How to Open & Edit an INDD File without InDesign [Best Ways]

Find out everything you need to know about INDD files

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
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  • InDesign is a resourceful publishing tool that enables users to create professional-level projects.
  • The software generates its own file type, and if you want to open it with another tool, you need to make sure that it supports this format.
  • We gathered software solutions that not only can open, but also edit, convert and even recover IDD files.
  • Most of the recommended solutions are similar publishing tools with various project-specific layouts and advanced photo editing, and even QR generators.
best software that opens InDesign files

Adobe InDesign is a complex software solution that many users rely on to create posters, brochures, newspapers, ebooks, and other such materials.

The software generates its own file format – INDD. If you want to open such files with other apps, make sure that they are compatible or easily convertible.

Whether you alternatively work with InDesign and additional software or you don’t use the software at all, but need to open INDD files, you need to pick a good tool that is compatible with this format.

Even though publishing software follows similar patterns and provides similar tools, some won’t open certain formats, or convert them in such ways that you lose a lot of quality and need to work two times as hard to recover them.

Well, we got you covered. In this article, we’re going to list some of the best tools that you can use to open and edit InDesign files on your Windows 10 computer. Here’s what we’ve found:

  • Adobe InDesign – Layout adjustment
  • Canva – Photo straightener
  • Adobe InCopy – Swift hyperlink creation
  • Affinity Publisher – In-depth video tutorials
  • QuarkXpress – QR code generator
  • Stellar Data Recovery – RAID recovery

Quick tip

Adobe InDesign is basically the official tool, designed to create, format, and open INDD files. It is cross-compatible with both Windows and macOS computers.

Moreover, it is widely regarded as the ultimate tool if you need to open an InDesign file without using InDesign. And it has the largest user base, compared to others, so make sure to check it out, if you can.

Adobe InDesign

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How can I open and edit InDesign files without InDesign?

In this article

Canva – Photo straightener

Canva is an online graphic design platform that is very popular among social media and online marketing professionals. With its drag-and-drop feature, it is easy and intuitive to use.

You can create designs from scratch or use a big variety of templates for different types of designs such as infographics, calendars, book covers, banners, and social media posts.

While Canva doesn’t support .indd files yet, you can still find a way around it. If you convert your .indd files into pdf files you’ll be able to upload and edit them with Canva’s drag-and-drop tools.

This tool lets you edit all elements in PDF documents. You can change the font, add annotations, change placements, and insert other objects, all in a very intuitive manner.

Canva has both a premium and free option. The free version has a decent amount of features and you can use it to get familiarized with the designing experience. The pro version can be paid either yearly or monthly.

Key features of Canva include:

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  • Text animations
  • Can create a team to work together on a design
  • Wide range of photo effects and filters
  • Thousands of icons and other elements to enhance your design
  • Pre-made templates 
  • Photo straightener

Canva is a powerful and inspiring image manipulation tool suited both for advanced and novice users.


Convert and edit InDesign files with easy drag-and-drop tools and implement them within appealing templates.
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Adobe InCopy is another reliable software that opens InDesign files. Just like InDesign, InCopy is also developed by Adobe Systems, as one of the tools under Adobe Creative Cloud.

And it runs in sync with Adobe InDesign to create and open an INDD file without InDesign. The software is supported on both Windows and macOS.

Adobe InCopy, though a traditional word processor, is flexibly designed to work in sync with InDesign to create interactive and beautiful print works and digital documents like ebooks, posters, flyers, and so on.

It is a perfect collaboration tool, which provides an avenue for designers and writers to work together on InDesign projects.

Basically, in the execution of such projects, graphic designers or creative artists handle the layout design, while content creators or writers work on the write-ups (written content).

InCopy stands out as one of the best software that opens InDesign files. However, it cannot create INDD as a standalone tool, unless it integrates with InDesign.

Besides INDD, it also offers extended support for PDF files. Not only can you open them, but you can also see the comments within them and add your own. This makes it a great collaboration tool.

Nevertheless, it remains one of the most reliable software that opens InDesign files. Adobe InCopy is offered a subscription plan that charges monthly.

