InDesign CS5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Importing graphics


InDesign CS5 Essential Training

with David Blatner

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Video: Importing graphics

It's time to start talking about using pictures in InDesign. Let's start at the beginning. How to get our images on to our InDesign page? Fortunately, InDesign makes it really easy. I'll go to the File menu, choose Place or press Command+D or Ctrl+D on Windows and up comes the Place dialog box. I'm looking at the Links folder in my Exercise Files folder and I'm going to scroll down until I find the image called girl and boy. Now click Open and it loads it into the Place cursor. You can even see a little thumbnail of that image and it lets me do a number of things with the Place cursor.
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  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. What is InDesign CS5?
      2m 26s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 51s
  2. 54m 49s
    1. Understanding the Application window
      6m 0s
    2. Navigating pages
      6m 39s
    3. Zooming and magnifying
      6m 57s
    4. Managing more than one document window
      3m 36s
    5. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 9s
    6. Positioning panels correctly
      6m 28s
    7. Saving time by making workspaces
      3m 24s
    8. Setting the view quality of artwork
      4m 9s
    9. Adjusting View and Preview settings
      4m 56s
    10. Rotating pages and spreads
      3m 2s
    11. Displaying a new view with the New Window feature
      3m 29s
    12. Setting application and document preferences
      4m 0s
  3. 21m 31s
    1. Using the Tool panel
      8m 1s
    2. Learning and editing keyboard shortcuts
      6m 24s
    3. Working with spring-loaded tool shortcuts
      1m 17s
    4. Using contextual menus
      2m 51s
    5. Choosing menu items with Quick Apply
      2m 58s
  4. 45m 25s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 28s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      3m 41s
    3. Using multiple Undo and Revert
      4m 28s
    4. Setting margin and column guides
      5m 16s
    5. Using ruler guides
      8m 10s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 29s
    7. Saving objects in libraries
      4m 49s
    8. Exporting and importing page snippets
      4m 29s
    9. Saving for CS4 with IDML
      2m 35s
  5. 31m 18s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      7m 23s
    2. Changing page size
      6m 14s
    3. Adding page numbering
      3m 43s
    4. Changing page numbering with sections
      5m 58s
    5. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 20s
    6. Overriding master page items
      2m 40s
  6. 1h 21m
    1. Understanding text frames
      4m 6s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 36s
    3. Filling with placeholder text
      2m 38s
    4. Inserting special characters
      4m 43s
    5. Importing text
      7m 49s
    6. Threading text frames
      4m 1s
    7. Setting text frame columns and insets
      6m 32s
    8. Setting vertical justification and first baseline position
      6m 9s
    9. Putting text on a path
      6m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      8m 43s
    11. Checking spelling
      7m 42s
    12. Using Find/Change
      9m 25s
    13. Tracking text changes
      8m 1s
  7. 49m 50s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 11s
    2. Importing from Mini Bridge
      5m 27s
    3. Using the Links panel
      6m 34s
    4. Embedding links
      2m 37s
    5. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 14s
    6. Fitting graphics to a frame
      6m 12s
    7. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 53s
    8. Adding live captions
      5m 56s
    9. Colorizing images
      2m 1s
    10. Turning image layers on and off
      4m 45s
  8. 46m 15s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      8m 18s
    3. Using advanced strokes
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 38s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      6m 41s
    6. Applying feathering
      4m 25s
    7. Copying formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      4m 35s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 50s
    9. Making polygons and starbursts
      3m 48s
  9. 22m 56s
    1. Making interactive documents
      2m 6s
    2. Adding hyperlinks
      5m 52s
    3. Building bookmarks
      3m 38s
    4. Creating buttons
      8m 57s
    5. Animating an object
      2m 23s
  10. 23m 15s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 33s
    3. Building tint swatches
      2m 18s
    4. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 56s
    5. Applying gradients
      6m 36s
  11. 50m 0s
    1. Positioning objects with the Page Gap tool
      2m 53s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 13s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      3m 53s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 37s
    5. Nesting objects
      2m 46s
    6. Editing frame and path shapes
      4m 6s
    7. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      3m 57s
    8. Grouping objects
      3m 14s
    9. Locking objects
      2m 39s
    10. Aligning and distributing
      5m 43s
    11. Understanding text wrap
      8m 13s
    12. Using anchored objects
      6m 46s
  12. 18m 49s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 39s
    2. Rotating objects
      3m 3s
    3. Scaling objects
      3m 57s
    4. Mirroring objects
      3m 46s
    5. Using the Transform Again feature
      2m 24s
  13. 25m 52s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 8s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 54s
    3. Changing case
      2m 51s
    4. Understanding OpenType features
      3m 19s
    5. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      3m 18s
    6. Using Find Font
      4m 22s
  14. 45m 27s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 14s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      3m 5s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      2m 1s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 16s
    5. Adjusting text hyphenation
      3m 21s
    6. Fine-tuning justified text
      4m 19s
    7. Setting tabs
      5m 54s
    8. Aligning to a baseline grid
      4m 24s
    9. Controlling orphans and widows with Keep Options
      2m 39s
    10. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 14s
    11. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 39s
    12. Working with numbered lists
      4m 21s
  15. 31m 3s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 34s
    2. Using character styles
      5m 43s
    3. Applying styles automatically with Nested Styles
      7m 19s
    4. Using object styles
      3m 27s
    5. Using Quick Apply with styles
      2m 49s
    6. Cleaning up a local formatting mess
      5m 11s
  16. 37m 0s
    1. Creating a table
      5m 54s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      6m 35s
    3. Formatting a table
      8m 5s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      1m 58s
    5. Applying table styles
      5m 32s
    6. Adding Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 56s
  17. 10m 14s
    1. Checking your document with the Preflight panel
      2m 54s
    2. Creating a custom preflight profile
      4m 45s
    3. Checking color with the Separations Preview
      2m 35s
  18. 31m 6s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 12s
    2. Using the Print dialog box
      10m 22s
    3. Exporting a PDF
      8m 47s
    4. Exporting an interactive PDF
      3m 59s
    5. Exporting text
      1m 36s
    6. Exporting SWF files
      2m 10s
  19. 1m 32s
    1. Finding more information and help
      1m 12s
    2. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign CS5 Essential Training
10h 33m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Navigating and customizing the workspace
  • Managing documents and pages
  • Rotating pages and spreads
  • Adjusting and mixing page sizes
  • Overriding master page items
  • Putting text on a path
  • Threading text frames
  • Applying strokes, fills, and other formatting effects
  • Nesting, grouping, and locking objects
  • Formatting: character-level and paragraph-level
  • Packaging, printing, and exporting
David Blatner

