PDF to InDesign Plugin (PDF2DTP) Review by Publisher, Amybeth Menendez

PDF to InDesign Plugin (PDF2DTP) Review by Publisher, Amybeth Menendez

In the following video of a PDF to InDesign plugin (PDF2DTP) review, publisher Amybeth Menendez gives her impressions on Markzware’s PDF to Adobe InDesign file converter. Markzware is a developer of software that can preview, open, convert, and export page layout application files, plus more. Markzware’s PDF2DTP subscription offers Adobe InDesign plugins that allow you to convert PDF files to Adobe InDesign CS6 through CC 2020 files, on MacOS.

David Dilling interviews publishing professional, Amybeth Menendez, who provides her thoughts on Markzware’s file conversion software, PDF2DTP, which converts PDF files to Adobe InDesign files. During the interview, Amybeth also gives her impressions of Q2ID (plugin to convert QuarkXPress to InDesign), FlightCheck (app to preflight print), and IDMarkz (multi-featured app for InDesign)

Here is the transcript:

DAVID: Good Morning, Amybeth!

AMYBETH: Good Morning, David! How are you?

DAVID: Very good. Bright and early in New York City. It looks like it’s dark, still.

AMYBETH: Right. Well, yeah, not bright and early, but dark and early, in New York City.

DAVID: (laughs) That’s a good one, yeah.

AMYBETH: And we might have some snow, today.

DAVID: Oh, snow! Cool.

AMYBETH: All is well in Manhattan.

DAVID: Excellent, excellent! Yeah, before we jump into Amybeth’s experiences with the PDF2DTP, PDF to InDesign plugin, and maybe our new product, as well, IDMarkz, maybe you can tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

AMYBETH: My name is Amybeth Menendez. I am the assistant manager for a print workflow, for one of the big five publishers, in Manhattan. I do scripting and I teach Adobe applications, so I do application and file support for the design teams, as well as training, here, at our company.

DAIVD: Cool. Wow! So, you’re staying busy.

AMYBETH: Yeah. I’ve been in printing for, ahem, 30+ years, so like I sort of grew up in the industry. My family was in the industry, too, so, I was born and bred, looking at dots.

DAVID: Yeah, your dad was, like, with Kodak Polychrome, or something like that? Your father?

AMYBETH: My dad was the CEO of Kodak Polychrome.

DAVID: Wow! Wow! Yeah, I remember you once…

AMYBETH: I basically grew up looking at newspapers through a loop, with my dad telling me the newspaper was out of register.

DAVID: Yeah, I remember you telling me that story.

AMYBETH: Nothing pretentious. I was just hanging. I was like five years old.

DAVID: Yeah. Cool. Yeah. Well, last time I saw Amybeth in person was at the CreativePro conference in New Orleans.

CreativePro Week attendees include InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, print & epublishing users, who learn more from top experts at the event
Photograph ©2014–2016 Creative Publishing Network, photographers:
John Cornicello, Paul Gargagliano, Eric Shropshire, James Beals, Rudy Ximenez

AMYBETH: Oh, it was awesome!

DAVID: Yeah. I think I missed last year’s.

AMYBETH: I’m collecting swag and knowledge, right?

DAVID: Yeah. I missed this year’s and, you know.

AMYBETH: As well, did I.

DAVID: Oh!

AMYBETH: But we will be at next year’s, hopefully.

DAVID: Yeah, that’s the plan.

AMYBETH: And it’s in Texas.

DAVID: Texas. It’s warm. Nice weather, you know?

AMYBETH: Right.

DAVID: So, yeah, but that’s a really cool event, CreativePro. I really like that event, and it was great talking to you more, there, and what’s nice about that event you get like to meet the people, deeper, and understand more about the workflow and …

AMYBETH: Exactly. Yeah.

DAVID: Yeah.

AMYBETH: I got to catch up with a couple of people that I follow on YouTube and …

DAVID: Yeah.

AMYBETH: … it was really nice.

DAVID: Cool. Yeah. Okay, great! So, PDF2DTP, Markzware‘s PDF to InDesign conversion plugin. What was your first impression of that?

