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Preserve filename on PDF export

This is a common issue having looked around the internet for a solution...

PDF export uses the name of the file up until the point where a user changes the name of the PDF before export, then saves the file after the export is done. That changed name is then written into the file and used as this is the expected behaviour.

However, this becomes an issue if you are repurposing the same artwork at different sizes (for example) where you have to manually override the filename on each export.

It would be great if a future InDesign build had a checkbox to PRESERVE THE FILENAME on export thus improving workflow and productivity in busy studios where work is time critical.

47 votes
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  • jumo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I started having this issue for the first time with 2019. When you get the Save As dialog box during export, there's a box to UNCHECK on the bottom that says, "Use InDesign Document Name as the Output Filename." That fixed it for me.

  • Graphic commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Since the new update, when exporting a PDF file from Indesign, it sets every time again the filename instead of the last named PDF export. Before the update this wasn't a problem, after the update, it's hell.

    When a client asks for a adapted version f.e. Indesignfile= brochure_ENG.indd
    -> export: rename file to: brochure_ENG_V1.PDF
    -> client asks adapted files: corrections, you save the indesignfile, same name -> export to PDF: PDF title becomes brochure_ENG.PDF again -> it should be brochure_ENG_V1.PDF and then you change the V1 into V2.
    It's very confusing when you have a lot of corrected files... Is there a solution, because before the update, this worked perfectly!

  • Roland Mol freelance dtp commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @kat - I'm running into the same problems: clients changing the PDF filename and then I have to guess which original it was. My best solution is to save my InDesign and PDF files always with the date in the filename. 181126 would be for today. When my client returns one year later I can open up the pdf and always retrieve the original creation date. That creation date will be my starting point for the search. Always bingo :)

  • kat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Sort of related - I want to be able to see the name of the original file name the PDF was exported from. Pretty much 80% of my clients rename the PDF, then send it back to me a year later and expect me to be able to find the original file. Why does the original name of the file not appear in metadata automatically? If anyone knows a workaround/plug in/solution for this I'd love to know it [and yes I know I could manually add it but I work in a big studio full of people who come and go...]

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    New Indesign 2019 seems to be a bit glitchy. Open Indd file, export to PDF and rename PDF as I go. Go back in to Export a second page and its reverted back to indd file name making me have to retype in the PDF name Id like. Murder when supplying 148 individual pages to the printer

  • J commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It appears that if you repackage your indesign file with the new name, open that file and then export to pdf you shouldn't have to change the name. See if that works for you. ridiculous.

  • Shane Hughes commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Adobe, are you aware that there is an 8-year thread about this very topic?
    I'm surprised/disappointed to see everything was started fresh last year here in "user voice" (news to me). I hope you will take the comments from the old thread into consideration before releasing final implementation. There are powerful arguments questioning the logic of how this works. I also sent a feature request directly to Adobe last year through the forums site, but no response.

  • Julie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This only works when you download a script (batch convert), it automatically uses the same name as the file name. Not sure why Adobe hasn't integrated this script for free into Indesign, so you can batch convert multiple Indesign files to PDF, IDMLS, JPEGs etc. with the hit of one button and not have to worry about exporting and re-naming.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I just upgraded to InDesign CC 2018. This same PDF export filename debacle continues. As a person who does print design this is an ongoing ordeal, daily.
    As I recall, naming a PDF based on the prior export (instead of the file name) happened between version CS3 and CS5.

  • Christian Schmid commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    There should be an option for each PDF Preset to define a filename scheme like in the export dialog in Lightroom.
    You can define date formats, text and ohter meta variables.
    <YYMMDD> + <"_PDF-X3_"> + <orig_filname> would give

  • Admin[Deleted User] (Admin, Adobe InDesign) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    *******, thanks for reaching out. You are correct the feature is not out yet. The feature request was made only after ** 2018 was already out hence this could not make it to that version.

    We are currently working on it and trying to get it out as soon as possible.

    Thanks for your patience.


  • Russ commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As of 2018 this feature still has not been updated or implemented? Is it still under review? I would say there isn't much to think about when considering fixing this problem. Most if not all users probably would rather the "export" file name field be populated with the current file name rather then an old name that was probably used months ago. Most of us use old files to generate a new file, even updating the name with a prefix maybe its the date or po# of a job we are working on. It makes zero sense not to want the exported file save with the current INDD file name, zero sense... right?

  • Klaas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In my opinion this behavior is intended. Some people just want to habe the same filename on each export. But other not, as many here.

    There is a solution already. If you are german speaking, here ist a tutorial:

    Short in word: Don´t change the export name manually, then it will always be the filename. If you accidentally changed it once:
    – export an IDML,
    – reopen,
    – save
    Now the export name will be the filename again.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes making the default exported PDF file name the same as the current document name would save me a lot of time. How it is now never made sense.

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