Importing graphics

It's time to start talking about using pictures in InDesign. Let's start at the beginning. How to get our images on to our InDesign page? Fortunately, InDesign makes it really easy. I'll go to the File menu, choose Place or press Command+D or Ctrl+D on Windows and up comes the Place dialog box. I'm looking at the Links folder in my Exercise Files folder and I'm going to scroll down until I find the image called girl and boy. Now click Open and it loads it into the Place cursor. You can even see a little thumbnail of that image and it lets me do a number of things with the Place cursor.

I could simply click and it would build a frame and place the image into it, and you can tell that this is actually a huge, huge image. So that's not what I want to do. I'm going to press Command+Z or Ctrt+Z on Windows to undo that, which reloads the Place cursor and lets me do something different with it. I could click-and-drag out an area, and notice that as I'm dragging, the frame that it's building for me is going to be proportional to the image. That is, the frame will always be just the right size, so that when I let go, the image fits it perfectly.

Let me undo that with Command+Z or Ctrl+Z, and I'll show you a couple other options. I can drag at a frame and hold down the Shift key and the Shift key deconstrains the frame, so I could make it any size I want, like I'll make it really, really narrow. Then when I let go, it automatically fills that frame with that image. That's, of course, a very silly looking thing, so I'm not going to do that, Command+Z, I'm just showing you all your different options here. What I really want to do with this is place it inside of a frame. So notice how the cursor changes very subtly, when I go on top of an image frame.

It's a little hard to see there, but the cursor changes to a rounded sort of parenthesis, dotted lines, and that means when I click it's going to go into this frame. So I'll click and in comes the image and it's, in this case, automatically sized to this frame and automatic sizing is something I'm going to be talking about later on in this chapter. But for now, suffice it to say that it's automatically sized to that. Let's go ahead and grab some other images. Now let me show you another way to import graphics into InDesign. You can use drag-and-drop.

