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Getting Started Using Leanpub's InDesign Export Feature
Getting Started Using Leanpub's InDesign Export Feature

Keywords: getting started, how, InDesign, export

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Written by Leanpub Support
Updated over a week ago
Getting Started Using Leanpub's InDesign Export Feature

If you have a Pro account, you can create an InDesign version of your book with just one click! (To upgrade to a Pro account, please go here.)

If you've finished writing your book on Leanpub and you'd like a professional book designer to work on it, they may ask you for an InDesign file.

In this walkthrough, we're going to show you how to do an InDesign export of your book in Leanpub, so you can get the .icml files you need.

To begin, go to the Overview page for your book, and select "InDesign" under "Versions":

Next, click the blue "Generate InDesign Files" button:

This will give you a download link with a zip folder containing each of your text files in .icml format:

(We're using the Markua manual as the example in this walkthrough; the filename of the download link will reflect your book's unique URL slug).

Click the link to download the .zip file:

Next, locate the file on your device. What this will actually look like will depend on your operating system:

Double-click the file to open it:

You will now see a number of .icml files.

Please note that .icml files can actually be used with apps besides InDesign, such as InCopy.

You can open these files directly in InDesign, but you also have the option to use InCopy to edit the files first, and then open them in InDesign when they are done.

(Of course, you can do your copy-editing directly in InDesign as well.)

To open a file in InCopy, right-click on the file and go to "Open With" (or its equivalent on your device) and select Adobe InCopy:

(Again, how this looks will depend on the device and operating system you are using.)

This will open the file in InCopy. In this example, the file just contains a chapter heading:

Let's change it to "Hello World!" and save the change:

Finally, when you're done editing and you've saved all your changes, close the file in InCopy.

Next, open a new document in InDesign, and go to File > Place:

Navigate to the files on your device and select them in the window, and then click "Open":

You should now see a little icon:

Click the icon. This will add the first file in the group that you selected:

Click the icon again to add the second file:

...and so on! (Of course, you can also "Place" the .icml files one at a time!)

When you're done pasting in all of the files you selected, double-click into one of them to select some text. You'll see a blinking cursor indicating that you can edit the file:

When you start to type, you may see a box like this:

Click "Yes".

Now you should be able to type in the "frame". Let's change the chapter heading back to "Introduction" and save the change:

When you click to save the change, you will get a box that lets you name the file. We're naming this one "Markua":

Click the "Save" button to save the file.

OK, now let's do an export to PDF. Go to File > Export:

You should see a box like this:

Click "Save". This will open up the "Export Adobe PDF" box. We're just going to go ahead and click "Export":

Navigate to where you saved the PDF and double-click to open it:

Here's the PDF we produced from this quick example:

Please note that while we've gone through the steps to produce a PDF from InDesign in this walkthrough, we actually don't provide support for Adobe Products!

If you're new to InDesign or InCopy, you can find lots of learning and support materials on Adobe's website at

OK, that's it!

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