Convert PDFs to Native InDesign or QuarkXPress Documents

It's easy to export a PDF from almost any program, but those same programs can't open a PDF for editing—it's a one-way street designed solely for output. However, PDF tantalizes us with the possibility of deconstructing it back into its original parts, especially when all you have is the PDF and not the original document it came from. Recently, help arrived in the form of Markzware's new PDF2DTP, which can convert a PDF into an editable Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress file.

PDF2DTP installs as a plug-in for InDesign CS5, CS5.5, or CS6. To convert a PDF to InDesign, you simply choose Convert PDF from the Markzware menu. You can convert either an entire PDF, or only selected pages of that PDF. Using PDF2DTP's preferences, you can control how images are saved, how to handle missing fonts, whether or not to create paragraph and character styles, how to convert tables, and whether to include items on the pasteboard, page numbers, and so forth. This is also where you control where PDF2DTP places your newly generated InDesign file and its linked graphics.

PDF2DTP is very fast—it took just a few seconds to convert my test files and extract the graphics as linked files. PDF2DTP can certainly save you enough time to justify its price, but don't expect it to create a perfect copy of the original document. Layers are lost, hyperlinks are lost, and many page items will need adjusting. You'll need the fonts that were originally used in the document, and if the pictures were downsampled when the PDF was created, you'll also need the original image files. As long as you keep these things in mind, PDF2DTP can be a useful tool for reconstructing an InDesign document from a PDF—no matter what program originally created it.

Company:  Markzware
Price: $199
Rating: 3
Hot:  Converts any PDF to a native InDesign document
Not:  Converted file requires lots of adjustments