Export from Figma to InDesign

Hi everyone, I am trying to migrate from InDesign to Figma but I still need InDesign files. After creating the Figma documents I will need to somehow export them and work with them also in InDesign. It seems there is no way to export a document directly from Figma to InDesign. Does anybody know how to do that (maybe a plugin) or if it is even possible? Thanks


Did you figure this one out? I am currently doing the layout and sketches for a children’s book in Figma, and will ultimately have to emigrate to inDesign to format things properly for publishing. The setup in Figma is dimensionally correct, so my plan is to convert everything to a pdf., and then convert from pdf. to indesign, and then start applying the regular book structures. Kind of have to force things around a bit, but some early experimenting looks promising. It is a bit of a workaround, but it allows me full mobility in Figma up until the time when things need to be more finalized. Cheers

Hey @Espen_Sele @Oana_Dragomir

The only way I have seen that works is SVG but not ideal for sure

Maybe Figma+Adobe deal will come in handy for this part next year

I am currently creating an Indesign plugin to import a Figma file into Indesign.
In other words, an export from Figma to Indesign.

My question:
Is there a need for this in the Figma community?

If so, I would make a little more effort and provide a public Indesign plugin.


Hey @Miek,

Thanks for the feedback! We’ve merged your feature request with a similar existing topic to hopefully get a more accurate gauge of interest from the community.

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Hi @Miek, that would be awesome! Looking for a solution like that.

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@Miek this would be amazing!

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@Miek Yes, there is definitely a need!

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Is there an update on this capability yet? If not, @Miek it would be great if you could share the plugin for conversion. Thanks!

It will be a while before I can provide a test version.
I will report here, will certainly need some testers.

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@Miek Looking forward to the plugin, as printing books in CMYK format create blur texts due to the 0.01% movement while printing.

By default, the plugin will take the RGB colors from Figma to Indesign and give them a color name.
You can then change these colors as you wish, including assigning a CMYK color.
In case of an update, these colors will not be redefined and will remain.

The first version is ready and for our specifications the plugin already meets about 90% of our requirements.
Some typography and layout and gradient rules are not yet adopted.
To see what is really needed, it would be good if you could provide us with some Figma examples.

My question is, why would you want to layout a book in Figma? InDesign is purpose built for document layout and publishing. Figma is purpose built for UI design and prototyping. Completely different use cases, and the toolset and capabilities of each app reflect that. And as a longtime user of both, I’d rather throw myself off a building than try and do any kind of document layout work in Figma.

If you’re a graphic designer, you need to learn InDesign. Full stop. Can you eke by without it? Sure, for a while. But you’re making your life so much harder by trying to layout books and documents in anything else, and you’re going to get yourself–or worse, your clients–in trouble the minute you need to export your work in a way that the app you’re using doesn’t support, an issue this thread illustrates.

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@RizePoint_Product Because Figma is way more intuitive than Indesign? I believe many designers want to keep using Figma instead of having to jump around the multiple software.

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I agree Figma is super intuitive–for UI design. There’s a long list of things that one may need to do for typesetting and copy editing that Figma is incapable of because it wasn’t built for that, and accomplishing those things in Figma equates to an incredible amount of time wasted for the designer and unnecessary cost to the client, who now must pay for all that extra time because the designer doesn’t want to learn a better working method and/or tool.

I go back to what I said: if you’re a graphic designer, you need to learn InDesign. Full stop. It looks intimidating at a glance but Adobe’s tutorials are fantastic, and on top of that any familiarity with Photoshop or Illustrator will make the basic functions easier to grok.

I’ve seen designers make the switch and (metaphorically) slap themselves in the face for the minutes/hours they spent trying to do something in a different tool that InDesign can do in seconds. If you’re going to be doing typesetting with any kind of frequency–or if you value your time, or if you want a marketable skill that will catapult you above designers who can’t be bothered to invest in continuing education–you will not regret learning how to use InDesign.

Edit: And just so folks don’t think I’m exaggerating, here’s a brief list of common typesetting actions InDesign does natively that you either can’t accomplish in Figma or can only do with tedious manual effort:

  • Creating tables (Including table styles, cell styles, definition of header/footer rows, and page break controls)
  • Frame Styles (Ex: every frame using the “Image” style should force text to wrap around it, and any images in the frame should be cropped by a specific amount on all sides.)
  • Pagination
  • Creating table of contents, footnotes, indexes, bookmarks, or any other kind of in-file navigation
  • Widow/Orphan Control
  • Hyphenation and word breaks
  • Threaded columns (having text flow automatically from one column to the next)
  • Text wrap (having text flow around a shape)
  • Set per-paragraph or per-character styles (including color, case, position, shading, borders, spacing, inheritance, etc)
  • Nested styles (Ex: Creating a rule inside the Title paragraph style that every character up to the first colon should be bold and orange)
  • GREP styles (Using regex to accomplish more complex styling. Ex: underlining every phone number that follows a specific format.)
  • Ebook formatting
  • Interactive PDFs

That’s just off the top of my head. There’s so much more.

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Certainly Figma is NOT a replacement for Indesign.
However, there are holistic designs (online, print) which are created in Figma and agreed with the customer.
In this way, many layout ideas are also created in Figma for the print area.
Why do you have to and should you create the layout again in Indesign if it can be imported?
This saves a lot of work and gives you time to realise layout-specific adjustments.

Why do you have to and should you create the layout again in Indesign if it can be imported?

@Miek I think the counter questions are, “Is a Figma → InDesign workflow common enough that Figma should devote research, design, and development time to accommodating it?” and “Does Figma want its product to be an “everything” tool (like Photoshop)?”

If the answer to both questions is “yes,” then I cede to the will of the users/business. But if the answer is “no,” then a better solve might be switching to a workflow that doesn’t require re-creating the design in InDesign…like building everything in InDesign to start with.

(Also, if folks are using Figma as their thumbnailing tool, that’s fine. But I’d say if you’re “thumbnailing” to a fidelity that makes you want to export directly into InDesign and continue refining it there, it’s not a thumbnail anymore. Which is why I’m a big proponent of putting down the mouse and switching the pencil/paper for thumbnails and layout planning: it prevents the kind of perfectionism and fiddling that digital tools encourage.)

@RizePoint_Product It’s not about Figma becoming an “INDESIGN” or Figma spending time.
For us we have created an Indesign plugin that imports the basic layout from Figma and replicates it in Indesign.
We mainly create automatically generated technical catalogues in Indesign. There are many layout modules which are used online and for the catalogues. By importing, we save a lot of costs in creating the Indesign templates.

Hi Miek, kudos on the design of the plug-in. Is there a way for me to test it? Thanks in advance.