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How to Create a Non-Editable PDF in InDesign

Updated February 21, 2017

Adobe's InDesign application is a desktop publishing package that you can use to lay out magazines, books, posters and other visual media. You can save documents designed in the application in a number of formats, including online publishing formats. You can also export an InDesign file to Adobe's popular PDF. Any InDesign document that is exported as a PDF in "Print" format will be saved as a read-only document that cannot be edited in Adobe Reader.

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  1. Run the Adobe InDesign program and open the document that you wish to save as a non-editable PDF file.

  2. Click "File" in the menu bar and click "Export" to open a file export window.

  3. Navigate to the folder in which you wish to save the PDF file and type in a name for the file.

  4. Select "Adobe PDF (Print)" from the "Save As Type" drop-down menu if you are using InDesign for Windows. If you are using inDesign for Mac, select "Adobe PDF (Print)" from the "Format" drop down menu.

  5. Click "Save" to advance to the PDF options screen.

  6. Select from the "Compatibility" drop-down menu the earliest version of Adobe Reader for which you want your PDF file to work.

  7. Change any desired PDF file options in the options screen. You can change the level of compression, number of output colours and other file properties using the drop-down menus.

  8. Click the "Export" button to save your InDesign document as a non-editable PDF. If you are using a Mac then click the "Save" button.

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About the Author

Dan Howard is a sports and fitness aficionado who holds a master's degree in psychology. Howard's postgraduate research on the brain and learning has appeared in several academic books and peer-reviewed psychology journals.

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