Import HTML is an attempt at implementing a website import function for InDesign

Note: This script can currently only import online, publicly-accessible websites! It cannot import HTML files saved locally on your personal computer.

Here’s an example of importing a page from a racing blog:

HTML Import Example


Download the script, and install as usual for InDesign scripts.

Open the supplied HTMLTemplate.indd file and double-click on the script in the Scripts panel to run.

Paste the URL of the web article you want to import into InDesign and wait a few moments for the result. (A default link to an article is provided in the URL field, so you can try that first…)

What you get

There is little error checking here, and no warnings if anything goes wrong.

However, it seems to do a decent job:

1. It imports the main article on the page. Choose a web page that has a feature article rather than a home page full of snippets.

2. Notice that all paragraphs are tagged appropriately in InDesign. That is, paragraph styles are created. The paragraph styles are basic – it is left up to the designer to format them. Basic character styles are created as well.

3. Images are also imported.

4. Hyperlinks (a hrefs) are converted to InDesign hyperlinks.

5. Alt text is added to images if provided.

6. Provides basic support for HTML tables.

Note that the supplied template file is very basic and its use is completely optional. It just provides basic formatting for a handful of common elements.

What is it for?

First, what it isn’t: HTML Import does not attempt to render a complete web page in InDesign that looks the same as it does in the browser. (Adobe Acrobat has a feature that tries to do that.)

Rather, HTML Import is intended to provide the main text and images on any given web page, and import those into InDesign. The idea is that the text should come in with sane paragraph and character styles, in a clean and simple manner, ready for use in a design or publication.

HTML Import homes in on the single most important article on the webpage, and brings that into InDesign.

Therefore, it is not recommended to try and open complicated web pages with loads of snippets and previews of articles, such as the BBC homepage.

Instead, click on an actual article, or blog post, and try to import that.

Have fun!


Click here to download

How it works, and a note about privacy

When you paste a URL into the script window and click OK, this URL is transmitted to our server (hosted by over an unencrypted connection. The server then fetches the requested web page, does a lot of pre-processing on it to make it ready for InDesign import, and then sends it back to the HTML Import script, which places the file, downloads the pictures, and completes the formatting in InDesign.

The URL provided is logged by the server. No other information is stored, so while we do have a list of URLs requested, we do not store anything about who requested them.