Markzware PDF to InDesign

AMYBETH: I actually was using the software, when… before Markzware made it. It was made by a different software developer, and so I’ve always had the need for PDF to InDesign software.

DAVID: Right.

AMYBETH: And Markzware‘s is incomparable to any of the other software that I’ve used before, as far as, like, it processes the fonts, it’ll give you an error, if there’s something wrong with the fonts, it makes a picture folder for you. So, like in those cases, and I’ve also tested it, a little bit in the work environment, in those cases where you don’t have anything but legacy PDFs and you have to edit them, this is a viable solution for that.

DAVID: Right.

AMYBETH: Right. It gives you a page layout application, where everything’s fluid. You get your fonts, you get your images, you get your document size. You know.

DAVID: Yeah. Yeah it extracts the images, as well, and in a separate folder, like you mentioned…

AMYBETH: Exactly.

DAVID: … which is very handy.

AMYBETH: Extremely valuable.

DAVID: At resolution used, so it might not be perfect, if it’s a low-res PDF and you need high-res images.

AMYBETH: Right. Right. But if you have a high-res PDF, like, for myself, as time goes on, I just save the print files for, I mean, my personal use, my personal freelance use, so I may only have the print files, for something like a brochure that I did 10 years ago, and now, all of a sudden, this client is contacting me and wants to make revisions on it, and now I have a viable way, without going into something like Illustrator, which is not a PDF-editing application…

Adobe Illustrator

DAVID: Like Dov Isaacs, huh?

AMYBETH: … or a page layout application, really.

DAVID: Yeah. Yeah.

AMYBETH: So, this way, I can work in the applications that I’m comfortable in and, then, also have application files.

DAVID: Right. Yeah. I always hear about… Dov Isaacs in the back of my head, when, always on the forums, he’s typing, “Illustrator is not a PDF editor. Illustrator is not a PDF editor.”

AMYBETH: Yeah. Dov Isaacs.

DAVID: Dov Isaacs, for people who don’t know, is the scientist from Adobe.

AMYBETH: Yeah. Another one of the gurus that I follow.

DAVID: You know a lot of people, I’ve got to tell you, anyway.

AMYBETH: That’s because I’m always on the forums. I’m always educating myself. I’m working on getting my Expert certification, now, but they just they just stopped giving the tests that they’re giving now, and so, because they’re releasing the 2020 certification.

DAVID: Ah. You’ve got to wait, yeah. Yeah, because you have your… What do you call it? Your Associate…

AMYBETH: I have the ACAs in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

DAVID: Wow! Cool!

AMYBETH: My goal is to become an Adobe Certified Instructor, here, at my big five company.

DAVID: Yeah. (laughs)

AMYBETH: Yes I have used it, compared to just editing in something, like in, say, Pitstop.

DAVID: Right.

AMYBETH: You know, like, …

DAVID: Right.

AMYBETH: … and, then, being able to have the files. But we use a variety of Markzware solutions. We use the Quark to InDesign. That is part of our workflow, here.

Markzware Quark-InDesign Logo Panel Horizontal 480x595

DAVID: Yeah, Q2ID. Yeah, yeah.

AMYBETH: Yeah.

DAVID: And I think I remember you mentioned you were one of the… I think you’re one of the first users of FlightCheck. That was your job, in the beginning, right?

Markzware FlightCheck logo and DTP logos 480x595

AMYBETH: Oh, okay. I’m not even sure what year it was, but I was just a pre-flight operator. And there was a room of, like, six of us and all we did was FlightCheck, all day long. And you would just hear the bird chirping. Chirp, chirp.

DAVID: The pre-flight process is quite simple and fast. Look at that!

AMYBETH: Chirp, chirp. You know, like when it’s collecting packages, but, yeah.

DAVID: Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s really cool! And, for people who don’t know, FlightCheck is a stand-alone preflight application. You can check that out, as well. Of course, InDesign has built-in pre-flight and you have PitStop for PDF pre-flight, …

AMYBETH: A bad one.

DAVID: … but the beauty of FlightCheck is it checks everything, PDF, InDesign, Illustrator, and image files.