You can drag-and-drop from the Mac OS Finder, which is what I have right here or on Windows, the Windows Explorer, just open up any folder you want and take an image and drag it right out on to your InDesign layout in the background. You can see that once again the cursor changes, if I'm out here on the pasteboard, I get one kind of cursor. That means it's going to load the Place cursor. If I come over here, on top of this empty frame, I get a different kind of cursor, which means it's going to drop right into that frame. In fact, that's what happens. So this is a very easy way to get images right out of your desktop and into InDesign.

Okay, now I'll do one more image. I'm going to grab this California_snow image out here and drop it out on the pasteboard. It loads the Place cursor, but I can't actually see that until I get back to InDesign. Now you can see that it's loaded up and I can put it anywhere I want. I'm going to put it right inside this area here. I'll do that by clicking-and-dragging and I'm going to let go when it's about the right size. This is going to be a little bit too tall. So that's okay. I'll just drag it in here and then I'll grab the lower handle and drag it up until it's the right height. There we go! But all the images that I've imported so far are raster images.

They're pixel images from Photoshop. Let's go ahead and get a vector image. I'm going to press Command+D or Ctrl+D on Windows to open the Place dialog box, and then I'm going to scroll to the bottom of my Links folder and choose this taste_of_cal_logo. Now notice that this is an .AI file. What does that mean? It means it's a native Illustrator file. InDesign tries to be as flexible as possible when it comes to importing images. That means you can import all the regular things like TIFF files, JPEG, PDF and so on, but it also supports native Illustrator files, these AI files, native Photoshop files, otherwise known as PSD files.

In fact, it even lets you import native InDesign files. That's right. You can import one InDesign file into another. It's treated like a graphic. So, it's very, very flexible and very powerful. In this case, when I choose my AI file, my Illustrator file, I'm going to turn on the Show Import Options checkbox here. That way, I get one additional dialog box to help me fine-tune what I'm going to import. Click Open and you can see that it says Place PDF, but it's really an Illustrator file. But in this dialog box, it gives me a preview of the image, which is kind of cool, and also lets me choose a page within this.

What does that mean? Well, if I had more than one artboard in my Illustrator file, it would let me choose which artboard I want. If I had more than one page in a PDF file that I was placing, or an InDesign file I was placing, it would let me choose which page in that PDF or InDesign file I was importing. So that's very handy. It also lets me choose what I want to crop to, and usually this is set to Bounding Box, but if I set this to something like Media, you can see the dash line here. It's going to import this entire area with the image just in the upper left corner.

Media means the artboard or the page that art was actually on in Illustrator. In this case, I actually do just want the art or just the bounding box of the art. The bounding box means the smallest rectangle that will fit that artwork. That's what I want in this case. So, you can see you have a lot of options when it comes to importing graphics into InDesign, if you turn on that Show Import Options dialog box. I'll go ahead and click OK. It loads that image up into the Place cursor and I'll drag it out and you can see that I now have that vector artwork inside my InDesign document. Okay.

I would be remiss in my duty if I did not show you one more special, cool, hidden trick for importing graphics. I'm going to just pan over to the side here with the Option+Spacebar or Alt+Spacebar panning trick. To get the Hand tool, scroll over here. I'm going to use this blank space over here, so I have some space to work with. I'm going to use Command+D or Ctrl+D to open up the Place dialog box. I'm going to grab a bunch of these images. That's about six images, great, and I'm going to turn off Show Import Options, because I don't need that this time. I'll click Open and it loads all six of those images into my Place cursor.

So that's very handy if I want to click very quickly, like I could go click and click-and-drag, click-and-drag, click- and-drag, so I have all of those images loaded up and I can place them very quickly. That's cool, but that's not actually what I was going to show you. So let me undo that, Command+Z, and now I'm going to place all of them with one click-and-drag. How do I do it? I start dragging out and it thinks that I'm just going to drag out for one image, but while the mouse button is held down, I'm going to click one of the up arrows or right arrows on my keyboard.

So I press the Up Arrow and you can see that all of a sudden I have two frames. Can you see that? I've got two frames there. I'll click the Right Arrow and now I have two columns. So I've got four frames total. Why don't I go ahead and click that again. Now I've got six different frames for all six images on here. I can make this any size I want. I'm still dragging around with this. When I let go of the mouse button, all of a sudden InDesign brings all of them in at once. That's called the Gridify feature because it makes a grid, although I think of this as a Contact Sheet feature because it is a great way to make a contact sheet really quickly in InDesign.

