How can I convert a single PDF into a multiple-page PDF in InDesign?

My company creates large blueprint-type files that our customers can print at home on standard letter size paper and then assemble into the whole.

We currently do this by creating a file in Illustrator, exporting it as a TIFF, and then using ImageMagick on the command line to crop the large image into smaller pieces along a grid we’ve designed into the file. These smaller TIFF files are then assembled into a PDF in InDesign, one image per page. Customers can then print the PDF and reassemble it using the markers we provide as part of the file.

We now need to begin delivering PDFs with layers preserved, which means we can no longer use the TIFF/ImageMagick approach. These new PDF files will have to be exported directly from InDesign, already separated into the multiple pages we need.

I found this process described in this article from 2007 but this technique seems to longer be possible, as the Adobe PDF print driver is no longer available on OS X. This is unfortunate, as this article describes exactly what we need.

We’re using Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) with the latest Adobe Creative Cloud suite.


I would suggest using Illustrator for this. I do this whenever I manually need to tile graphics of different sizes.

Example: Say my Blueprint is 17″ W x 22″ H (4x 8.5×11 sheets)

I would create multiple Artboards of 8.5×11 with no spacing.

illustrator artboard settings

Then place your PDF, File -> Place. Make sure “Link” is checked.

Link options for PDF

Save your PDF, File -> Save As -> Adobe PDF. Make sure “All” is checked.

Source : Link , Question Author : Kenn Wilson , Answer Author : AndrewH

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