AMYBETH: Correct.

DAVID: You just get a nice overview of the file. Any other particulars about PDF2DTP, any odd files that it saved the day, or anything?

AMYBETH: Well, recently I had a brochure that I was trying to… that I needed to edit. And the brochure was actually created in… It was from a client who had sent it to me and all they had was a PDF. And it was created in some sort of Microsoft Word layout application, but at least I was able to extract my images, get my page layout, get all of my paragraphs set, and then just edit my text. So, that really saved the day for me. Yeah.

DAVID: Wow!

AMYBETH: I had all of my images. It has the images with bleed. It… When you convert from the PDF, yeah, it gives you the page document side, but if the document had bleed settings and, then, it doesn’t clip the images.

DAVID: Right.

AMYBETH: So, it’s been a complete 5 stars, for its conversion process.

DAVID: Awesome! Awesome. Yeah, yeah. People, I mean, obviously you can import a PDF, a static PDF, a flattened PDF, if you will, into InDesign, page by page, but you won’t…

AMYBETH: It’s uneditable.

DAVID: It’s uneditable. So, unless you use PitStop or something, beforehand, it’s like a whole different workflow. So, with this, you just click, and it converts an entire multi-page document right into InDesign.

Markzware PDF2DTP for InDesign Conversion

AMYBETH: Right. Multi-page!

DAVID: Yeah.

AMYBETH: So, I’ve done this, with multi-page documents. I want to add that, as well.

DAVID: Yeah, yeah. Cool! Excellent! Excellent. Okay. So, my last question on PDF2DTP. Is it a product you’d recommend to other graphic designers?

AMYBETH: I would absolutely recommend it to other designers, because there’s always a situation, where all you have is like a legacy PDF or a PDF from a client, or there are just no application files available, and you need to make changes on it. And this is the safest way, because it gives you fluidity. You have your artboards, you have an application file that you’re …

DAVID: Yep.

AMYBETH: … comfortable working in, and absolutely.

DAVID: Awesome, awesome! Yeah.

AMYBETH: Yeah. It’s a staple in my workflow.

DAVID: Excellent!

AMYBETH: For sure.

DAVID: Well, thank you. Thank you very much. Great! Which leads me into the next product you’ve been beta testing for us, the IDMarkz, which… PDF2DTP…

AMYBETH: Love it!

DAVID: Oh, you love it!

AMYBETH: I do love it, because I think it will be extremely useful. I am going to try and pitch it, too, because you’re able to take… We’re always, being that we’re in a large company and we’re on an enterprise system of Adobe software, we’re never on the latest version of the software.

DAVID: No.

AMYBETH: So, we work with a lot of outside freelancers and designers that are sending …

DAVID: Oh, yeah.

Adobe InDesign CC 2017 logo 250x250

AMYBETH: … InDesign documents, and we need to, number one, save to IDML, but this is also a really great way for production, per se, to get a complete preview, and without the [InDesign] application, of what the document looks like. You could see the images, you can zoom in on the text, you can export to a PDF.

DAVID: Yep.

AMYBETH: So, even if you don’t have InDesign, you could export to a PDF from this, to send something around for viewing and commenting. It is incredible!

DAVID: Yeah.

AMYBETH: And, for the price point. So, for people that actually don’t need the entire software suite, this is perfect for people that are reviewing files that they’re getting from clients, etc, etc.

DAVID: Yeah. Awesome, yeah. I’ll put more information in the description box, where people can go download it. And the preview part is free, where you can preview any InDesign file, and the conversion and export to various formats. You have to pay a little bit of money for that, of course. But you have Export to IDML, PDF, and even other…

AMYBETH: JPEG, TIFF, yeah.

DAVID: Yeah, yeah. And it’ll open it in other applications, even. You can do an InDesign via IDML, right up into QuarkXPress or…

AMYBETH: Exactly.

DAVID: InDesign into Publisher.

AMYBETH: Right.

DAVID: That’s one. Affinity. Have you tried that Affinity Publisher, by any chance?

Open In Affinity Publisher

AMYBETH: No.

DAVID: Okay.

AMYBETH: Not yet.