Notice that the gutter space, the amount of space in between each of these frames equals the gutter space for our document. It picked up that number to put in between each of these as well. So that makes it very fast for placing in a document, if I were, in fact, going to put this on my document page. Note that I have not said anything about how to copy and paste images from one application to another. You can actually copy and paste vector shapes from Illustrator into InDesign and vice versa. If you do that, all the objects remain editable, all those Bezier shapes.

However, I strongly urge you not to copy images from Photoshop or any other program other than Illustrator. There are a number of technical reasons for this, but suffice it to say that it's rarely a good idea. But those pixel images, you really should place them just like I showed you earlier in this movie.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: In the “Exporting to PDF” video, the author states "The flattener, and how to control it, is an advanced topic that I cover in a later title."
Is this “later title” available on yet?
A: Unfortunately that title is still in development. However, the features are exactly the same in CS4, so please see Chapter 11 in InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics.
Q: Can an image be placed into a cell in InDesign?
A: Yes,  but only as an anchored (inline) object. Cut the frame with the Selection tool, switch to the Type tool, click in the cell, and Paste.
Q: Is it possible to load or import pages from one document to another in InDesign CS5?
A: Pages cannot be “loaded”, but they can be "pushed" from one document to another by choosing Layout > Pages > Move Pages.
Q: When I place an image, it is distorted or pixilated to the point of not being able to use it. I can place or open those same images in Photoshop or Illustrator and they are fine.
A: You are likely seeing the low-resolution preview. To see high resolution or vector artwork, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality.
Q: When I place an image, it is distorted or pixilated to the point of not being able to use it. I can place or open those same images in Photoshop or Illustrator and they are fine.
A: You are likely seeing the low-resolution preview. To see high resolution or vector artwork, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality.
Q: I'm looking for a tutorial that will allow me to use InDesign to create files that can be emailed. I guess they have to be converted to HTML first? Is that possible?
A: If you are trying to make an HTML email, then InDesign really isn't the tool for you. It's HTML abilities are extremely limited. Look toward Dreamweaver for that. Alternatively, you could create a layout in InDesign, then export the page as a JPEG image and put that in the email.
Q: Since I upgraded to the new version of InDesign, when I click the "edit original" button in the Links panel, the pictures open in Preview instead of Photoshop
A: "Here are two articles about this problem: 
Q: I cannot see files on the desktop when in InDesign.
A: If you are using the Mac OS, you may need to turn off Window > Application Frame in order to see files behind InDesign (such as those on the Finder Desktop). If you are on Windows, you are seeing a difference between Mac and Windows. In Windows, the application is always living inside the application frame. If you un-maximize the windows frame, you can drag it smaller so you see the desktop and drag to or from it.
Q: I am currently working on an InDesign document originally created in Spanish. I am translating it to English and I need to change the language preference to be able to use the spell check in English. I have changed it in Preferences, but when I go to do the spell check on the document it is still in Spanish. How can I change the spell check to English?
A: Changing the language in preferences does not change the document or text language. You need to change the langauge in the paragraph style or the character style or in the Character panel or the Control panel (select the text first).
Q: In the movie, "Inserting, deleting, and moving pages" the author claims you can Shift-click text and the red overset symbol (a plus sign) will disappear. This isn't working for me.
A: Shift-clicking to make text automatically flow to the next text box or boxes only works when you place text from a loaded cursor. Shift-clicking existing text will not affect it.
Instead, if the overset text symbol appears in an existing text frame, choose the Selection tool and click the symbol to load the text in your cursor. Then Shift-click inside the next text frame to start it auto-flowing from there.
Q: I want to add a 2-page spread following a 1-page spread, but when I insert two new pages, InDesign creates a 3-page spread. How do I solve this?
A: If you're seeing 3-page spreads, turn on Allow Document Pages to Shuffle (and Allow Selected Spread to Shuffle) from the Pages panel menu.
Q: The keys used for navigating to the previous or next spread in a layout (Command+Page Up/Command+Page Down) don't appear on my laptop keyboard and the arrow keys don't work. What keys should I use?
A: Most laptop keyboards don't have these keys anymore. Look for a "modifier" key (such as the Alt or Fn keys) to press to access these keys. For example, on a Macbook Pro, you'd press Command and then Fn+Up Arrow to invoke Next Spread.
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