IDML Import (InDesign Import) in QuarkXPress 2017

When you need to import layouts from Adobe InDesign into QuarkXPress 2016/2017, you had two possibilities:

  1. When you InDesign installed on the same machine as QuarkXPress 2016/2017, then you can copy objects in InDesign and “Paste as Native Objects” in QuarkXPress.
    This will make objects editable, bezier elements will be bezier elements, text stays text, boxes in QuarkXPress are the same as in InDesign.
  2. You can always import a PDF created from InDesign in QuarkXPress 2016/2017 and convert it to native objects. For that just create a picture box in QuarkXPress, import the PDF page you need to be converted, and right mouse click it. Choose “Convert to Native Objects”.
    This will make objects editable, bezier elements will be bezier elements, text stays text, boxes in QuarkXPress are the same as in InDesign.

Though both methods work well, on Macs and Windows PC, and make all objects editable, there are two disadvantages: Conversion is limited to one spread at a time and certain elements do not carry over, like master pages and style sheet names.

So since January 23, 2018, you have a third method in QuarkXPress 2017:

NEW: Native IDML Import in QuarkXPress 2017

Besides bug fixes, the free “January 2018 Update” to QuarkXPress 2017 adds a new feature:
IDML Import (beta).

If you are using QuarkXPress 2016, on MacOS or Windows, please run “Check for updates” to first install the free “January 2018 Update” for QuarkXPress 2017 (internal version number 13.2).

Steps to import an InDesign file into QuarkXPress

Step 1: In InDesign save the layout as IDML (File > Save As…, Format IDML):

Save as IDML (in InDesign)

If you are getting the file from a colleague or client, please ask them to do this for you. This works in InDesign CS4, CS5.x, CS6 and all InDesign CC versions.

Step 2: In QuarkXPress choose File > New > Project from IDML…

IDML Import in QuarkXPress 2017
IDML Import in QuarkXPress 2017


Step 3: Choose the IDML file.

And you are done! InDesign objects, text, style sheets, master pages etc. are all being converted as a new QuarkXPress layout.

What does “beta quality” mean?

Beta quality means that there are certain limitations and not all features are being converted. Most notable right now are probably tables (they just get removed) and drop shadows (they do not appear) and text that is tagged (it is removed). Read about all restrictions here:

Quark is asking you for feedback to further improve the quality of the IDML Import filter.

Video Demo

See a short demo video here:

IDML Import available in Trial Version of QuarkXPress 2017

Even if you do not own QuarkXPress 2017 yet, you can try IDML Import (beta) in the trial version of QuarkXPress 2017:


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Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.