Exporting to Adobe PDF


Equitable Language: We are replacing non-inclusive language from InCopy 2022 (version 17.0) onwards, to reflect core Adobe values of inclusivity. Any reference to Master page is replaced by Parent page in our Help articles for the English, Danish, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, and Japanese locales.

Export an InCopy document to Adobe PDF

You can export InCopy documents directly to Adobe PDF. You can export in the Galley, Story, or Layout view. If you export in Layout view, the result is a PDF document with layout and design elements intact. In contrast, a document exported in Galley or Story view resembles the text-only look that you see in Galley or Story view within InCopy. You might want to export the Galley or Story view of an InCopy story to PDF for writers, editors, and others in a document-review cycle who may not have InCopy on their computers. The PDF document has the same advantages that an InCopy Galley and Story view offers, including maximum text readability and annotation features.


Adobe PDF files exported from Adobe InDesign® documents that contain overprints or transparency effects are best viewed in Acrobat 6.0 and later with the Overprint Preview option selected.

  1. Choose File > Export.
  2. For Save As Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS), choose Adobe PDF. Type a file name, choose a location for the file, and then click Save.
  3. Select Galley & Story or Layout from the View menu.
  4. Change settings as desired.

    The settings you specify are saved with the application, and are applied to every new InCopy document you export to PDF until you choose new settings.

  5. Click Export.

When exporting to PDF, InCopy preserves links from Open Prepress Interface (OPI) comments for images in the InDesign document. OPI links let the InDesign user include fast, low-resolution versions (proxies) of images for positioning on a page. For final output, either InDesign or a prepress service provider can automatically replace the proxies with high-resolution versions.

Common Adobe PDF options

There are several options that are common to the Galley, Story, and Layout views when exporting a document to PDF.


Sets the compatibility level of the Adobe PDF file. For documents that will be distributed widely, consider choosing Acrobat 5 (PDF 1.4) to ensure that all users can view and print the document. If you create files with Acrobat 8/9 (PDF 1.7) compatibility, the resulting PDF files may not be compatible with earlier versions of Acrobat.

Subset Fonts When Percent Of Characters Used Is Less Than

Sets the threshold for embedding complete fonts based on how many of the fonts’ characters are used in the document. If the percentage of characters used in the document for any given font is exceeded, then that specific font is completely embedded. Otherwise, the font is subsetted. Embedding complete fonts increases PDF file size, but if you want to make sure you completely embed all fonts, enter 0 (zero).

Include Page Information

Includes the document name, page number, and date and time the file was exported.

View PDF After Exporting

Opens the PDF file in the latest version of Acrobat currently installed on your computer. For accurate results, make sure that the compatibility option matches the latest version of Acrobat installed.

Adobe PDF options for Galley and Story views

The PDF Export dialog box contains options specific to Galley and Story views.


Exports a single story or multiple stories.


Includes settings for font family and style, type size, and leading for the exported file. These settings do not change the screen view settings in the Galley & Story Display preferences.

Include Story Information

The document title, author, and description appear in the exported PDF file.

Include Paragraph Styles

Paragraph style information from the information column shown in Galley and Story views appears in the exported PDF file.

Include Inline Notes

Exports all (or only visible) inline notes contained in the document. To include the note colors assigned to individuals on the project, select Show Notes Backgrounds In Color.

Include Tracked Changes

Exports all (or only visible) tracked changes contained in the document. To include the editing colors assigned to individuals on the project, select Show Tracked Changes Backgrounds In Color.

Include Accurate Line Endings

Exports line endings as they appear in the story. If unchecked, the lines of text wrap according to the width and orientation of the widest story window.

Include Line Numbers

Exports with line numbers displayed in the information column. This option is available only if Include Accurate Line Endings is selected.

Fill Page (Use Multiple Columns)

Exports the story using the number and width of columns you specify. This option is available only if Include Accurate Line Endings is selected.


Selecting a small column width and a large font size (in the Fonts section of this section) can cause text to overlap in the exported output.

Adobe PDF options for Layout view

The following options are available only when exporting from Layout view:


Exports all pages in the current document or book. This is the default setting.


Specifies the range of pages to export in the current document. You can type a range by using a hyphen, and separate multiple pages or ranges by using commas. This option is unavailable when you’re exporting books.


Exports pages together as if they were bound, or printed on the same sheet.


Do not select Spreads for commercial printing; if you do, the service provider cannot impose the pages.

Include Notes As Annotation

Exports all notes as PDF annotations.

Interactive Elements

Choose Include Appearance to include items such as buttons and movie posters in the PDF.

Optimize For Fast Web View

Reduces PDF file size, and optimizes the PDF file for faster viewing in a web browser by restructuring the file for page-at-a-time downloading (byte serving).

Embed Page Thumbnails

Creates thumbnail images within the exported PDF file.

Create secure PDF documents

You can restrict access to an Adobe PDF file when you export it. When files use security restrictions, any tools and menu items related to those features are dimmed.

You can secure a PDF file so that a user password is required to open it and a master password is required to change security settings. If you set any security restrictions in your file, you should also specify a master password; otherwise, anyone who opens the file could remove the restrictions. If a file is opened with a master password, the security restrictions are temporarily disabled. If the file has both passwords, you can open it with either one.


The Compatibility setting determines the encryption level. The Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) option uses a low encryption level (40-bit RC4), while the other options use a high encryption level (128-bit RC4 or AES).

  1. Choose File > Export.
  2. For Save As Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS), choose Adobe PDF. Specify a name and location for the file, and click Save.
  3. Click Security Settings.
  4. In the Passwords section, specify the password protection you want:
    • Select Password Required To Open Document and, in the Document Open Password text box, enter the password users must enter before they can open the PDF file.

    • Select Password Required To Change Permissions And Passwords and, in the Permissions Password text box, enter the password users must enter before they can set or change any security options in the PDF file.


    You cannot use the same password in both text boxes.

  5. In the Permissions section, define the level of user actions allowed:

    No Printing

    Prevents users from printing the Adobe PDF file.

    No Changing The Document

    Prevents users from filling in forms or making any other changes to the Adobe PDF file.

    No Content Copying Or Extraction, Disable Accessibility

    Prevents users from selecting text and graphics.

    No Adding Or Changing Comments And Form Fields

    Prevents users from adding or changing notes and form fields if they open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat or another PDF editor.

  6. Click Save, and then click Export.


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