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Set preferences

  1. InDesign User Guide
  2. Get to know InDesign
    1. Introduction to InDesign
      1. What's New in InDesign
      2. System requirements
      3. Common questions
      4. Use Creative Cloud libraries
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Customize your workspace in InDesign
      3. Toolbox
      4. Set preferences
      5. Properties panel
      6. Touch workspace
      7. Default keyboard shortcuts
      8. Document recovery and undo
    3. Generative AI
      1. Text to Image
      2. Generative AI FAQ
  3. Create and layout documents
    1. Documents and pages
      1. Create documents
      2. Work with parent pages
      3. Work with document pages
      4. Set page size, margins, and bleed
      5. Work with files and templates
      6. Convert PDFs to InDesign files in InDesign (Beta)
      7. Create book files
      8. Add basic page numbering
      9. Number pages, chapters, and sections
      10. Convert QuarkXPress and PageMaker documents
      11. Share content
      12. Understand a basic managed-file workflow
      13. Save documents
    2. Grids
      1. Grids
      2. Format grids
    3. Layout aids
      1. Rulers
      2. Align and distribute objects using rulers
      3. Measure objects using the Measure tool
  4. Add content
    1. Text
      1. Add text to frames
      2. Threading text
      3. South-East Asian Scripts
      4. Arabic and Hebrew features in InDesign
      5. Create type on a path
      6. Bullets and numbering
      7. Glyphs and special characters
      8. Text composition
      9. Text variables
      10. Generate QR codes
      11. Edit text
      12. Align text
      13. Wrap text around objects
      14. Anchored objects
      15. Linked content
      16. Format paragraphs
      17. Format characters
    2. Typography
      1. Using fonts in InDesign
      2. Kerning and tracking
    3. Format text
      1. Format text
      2. Auto Style text
      3. Work with Style Packs
      4. Tabs and indents
    4. Review text
      1. Track and review changes
      2. Add editorial notes in InDesign
      3. Import PDF comments
    5. Spell check and language dictionaries
      1. Check spelling, autocorrect, and dynamic spelling
      2. Create, add, and manage dictionaries and words
      3. Change dictionary preferences
      4. Duden dictionary
    6. Add references
      1. Create a table of contents
      2. Footnotes
      3. Create an index
      4. Endnotes
      5. Captions
    7. Styles
      1. Paragraph and character styles
      2. Map, export, and manage styles
      3. Object styles
      4. Drop caps and nested styles
      5. Work with styles
      6. Leading
    8. Tables
      1. Format tables
      2. Create tables
      3. Table and Cell styles
      4. Select and edit tables
      5. Table strokes and fills
    9. Interactivity
      1. Hyperlinks
      2. Dynamic PDF documents
      4. Buttons
      5. Forms
      6. Animation
      7. Cross-references
      8. Structure PDFs
      9. Page transitions
      10. Movies and sounds
    10. Graphics
      1. Understand paths and shapes
      2. Draw with the Pencil tool
      3. Draw with the Pen tool
      4. Apply line (stroke) settings 
      5. Compound paths and shapes
      6. Edit paths
      7. Clipping paths
      8. Change corner appearance
      9. Frames and objects
      10. Align and distribute objects
      11. Linked and embedded graphics
      12. Integrate AEM assets
    11. Color and transparency
      1. Apply color
      2. Use colors from imported graphics
      3. Work with swatches
      4. Mix inks
      5. Tints
      6. Understand spot and process colors
      7. Blend colors
      8. Gradients
      9. Flatten transparent artwork
      10. Add transparency effects
  5. Find and replace
    1. Find and replace text
    2. Find and replace fonts
    3. Find and replace glyphs
    4. Find and replace using GREP expressions and queries
    5. Find and replace objects
    6. Find and replace colors
    7. Search options to find and replace
  6. Share
    1. Save and access cloud documents
    2. Organize, manage, and share cloud documents
    3. View and manage versions in cloud documents
    4. Common questions about InDesign cloud documents
    5. Share and collaborate        
    6. Share for Review
    7. Review a shared InDesign document
    8. Manage feedback 
  7. Publish
    1. Place, export, and publish
      1. Publish online
      2. Publish online dashboard
      3. Copy, insert graphics
      4. Export content for EPUB
      5. Adobe PDF options
      6. Export content to HTML
      7. Export to Adobe PDF
      8. Export to JPEG format
      9. Export HTML
      10. DPS and AEM Mobile overview
      11. Supported File Formats
      12. Export and import User Settings
    2. Printing
      1. Print booklets
      2. Printer's marks and bleeds
      3. Print documents
      4. Inks, separation, and screen frequency
      5. Overprinting
      6. Create PostScript and EPS files
      7. Preflight files before handoff
      8. Print thumbnails and oversized documents
      9. Prepare PDFs for service providers
      10. Prepare to print separations
  8. Extend InDesign
    1. Automation
      1. Data merge
      2. Plug-ins
      3. Capture extension in InDesign
      4. Scripting
  9. Troubleshooting
    1. Fixed issues
    2. Known issues
    3. Crash on launch
    4. Preference folder read-only issue
    5. Troubleshoot file issues
    6. Unable to export PDF
    7. InDesign document recovery

