Export book documents to individual PDF files

In InDesign's Book panel, if you select Export Book to PDF from the panel's flyout, InDesign creates a single PDF file, either of the documents selected in the panel or of all documents when no documents are selected. No matter what you select, the result is always a single PDF file.

The script described on this page enables the export to PDF of the individual book chapters. It offers three more export modes: export each page of the selected chapters as a separate PDF file, export selected alternate layouts, and export the sections of the selected chapters as separate PDF files.

Use

The script displays this dialog:

Export individual PDFs

Select the files you want to export and the preset you want to use, select one of the three export modes (see below). Then select the folder where the PDF files should be placed. Press OK to export the selected documents.

As whole documents

Each book chapter is exported as a separate PDF file.

Individual pages

The selected documents are exported page by page. PDF file names are constructed by adding the page number to the document's name.

Alternate layouts

If any of the selected documents contains alternate layouts, they are shown in the Alternate layouts panel. With all documents selected, all alternate layouts are shown. When you select a single document, only the layouts are listed that are present in the selected document.

When exporting alternate layouts, you can select to export them page by page or layout by layout.

Note: It's not possible to export a single layout as a single book. To get a single-layout book, export a layout of each document and combine the PDFs in Acrobat.

Export individual sections

The selected documents are exported section by section. With Use section markers in the file names checked, the script constructs PDF file names by adding the contents of the document's section marker to the document's name (section markers are set in the Numbering and Section Options dialog in InDesign). If you happen to have several sections with the same name, then the script adds sequential numbers to the PDF file names.

If you opt not to use section markers, or if the section marker contains no text, then the script adds the sections's page range to the name, as in reviews_123-126.pdf.

To have each produced PDF file loaded in Acrobat Reader separately, check check View PDF after exporting.


Useful script? Saved you lots of time?

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Version history

4 Sept. 2017 (belatedly posted an old upgrade): added support for exporting alternate layouts.

29 Oct. 2012: added the possibility to select an output folder for the PDF files.

2 October 2011: added the option to export documents section by section.

13 July 2011: the script can now be used to export documents page by page. File names are now displayed neater (accents and spaces are displayed better).

27 November 2010: fixed problem with file names.

7 Oct 2010: changed the progress indicator.

15 July 2010: Added checkbox to enable/disable PDF viewing after export.


Show script (right click, Save Link/Target As to download)

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