center, bottom


What is Adobe® InDesign® Server?

Adobe InDesign Server software is a layout and composition engine that powers automated publishing solutions. Based on InDesign software, it offers the ability to automate the design, layout, and typographical capabilities of the desktop application through scripting and plugins and by integrating into other systems such as publishing workflow, digital asset management or product information management systems.

InDesign Server is a proven and tested application with an extensive network of Adobe partners and developers that have created solutions that help customers increase return on investment (ROI) in many ways, including:

  • Automating repetitive processes
  • Increasing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by automating the creation of brand assets
  • Integrating into portals and websites to allow marketers or consumers to modify InDesign templates through a web browser to localize, translate or customize without having to use InDesign
  • Automating the creation of many document types such as catalogs, brochures and longer structured documents by connecting to data sources such as DAM, PIM or eCommerce systems

How does InDesign Server differ from Adobe InDesign and InCopy® software?

InDesign Server is based on the desktop version of InDesign, but there are important differences:

  • InDesign Server has no built-in user interface.
  • Like InDesign , InDesign Server can be driven through scripting and C++ plug-ins. However, InDesign Server can also be driven through a SOAP interface or Java™ APIs.
  • Solutions powered by InDesign Server can scale as requirements change, with support for multiple instances running on multiple servers.
  • InDesign Server has been rigorously tested to help ensure that it delivers long periods of continuous uptime.
  • InDesign Server has been designed and tested to work on the server versions of the Windows® and Mac OS operating systems.
  • InCopy, also based on InDesign , is a copyediting and copyfitting tool for use in publishing workflows. While InDesign Server does not replace InCopy, it can provide similar functionality in an automated publishing solution, often in the form of a web-based editor. These solutions can exist on their own or as part of a desktop InCopy workflow.

Is InDesign Server compatible with InDesign for desktop?

Adobe releases a new version of InDesign Server shortly after every desktop release. If your solution requires that InDesign files be compatible between desktop InDesign and InDesign Server, we recommend that customers first determine what version of InDesign desktop they are using or will be using in this workflow.

Version numbers of InDesign Server and InDesign desktop should match for optimum compatibility. To find the current version of your InDesign desktop version, do the following in InDesign: InDesign > About InDesign.

To find what version of InDesign Server is currently available, visit the tech specs page.

What languages does InDesign Server support?

InDesign Server supports all the same languages as Desktop. For supported languages, see the InDesign Server tech specs.

What kinds of output can be generated from InDesign Server?

InDesign Server provides the same export capabilities as InDesign and can export to a number of formats, including INDD, PDF, EPUB, EPS, PostScript®, FLA, JPEG, XHTML, SWF, IDML, and InDesign snippets.

What are the minimum system requirements for running the InDesign Server engine?

You can find the system requirements for the InDesign Server engine on the tech specs page.

Will I violate the terms of the End-User License Agreement (EULA) if I use the desktop version of InDesign as a server engine?

Yes, the EULA for the desktop version of InDesign does not allow for its use as a server engine to power an automated publishing solution shared by others. Use of InDesign desktop for scripting is limited to the named user that has purchased the subscription.

What’s the difference between InDesign Server and an automated publishing solution powered by InDesign Server?

InDesign Server is a layout and composition engine. Only by combining it with other software components can you build an end-to-end automated publishing solution. Adobe has many partners including DAM, PIM and Publishing workflow systems vendors that have developed integrated solutions with InDesign Server

Are there advantages to licensing a solution or technology from another partner rather than developing from the ground up?

Building an entire solution in-house can help you manage development costs, gain expertise with InDesign Server, and retain control over the end product. However, using technology from another partner may help you lower risks, get to market sooner, and leverage the development experience of others. Adobe does not offer consulting or training so consider working with a partner unless you have expertise in house.

What skills do I need to develop my own automated publishing solution?

You should have a track record of building publishing solutions and a working knowledge of some of the following: C++, scripting, SOAP, and XML. Ideally, you should also have some experience developing for the desktop version of InDesign so that you understand the challenges associated with automated publishing.

InDesign Server also includes support for IDML, which allows you to represent the complete richness of an InDesign document in a published XML format. This provides new opportunities for developers who have experience creating and manipulating XML. Using IDML, you can build a large portion of a solution without InDesign scripts or plug-ins. Once you have created an IDML document, you can then use InDesign or InDesign Server to render the document into an InDesign file format, such as INDD or PDF.

How does Adobe support InDesign Server?

Adobe provides a number of developer resources at our I/O site. The SDK for InDesign and InDesign Server are essentially the same. Scripts developed on desktop can then be run on server. Many developers start on the desktop.

Developers may also find the Adobe Forums a useful resource. These forums provide an opportunity to post questions to other InDesign Server developers; however, they are not designed to be used to replace formal support, as there is no guarantee that a question will be answered.

Adobe offers developer support through our Exchange program, which is designed for those developing solutions and allows for the purchase of support cases as needed.

Is InDesign Server scalable?

InDesign Server can scale to the requirements of individual businesses. Depending on the license you have purchased, you can run a single instance on a single processor or multiple instances on multiple cores or servers.

Does InDesign Server have built-in load balancing and queue management?

Adobe does not provide load balancing any longer. Several partners have standalone load balancing solutions available commercially.

What is the difference between a single- and multi-instance license?

The default installation for InDesign Server is to run as a single-instance license. All InDesign licenses have the rights to run multiple instances but requires additional programming or to be purchased from Adobe partners. Each license can only be used on a single physical (or virtual) server. That means you cannot distribute a license across multiple virtual servers--each requires its own Server. Customers are permitted to run InDesign Server on Cloud platforms and must purchase a license for each Cloud server.

Is InDesign Server multi-threaded?

InDesign Server is not a multi-threaded application. However, it is possible to use multiple cores and CPUs, and thus scale InDesign Server by running more than one instance of InDesign Server on a single server. Running two instances of InDesign Server on a server approximately doubles the throughput.

How fast is InDesign Server?

InDesign Server is designed to be a very fast server engine that, for example, can create many thousands of PDF files in an hour. However, customers and developers should understand the difference between InDesign Server and a solution powered by InDesign Server. A solution powered by InDesign Server contains other technology and factors that impact speed and scalability.

The InDesign Server SDK contains a Performance and Scalability Toolkit, which allows developers to measure the speed of InDesign Server alone and offers a way to measure the speed of InDesign Server as part of a broader publishing solution. This toolkit includes a console to monitor and report the results of these tests, as well as prebuilt scripts that enable you to run tests out of the box. The Performance and Scalability Toolkit also contains guidance on optimizing InDesign Server performance.

Is there a trial version of InDesign Server?

CC Enterprise customers can contact their Account Executive to request a Trial license

Can I contact anyone at Adobe to get further information about InDesign Server?

Contact Adobe Sales or contact a member of the InDesign Server team directly at, for more information on InDesign Server.

What can partners do to help Adobe market their companies and solutions?

Enroll in the Exchange program. You should make sure an Adobe account manager or partner manager knows the details of your solution as it comes to market so you can be considered for inclusion in the partner finder.

What should a partner do to be considered for inclusion in the InDesign Server partner finder?

You should have a shipping product with customer references or offer development training and support services to other partners or customers. If you are enrolled in the Exchange program already, contact the Help Desk to request your solution be listed.