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What is an INDD File? [Adobe InDesign Document]

What is an INDD File Complete Guide

It is common to stumble upon an INDD file extension when using Adobe Creative Cloud applications. What is an INDD file extension, and how can you open a file with the unique file extension name? Here is a complete guide about the INDD file extension and how to handle the file on your computer.

Software development is essential in creative sectors like graphic design, publishing, and marketing. Design software makes it possible to design, automate, and streamline creative processes like creating brochures, magazines, books, and other print materials. Adobe InDesign is an example of one of the most efficient and widely used desktop publishing software applications in the market.

You can use the desktop publishing software application to create and publish a wide range of print and digital documents, including books, magazines, brochures, flyers, posters, presentations, and interactive PDFs. However, you can encounter unique file extensions like INDD while using Adobe InDesign to work on your creative projects. What is an INDD file extension? Below is a complete guide to help you learn everything about the INDD file.

What is an INDD File?


The INDD file format is a proprietary file type associated with the Adobe InDesign software. INDD is a short acronym that stands for InDesign Document in full. INDD files usually contain text, images, and other design elements for print and digital materials.

Adobe began using the INDD file format in 1999 and has undergone numerous updates since its inception. Adobe InDesign utilizes the INDD file format because it can contain complex layouts with text, images, and graphics, unlike other file formats like EPS and PDF. The INDD file format is also more advanced because it offers flexibility and customization options to publishers and creative designers.

What is the default program for opening/editing INDD files?

The INDD file is a unique extension, and opening/editing the file format is only possible if you have an Adobe InDesign program installed on your computer. You can preview INDD files using Adobe InCopy, Adobe Acrobat (professional), and Adobe Bridge programs. However, it is essential to note that the three alternative programs offer limited access to INDD files and their features compared to the default Adobe InDesign program.

How to open/edit INDD files using Adobe InDesign 

How to openINDD files using Adobe InDesign 

You require the Adobe InDesign program installed on your computer before you can attempt to open or edit any INDD files. Adobe InDesign is a stand-alone program, and you can download the program from the official Adobe website. Adobe offers a seven-day free trial period if you want to use the program for free for a limited period. You can follow the instructions below to access INDD files on your computer.

Method 1: Use open with Feature on Mac 

Follow the prompts below to learn how to open INDD files on a Mac computer.

Step 1: Ensure you have the Adobe InDesign software installed on your computer before clicking on the Finder icon in the Dock section of your Mac OS.

Step 2: The next step is selecting the File before clicking on the Get Info option.

Step 3: The next step is navigating the Info window before clicking on the arrow > icon next to the Open with option.

Step 4: You will see a pop-up menu where you can locate the InDesign software before clicking on the app.

Step 5: Select the Change All option if you want InDesign to be the default app to open INDD files on your Mac computer.

Method 2: Use the open with Feature on Windows

Follow the prompts below to open INDD files on your Windows computer using the open with the feature.

Step 1: Ensure you install the InDesign software on your Windows PC before locating the INDD file on your computer.

Step 2: Right-click on the INDD file on your PC before clicking on the Open with option from the context menu.

Step 3: Select the InDesign app from the apps option before clicking on the check box next to the Always use this app to open .indd files option.

Step 4: You can now double-click on any INDD files on your PC, and Adobe InDesign will launch by default and open the selected File.

Method 3: Use the open file Feature on Adobe InDesign 

Follow the prompts below to open INDD files on your computer using the File menu on Adobe InDesign.

Step 1: Start by launching the Adobe InDesign app on your PC/Mac computer.

Step 2: Locate the File menu option at the top of the InDesign app before clicking on it and selecting the Open option.

Step 3: The last step is locating the INDD file before selecting it and double-clicking on it to open the File with Adobe InDesign.

How can you open INDD files without Adobe InDesign? 

The above content mentions Adobe InCopy, Adobe Acrobat (professional), and Adobe Bridge as alternative software for accessing INDD files. Adobe InCopy and Adobe Acrobat can allow you to view INDD files, but your access is limited to only viewing and not editing the File.

Adobe Acrobat uploads INDD files to your Adobe Cloud account before converting the File to PDF for viewing. Adobe Bridger only offers thumbnail previews of INDD files, thus making it impossible to access the features of the INDD file.

File extensions related to INDD files

File extensions related to INDD files

Adobe InDesign also supports different file extensions other than the INDD file format. Below are the two common file extensions related to INDD files.

  • INDT: The file extension is also related to InDesign and represents templates document in the application that you can use to create standardized layouts and designs for future use.
  • IDML: The acronym represents the InDesign Markup Language (XML-based file format) that InDesign uses to ensure compatibility with other software applications. The file extension features in your software if you have InDesign CS4 or later installed on your computer.


Adobe InDesign utilizes the INDD file format because it offers the best environment for working with vectors. Vectors are essential in graphic design and describe the layout in high resolution without losing quality during compression when you save your project. The Adobe InDesign software remains the best option for handling INDD files because it does not limit your access to features when editing your project.


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