Preferences include settings such as panel positions, measurement options, and display options for graphics and typography. Preference settings specify how InDesign documents and objects behave initially.

Set general preferences

This section covers preference settings in the General tab of the Preferences dialog box. For information on other preferences, search for the appropriate setting.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > General (macOS), and then choose the type of preferences you want to specify.

  2. Choose a page numbering method from the View menu in the Page Numbering section. (See Display absolute or section numbering in the Pages panel.)

  3. Specify a threshold to trigger font subsetting based on the number of glyphs a font contains in the Font Downloading and Embedding section. This setting affects font downloading options in the Print and Export dialog boxes.

  4. You can determine how scaled objects are reflected in panels and how the content of scaled frames behaves in the When Scaling section.

    • Select Apply To Content if you want the point size to change when a text frame is scaled. (See Scale type.) If this option is selected when a graphics frame is scaled, the percentage size of the image changes, but the frame reverts its percentage to 100%. (See Scale objects.)

    • Select Adjust Scaling Percentage to display the original point size with the new point size in parentheses when you scale text. If this option is selected when you scale graphics frames, the percentage size of both the frame and image changes.

  5. Click Reset All Warning Dialogs to display all warnings, even the ones you’ve already checked not to display. (As warnings appear, you can select a check box to prevent the warning from appearing again.)

Document preview

You can preview your InDesign documents in File Explorer (Windows) and Finder (macOS). Can't see the preview? Follow these steps to add or adjust the preview settings:

  1. Go to Edit > Preferences > File Handling (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > File Handling (macOS).

  2. Check Always Save Preview Images with Documents.

  3. Select the preview settings from the following options:

    • Pages: Select the pages you want to save as previews from First Page, First 2 Pages, First 5 Pages, First 10 Pages, or All Pages. The default option is First 2 pages.
    • Preview Size: Select the preview size of your document from Small 128x128, Medium 256x256, Large 512x512, or Extra Large 1024x1024. The default option is Large 512x512.
  4. Select OK.

Customize user interface scaling

Configure scaling preferences in InDesign to uniformly scale the user interface based on your screen resolution. Elements of the user interface are scaled accordingly, making for comfortable viewing on high-resolution monitors. When you launch InDesign with fresh preference settings, it identifies your screen resolution and adjusts the application’s UI scaling accordingly.

Note: UI scaling is not supported on screens with low resolution.