DAVID: Yeah, yeah. You’re too busy with your workflow. I mean, you…

AMYBETH: Yeah.

DAVID: Yeah. So, yeah, I guess it’s pretty locked down, at a big publisher. You can’t just, as a designer… In your company, you have designer, but the designer just can’t download what they like, I guess.

AMYBETH: No, not at all.

DAVID: Yeah.

AMYBETH: Everything is managed.

DAVID: So, anyway, okay, cool. So, yeah, IDMarkz. Great! Glad to hear you love it. We’re doing a lot with that product and, of course, thank you for your feedback on PDF2DTP, the PDF to InDesign.

AMYBETH: I love PDF2DTP!

DAVID: Yeah. And thank you, Amybeth, for the time. We got cut off at the end but, in any event, we really appreciate you taking the time, to share your experiences with Markzware‘s PDF2DTP, PDF to InDesign and your first impressions on Markzware’s new IDMarkz. Don’t take only our word, even though Amybeth is a user, my word, or someone working for Markzware, look at what all of the other customers are saying, as well. A lot of great reviews and quite a high rating, as well. PDF to InDesign, with a click! Markzware’s PDF2DTP.
[End of Transcript]

Markzware PDF-InDesign Logo Panel Horizontal 480x595

Benefits of PDF2DTP:
• provides accurate data conversion from PDF to InDesign and opens the PDF in InDesign, allowing you the flexibility to edit the PDF.
• enables easy data migration, to give users quick document access to edit a PDF.
• is a single solution for file conversion, which is a must for desktop publishing (DTP) and creative professionals.

How to Convert PDF to InDesign with PDF2DTP:
To convert all pages in a PDF to InDesign with PDF2DTP, click the Markzware menu item, click PDF2DTP, and select “Convert PDF…”. Select the PDF (or hold down the Command key and select multiple PDFs), then click Open. If you prefer, you can specify a range of pages, set conversion parameters and options, or view the Help/About window.

Some Features of PDF2DTP:

  1. The Convert PDF menu item allows you to select and convert all pages in a PDF file to InDesign CS6 through CC 2020.
  2. The Convert Page Range menu item allows you to select a PDF file and range of pages to convert. The settings used will be current values set under the Preferences area.
  3. The Preferences menu item brings up the PDF2DTP Preferences window where you can set certain parameters and options for the conversion of PDF files. These preferences include the Document Settings, Font Settings, and Save To preferences.
  4. The Help menu item will display a small window that contains the following items:
    • The version number of PDF2DTP for InDesign you are running. If you contact Tech Support, you will want to keep this version number handy.
    • The link to the online PDF2DTP manual: Clicking this will open up your default web browser and take you to the online manual.
    • The link to the Markzware Tech Support Request Form. Clicking on this will open up your default web browser and take you to the Markzware Online Technical Support Form. The form should have your License ID pre-pasted in to save you some time.
Markzware PDF2DTP for InDesign Go to PDF2DTP Menu

The PDF2DTP for InDesign Annual Subscription
supports the following Adobe InDesign versions:
• InDesign 2020 Mac
• InDesign CC 2019 Mac
• InDesign CC 2018 Mac
• InDesign CC 2017 Mac
• InDesign CC 2015 Mac
• InDesign CC 2014 Mac
• InDesign CC Mac
• InDesign CS6 Mac

PDF2DTP for InDesign can convert PDF layout items to InDesign, including:
• colors
• blends
• runarounds
• page positioning
• text attributes
• images
• tables

How to Buy PDF2DTP for PDF to Adobe InDesign File Conversion:
Markzware‘s PDF2DTP Bundle Subscription gives you access to PDF2DTP for InDesign 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, 2015, CC 2014, CC, and CS6 for macOS with a single purchase and license. This offers you the most flexibility throughout your subscription term, for one low price.

You can buy the PDF to InDesign plugin via the PDF2DTP page. More document conversion tools are available, via the Markzware Products page.

You can subscribe to the Markzware Mailing List and post with Markzware on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

PDF to InDesign Plugin (PDF2DTP) Review by Publisher, Amybeth Menendez

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