Notable features of Adobe InCopy include:

  • Color swatches and templates
  • Spell check
  • Extensions/plugins (Adobe Exchange),
  • Multi-format support (INDD, ICST, PSET, etc.)
  • Swift hyperlink creation

Adobe InCopy

Trust Adobe InCopy if you want to benefit from various tools to help you make outstanding prints!
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Affinity Publisher – In-depth video tutorials

Affinity Publisher is a multi-purpose publishing tool with specific features for different physical and digital publications such as books, scientific projects, social media templates, and website mock-ups. 

The software can import InDesign files if you save them in IDML (InDesign Markup Language) format. Affinity Publisher allows you to work on your IDML files without much restriction. You can edit text styles, work with bleed settings, add page numbering, and more.

Affinity provides multiple text editing features that let you place your text pretty much however you want, with many modern styles available. You can add lines and borders, add drop capitals to paragraphs, make your titles and headings stand out with artistic effects, and place text on a path.

In terms of graphics, the software allows you to import pretty much any image file type. Placing them is easy and not restrictive as it is the case with other publishing tools.

Affinity also offers some photo editing tools that let you adjust your picture to perfectly flow with the rest of the template. It also has advanced pen and node tools, bitmap fills, boolean operations, and layer effects.

Other key features of Affinity Publisher include:

  • Pan and zoom at 60 fps
  • Works with multiple publications simultaneously
  • Provides presets and lets you save your own
  • Offers in-depth video tutorials

Affinity is a licensed base product that provides constant free updates. It is available in multiple languages and works both on Windows and macOS.

Get Affinity Publisher

QuarkXpress – QR code generator

QuarkXpress is one of the most popular computer software that opens InDesign files.

The software is an advanced publishing program for creating and opening digital documents like flyers, ebooks, newspapers, and so on.

It is widely seen as a reliable alternative to Adobe InDesign, and it hosts cross-platform support for both Windows and macOS.

QuarkXpress runs on the WYSIWYG What You See Is What You Get – (lossless output) user interface, which presents you with accurate representations of your outputs.

Aptly put, QuarkXpress displays results in prints, with an akin reflection of what appears on the screen (no quality loss).

This feature makes QuarkXpress an excellent digital-print conversion tool, which is one of the most demanding aspects of graphics designing.

In addition, the tool also offers text alignment, custom color management, multilingual support (up to 35 languages), print scaling (10x reduction and enlargement), and many more.

Other key features of QuarkXpress include:

  • QR code generator
  • Font search
  • Filter and highlighting
  • MS Word import
  • PDF native support
  • Lossless zooming (up to 80x)

One of the most significant downsides of QuarkXpress is its pricing. The software is a little expensive, compared to other top software that opens InDesign files. However, you can try it for free for 7 days and see if you are happy with what it offers.

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Stellar Data Recovery – RAID recovery

Stellar Data Recovery is more of a recovery and repair tool than an InDesign software. While it cannot create INDD file extensions, it can be used to open an InDesign file.

This is especially important if there is any form of corruption or file damage. Stellar Data Recovery is compatible with Windows, macOS, and iOS (mobile).

This tool is an all-inclusive solution, with support for several file formats, including INDD. It is especially useful in the event of damage or corruption to InDesign files.

In such cases, Stellar facilitates the repair and subsequent recovery. Stellar can repair various aspects of an InDesign file, notably INDD layers, cross-references, hyperlinks, images, and many more.

Essentially, you can employ Stellar to open InDesign files, whether corrupted or otherwise.

However, it should be noted that Stellar Phoenix is not a conventional InDesign tool, and so cannot be used to create or edit INDD file extensions, under whatever circumstance.

Other key features and functions of Stellar include:

  • File scanning and sorting
  • Outlook repair/recovery
  • Multi-format support
  • Technical support, money-back guarantee
  • Free updates
  • RAID recovery

Get Stellar Data Recovery

InDesign files (.INDD) are professional layout pages, which are very essential in publishing and printing works.

As a non-conventional document/file system, the files can only be accessed and read by a special kind of computer program.

In this article, we have outlined four of the most reliable software that you can use in order to open an InDesign file.

So, if you are a digital publisher, creative artist, or graphic design expert, the above tools are the recommended software for opening/reading InDesign (INDD) files on your PC.

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