Can InDesign Run on an iPad? Adobe Comp Will

InDesign on the go! In this fast-paced world that we all live in, having everything at our fingertips is essential. In this article, we’ll look at InDesign on an iPad.

iPads run a different Operating System than laptops and PCs. There are InDesign alternatives but InDesign does not currently run on an iPad.

The days of 9-5 are long gone. Many people now work from home or on the go. Being able to access a computer is not always possible. Having InDesign on an iPad would be ideal but unfortunately not available. Let’s look at how we can work around this.

InDesign on an iPad Restrictions

The reason InDesign won’t run on an iPad is because of the different Operating Systems. InDesign requires a Desktop Operating System and an iPad uses the iOS, which is for mobile devices, such as phones and tablets only.

This is mainly due to the system requirements for InDesign. 16GB of RAM is recommended to run InDesign. You also require 3.6GB (PC) of Hard Drive and 4.5GB on a Mac.

iPads run a mobile Operating System. It was developed by Apple to run all their mobile devices. Apple Laptops and Pcs generally use Intel chips (until October 2021 when they announced they will now use the M1 which is their own processor.)

That doesn’t mean however that InDesign will now run on the iPad.

Adobe Creative Cloud in the App Store

If you go into the app store you can see that Creative Cloud for Adobe is available. However, it is a very much shortened list of apps, and the ones that are there have limited capabilities. People get excited when they see Photoshop on the list but the reality is that it’s Photoshop Express for on the go.

However, it does have a handy little app, that by no means is in competition with InDesign but certainly allows for some layout work to be done on the move. It is Adobe Comp. It is a design layout app that is purely designed for mobile devices i.e. iPads and phones.

Adobe Comp and other alternatives

The great thing about Adobe Comp is that you can quickly put a layout together using either touch or an Apple pen. It works on the basis of gestures so quickly drawing a rough square, circle, or multi-sided object will tidy it up and make it look sharp.

You can add text and access fonts to produce something that doesn’t look too shabby.

It’s never going to be the quality of InDesign but if you’re going to a presentation or working on layout ideas for future use in InDesign it’s perfect. Adobe Comp can be downloaded for FREE, separate from Creative Cloud.

Other alternatives are also available such as Canva. It has become very popular in creating social media posts but can also be used for business cards, invites, and small layout jobs. Again it’s a great tool for on-the-go workload. It’s also FREE which is an added bonus. 

Trello is not so much a layout application but more an ideas board. It can be shared with a number of people and is great to get a project off its feet. Everyone can add their own bit of brainstorming. But alas InDesign it is not.

The last I’ll discuss is Desygner. This is very much for the digital marketing band. It offers access to thousands of templates, including photos and graphics.

I find that although there are alternatives available if you are a die-hard graphic designer like myself, you find it difficult to navigate away from Adobe products. Adobe Comp is more than adequate to generate simple layouts that can be then migrated to other Adobe products on your laptop or PC such as InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator.

Alternatives to an iPad

Die-hard Adobe users are also usually lifelong Mac users. It was the way things were in the design world. However, over the past number of years more and more Mac users are going to the dark side and switching to Windows. I myself used a Mac for 30 years and last year bought not only a Dell laptop but also a Dell Desktop PC.

All Adobe products run perfectly on both platforms as interfaces have become more similar. But the great thing about Windows (and I’m not knocking MacOS in any way) but lots of tablets now run Windows 10.

What does this mean? Well, it means that certain tablets can run InDesign and the full Creative Cloud suite. The following tablets allow you to add a keyboard and run InDesign.

Microsoft Surface Pro7

Light device that will run Creative Cloud (InDesign). It has a smallish screen but is big enough to allow presentations on the go.

Microsoft Surface ProX

Again this tablet has Windows 10 which allows you to run Creative Cloud. It has a slightly bigger screen but has a keyboard and stylus pen available as attachments.

Wacom Mobile Studio Pro

Launched in 2016 this tablet is available up to a 15.6” screen. It runs all the Creative Cloud apps however at $2200+ it is a serious investment for a tablet.

HP ZBook X2

The last on the list is the HP ZBook X2. It is a much heavier version than the previously mentioned and also carries a hefty price tag. It is 14” and has a stylus plus a touch screen. It also has the ability to connect to a full-sized monitor in Dock Mode.

In Conclusion

Adobe has no current plans to roll out InDesign for the iOS market but that’s not to say you can’t be using InDesign on the go with many other really good tablets available that run on Windows 10.

Here are some other posts you might find useful:

Which Adobe should I learn first?

Why do graphic designers use InDesign?

InDesign won’t open

Tara Cunningham

My name is Tara. I am a Graphic Designer for the last 25+ years. Designing everything from Wedding stationery to Magazines. I have been using Adobe products since I was in college and know all the tips and tricks that make life a little easier when completing a project. Hopefully you will find the answer to your question on

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