Saving InDesign files as HTML

While InDesign CS5 (and earlier) allows the option of saving files as HTML, it is important to note that InDesign is not a web design tool and the option to save files as HTML does not create a ready-made webpage as many would hope for.

The option of saving as HTML allows particularly text, pictures and formatting to be saved into a HTML file and folder, ready to be opened and manipulated into the webpage design you desire using Dreamweaver (or any other HTML editing program).

Those expecting the layout of their page to be retained will be sadly disappointed upon using this feature, however those who use Dreamweaver or other HTML-design programs will recognise the advantage of having the text, pictures and formatting ready to be worked with in the resulting HTML file rather than having to type, insert and format it all from scratch.

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How to save an InDesign file as HTML

Click the File drop-down menu, select Export for then select Dreamweaver.

A panel will appear. Choose the filename and location for the file then click Save.

A panel will appear with three categories of options. For a comprehensive understanding of these options, we recommend the Adobe Using InDesign product support page for this feature here:

Most useful to know however is that you can retain the basic paragraph styles formatting (converted into CSS formatting) by clicking Advanced then ticking Include Style Definitions.

Upon clicking Export, the HTML is exported as a file.


The result

Below is a simple InDesign document which will be used for this example.

Below is the result when this page is saved as a HTML file (with Include style definitions ticked):

Note the general layout of the document has not been retained.

Also note the picture is no longer cropped and resized.  It is inline with no text wrapping.


Designing webpages

It is recommended to use a webpage design program for creating webpages such as Dreamweaver.  Since many webpage design programs are difficult and time consuming to learn to use, beginners may find it more satisfactory to use one of the webpage building interfaces that are supplied by many webdesign businesses.  Businesses such as these allow you to specify the design for the webpages allowing the business to create the webpages for you, then you can use a much simplier program to edit and manipulate the content.  Many webpage businesses offer this service - ask them about their Content management system.


Nicholas Jankovic

T7 Training Systems


Wednesday, 28th December 2011


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