To set the user interface scaling:

  • (Win) Select Edit > Preferences > User Interface Scaling
  • (macOS) Select InDesign > Preferences > User Interface Scaling

In the User Interface Scaling dialog, use the following options to customize the Interface:

  • UI: Adjust the UI sizing slider to increase or decrease the scaling of the UI based on your requirement. In general, high-resolution monitors need a higher scaling factor. A preview of the scaled UI is displayed next to the slider. Restart InDesign to apply the updated settings. If you choose to restart later, changes will take effect the next time you launch InDesign. 
    The number of stops displayed in the slider depends on the resolution of your screen. More stops are displayed for screens with higher resolutions.
  • Cursor: When enabled (ON by default), this option scales the cursor icons in proportion to the UI.
  • Anchor Points, Handle, and Bounding Box Display Size: Adjust the slider to scale the display size of anchor points, direction handles, and bounding box.

Set defaults

If you change settings when no documents are open, your changes set the defaults for new documents. If a document is open when you change settings, the changes affect only that document.

Similarly, if you change settings when no objects are selected, your changes set the defaults for new objects.

Change default settings for new documents

  1. Close all documents.
  2. Change any menu items or panel or dialog box settings.

If you use the same page size and language for most documents, you can change these defaults with no document open. For example, to change the default page size, close all documents, choose File > Document Setup, and select the desired page size. To set a default dictionary, close all documents, choose Edit > Preferences > Dictionary (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > Dictionary (macOS), and select an option from the Language menu.

Specify default settings for new objects in a document

  1. With the document open, choose Edit >Deselect All.

  2. Change any menu items or panel or dialog box settings.

Restore all preferences and default settings

When InDesign is behaving erratically, deleting preferences (also referred to as “trashing preferences” or “removing preferences”) often solves the problem.

It’s a good idea to make a backup copy of the preference files called InDesign Defaults and InDesign SavedData. Instead of removing your preferences, you can copy these backup files over the problematic corrupt preference files and not lose any customizations.

Perform the following step as per your OS: 

  • Windows: Start InDesign, and then press Shift+Ctrl+Alt. Click Yes when asked if you want to delete preference files.

  • macOS: While pressing Shift+Option+Command+Control, start InDesign. Click Yes when asked if you want to delete preference files.

Reset user preferences

You can restore the default preferences any time you want. When you select Reset Preferences On Quit, InDesign reverts to the default settings.

Select Reset Preferences On Quit to revert to the default settings

Various program preferences and default settings are stored in the Adobe InDesign preferences files. These files, including the InDesign Defaults file, are saved each time you exit from InDesign. For manual deletion or renaming, the location of the preference and cache files are as follows:


Replace [#] with the product version as 15.0 or 14.0. Replace [language] with your choice of locale like en_US or jp_JP.


Backup and reset preferences on macOS


Backup and reset preferences on Windows





~/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/Version [#]


  • Windows 10 or 7 or Vista: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]
  • Windows XP:
    %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]



~/Library/Caches/Adobe InDesign/Version [#]


  • Windows 10 or 7 or Vista: 
    %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]
  • Windows XP:
    %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]


InDesign Defaults

~/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/Version [#]
/[language]/InDesign Defaults


  • Windows 10 or 7 or Vista: 
    %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]
    \[language]\InDesign Defaults
  • Windows XP:
    %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]\[language]\InDesign Defaults


InDesign SavedData

~/Library/Caches/Adobe InDesign/Version [#]
/[language]/Caches/InDesign SavedData


  • Windows 10 or 7 or Vista: 
    %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]
    \[language]\Caches\InDesign SavedData
  • Windows XP:
    %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]\[language]\Caches\InDesign SavedData



Re-creating the InDesign preference files restores settings to their defaults, so you lose custom settings associated with the old preference files.

About InDesign styles and presets

You can store settings for reuse, including settings for the following items:

In general, change the feature settings in the dialog box, and then save the settings. Styles and presets are stored in the document in which they are created. You can use the settings from another document by importing or loading the styles and presets from that document. In addition, most presets can be exported or saved to a separate file and distributed to other computers.

You can also share styles and presets across all documents in a book file. For more information, see Synchronize book documents.

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