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Sometimes software lets you do things that it really shouldn't let you do. For example, while it's easy to copy and paste from Photoshop into InDesign, it's not really a good idea, and I'm going to show you why. You can also copy/paste from Illustrator into InDesign, and there are actually times when that's kind of handy and it's not a bad idea. Let's take a look at copying and pasting from Photoshop. I have this nice image of the girl. She is separated from her background because I used a layer mask. You can see when I Shift-click on the mask thumbnail that the background is still there.
So I've selected the Layer; selected All. I'm going to go Edit > Copy and copy her to the clipboard. Now when I switch to InDesign and I paste, I don't get any sort of error message from InDesign, but immediately you can see that there's a bit of a problem. It didn't honor the layers mask. And if I go into the Links panel, you can see that it didn't add a link to the Links panel, so there's no relationship between this information that I've pasted into InDesign and that original Photoshop file. In addition to it not being outlined, if I send this off to somebody and say gosh can you fix the outline? They're going to look in the Links panel and go, I don't have an image that I can touch, so there's nothing you can do with this. There are no benefits to copying and pasting. Frankly, it's just a bad idea all the way around.
The way to get her into the page, of course, is the good old-fashioned way choosing File > Place and getting my Photoshop file, and now it behaves. So even though there are nice relationships between the programs, there are limits to what they can do, so you want to make sure that you do it the right way. Blanket advice, don't copy paste from Photoshop. Well, what about copying and pasting from Illustrator? That's a little more interesting. I have this shape and I want to use it in my InDesign file and I want to change the color of it to reflect different sections of the table of contents.
Now I could make multiple Illustrator files each with the correct color or I could have multiple layers within this Illustrator file and invoke them with InDesign's object layer options, but it's really more simple if I just have a shape whose color I can change. If I choose Edit > Copy in Illustrator and then I go into InDesign and paste, I don't have a graphic inside a frame. And I can prove that to you when I switch to my direct selection tool. Look I have little selection handles around it. It's completely editable. It's as if I had drawn it InDesign, but it's much easier of course to draw complex shapes in Illustrator.
If I want to scale it down--it isn't a graphic inside a frame; it really is a frame itself. So if I want to scale it down, I can just hold down Shift and make it smaller. And I'm going to move it next to each little color bar and show you that I can change the color of this, and in fact if you look in my Tool panel, you notice that the fill color is the blue of this little pinwheel, and you can see it up here in the control panel too. So I go to my Swatches panel and if I want to turn this orange, all I have to do is that. There is a downside to this; it's not related to the original Illustrator file. So if I were to change the shape of the original Illustrator file, that's not going to have any effect on this little drawing here in InDesign.
You can look in the Links panel and you see there's nothing there, so no relationship between this artwork and the original in Illustrator, but I do get this nice flexibility that I can change the color of it whenever I need to. I'm going to say that copying and pasting from Illustrator isn't a bad idea. Beware that one little downside that you don't have the link to the original, but look at the flexibility that you get, and this means that you can take advantage of the wonderful drawing tools in Illustrator, but you can also use this as a live object in InDesign.
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