InDesign CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Importing graphics


InDesign CS6 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. The basic method for importing an image is to use the Place command which you can find under the File menu. I'll choose Place or you could press Command+D or Ctrl+D on Windows. This shows me a list of all the images or all of the files that I could place right now. I'm looking at the Links folder which is inside the Exercise Folder. I am going to import the Roux Academy logo, which I am going to find at the bottom of that list. Here it is.
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  1. 1m 23s
    1. What is InDesign?
      1m 23s
  2. 2m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  3. 21m 19s
    1. Getting started
      3m 33s
    2. Adding or editing text
      3m 23s
    3. Adding or replacing graphics
      4m 31s
    4. Moving objects around
      4m 55s
    5. Printing and creating a PDF
      4m 57s
  4. 26m 6s
    1. Exploring the application window
      6m 25s
    2. Navigating and magnifying pages and objects
      6m 24s
    3. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 35s
    4. Working with panels
      3m 58s
    5. Setting the view quality of artwork
      2m 31s
    6. Adjusting view and preview settings
      4m 13s
  5. 27m 52s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 39s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      4m 2s
    3. Saving for CS4 and CS5 with IDML
      2m 24s
    4. Setting the margin and column guides
      4m 29s
    5. Putting ruler guides on the page
      5m 7s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 11s
  6. 23m 37s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      4m 32s
    2. Changing page size
      4m 38s
    3. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 18s
    4. Overriding master page items
      2m 43s
    5. Adding page numbering
      2m 22s
    6. Changing page numbering with sections
      4m 4s
  7. 52m 48s
    1. Understanding text frames
      3m 38s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 48s
    3. Inserting special characters
      4m 1s
    4. Importing text
      3m 47s
    5. