Fan of creative technology, elearning, instructional design and a little geeky

PageMaker to InDesign CS2 conversion

Believe it or not, I’m actually and Adobe Certified Instructor for PageMaker 7. The last time I taught PageMaker was about a year ago. Yep, there are still PageMaker users out there…

Whilst delivering some PageMaker to InDesign conversion training recently, I realised I hadn’t yet added the link to Adobe’s “Switching from Adobe PageMaker to Adobe InDesign CS2” conversion guide to the Resources/InDesign section of my site. This guide provides a really good starting point for the PageMaker converter… And if you haven’t yet joined the rest of the converters, it will hopefully give you a little push across the threshold. 🙂 🙂

So the Colors palette is turned to the Swatches Palette in InDesign… and Link Options turned to Link palette… and all of a sudden you have access to not only ‘Styles” but Paragraph (incl. nested), Character and Object styles… And the Crop tool is bundled into the Position tool etc.

Web Reference: Switching from Adobe PageMaker… (2005, Adobe)

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  1. August 31, 2011    

    We have lots of PM6.5 files to move to InDesign, my IT guy is hoping he can retire before he has to move them. I’d like to arrange such training for 2-3 staff – can you advise me directly please on such classes you may provide? Even a govt. vendor recently said “no” – I know there are folks like you out there so any help you can provide will help. Thanks……Wilma

  2. April 20, 2011    


    Do the old files contain a .P65 extension? If not try adding that to the file-name and then use InDesign File > Open to open the files. It should work.



  3. KJ KJ
    April 17, 2011    

    We need some help! We just upgraded my grandmother’s Macintosh G3 (running OS 9.2) and bought her a MacBook (running OS X 10.6!). She had been using PageMaker 6.5 and all of her files were saved in PageMaker 6.5. We bought InDesign CS 5 (version 7.0.3) and just moved her data onto the new MacBook hoping that InDesign would open the PageMaker files (since it says that InDesign will open PageMaker 6.0-7.0 files)! Unfortunately, we’re getting an error message that InDesign cannot open the files because “the file format is not supported, or a plug-in to support the file format is missing, or the file is open in another program.” So, all of these files (years worth of history!) can’t be opened on her new computer! We’ve updated all of InDesign hoping to capture a plug-in, but still no luck. Any suggestions??? Thanks!

  4. Cari Jansen Cari Jansen
    April 23, 2010    


    Would need a little more information: what is the file-format of the images? I’m wondering if maybe the images are saved in file-format that isn’t supported by PageMaker 7.

    You might want to check the following link:



  5. John Sorrell John Sorrell
    April 20, 2010    

    In putting a picture into the PageMaker document, error “cannot place this file, the file contains invalid data”. Tried with several more pictures and got the same result. Before this, I never had a problem. We are using PageMaker version 7. This is a school Year Book … immediate help would be greatly appreciated

  6. Tiffany Tiffany
    March 21, 2010    

    Same problem as Tom last year. All of a sudden when I try to open any of my Pagemaker files in InDesign, I get the error message that it can’t be opened, because the Pagemaker file is corrupted. I am bewildered as I used to have no trouble doing this. I had planned to open all my PM files (work/client art) in InDesign then save them to an external hard drive. All of a sudden every file I attempt to open is “corrupted”. Nothing has changed!! Can anyone help me figure out what’s wrong? I really need to be able to get out of my Win 98 computer before it crashes. : )
    I have this problem on both XP and Vista computers.

    • Cari Jansen Cari Jansen
      March 26, 2010    


      Can you still open the PageMaker files on your old system? What happens if you do a “Save As” and save the document under a new name onto a USB/Flash drive and try and open from that in InDesign on your new computer?


  7. Michelle F Michelle F
    August 28, 2009    

    I am trying to convert 20 seperate chapters of a book that was created in Pagemaker 6.5 to Indesign CS2. I can convert each individual chapter with some fonts missing but I was wondering if I could convert it into one book layout all at once. Do you know if their is a process to do this? I am open to any suggestions. I don’t know pagemaker, but am farely familer with CS2.
    Hoping you can help.


  8. March 13, 2009    

    All of a sudden when I try to open any of my Pagemaker files in InDesign, I get the message that it can’t, because the Pagemaker file is corrupted. I have tried re-installing both Pagemaker and InDesign but it hasn’t helped.

  9. Charlie Comstock Charlie Comstock
    October 9, 2008    

    Hi…..Much Thanks for the PageMaker conversion book…….Though I am struggling with InDesign….I am still in PageMaker and just turned 57….you would think an old dog can learn new tricks….

    I am in the middle of a catalog that for years has been in PM and I am not yet ready to convert into ID CS2….for the company I work for and they have a number of excel spreadsheets (product item numbers) I will be cutting and pasting into PM7. There are hundreds of them and I am trying to figure out how to simplify the formatting of these tables by creating STYLES of the various formats and yet I keep running into problems being able to create a NEW STYLE for a pasted set of data.

    Do you have a TIPS & TRICKS for oldies like me who for over 15 years never used styles to any great degree and am just now appreciating their power?

    I hope I don’t sound like I am begging…

    Wishing you much light and happiness…

    Charlie in Sequim Washington USA

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