apple Keynote formats.

ID2Office works with the native InDesign file and properties thus all the high-level information is accurately converted to Word type.

To export an InDesign file to Word, use the steps below with the ID2Office plug-in:

A. Install ID2Office and click the Recosoft menu in InDesign and choose the ID2Office – Export to Office format command

Exporting an InDesign file to Word type with a click

B. When the ID2Office – Options window appears, choose Microsoft Word (free-flowing or text frames) and click Export

Specify export settings from InDesign to Word

C. Click Save and ID2Office exports the InDesign file to Word type immediately.

InDesign file has been converted to Word type

The best thing about using ID2Office is that the native InDesign data is thoroughly processed and converted to the appropriate Microsoft Word type. Thus, you get the most accurate conversion. All character and paragraph style sheets, paragraphs structure, hyperlinks, text, tables, images, vector and path graphics are accurately processed. ID2Office also supports a wide range of foreign languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Korean in addition to the regular English and European languages. Additionally, the layout is maintained to an extremely high degree. You have a lot of flexibility in adjusting or tweaking the converted file. The only down-side of using a plug-in like ID2Office is that there is a cost associated to it.


We presented 2 solutions in converting InDesign files to Word format. Which route you take depends on what works best for you and your budget.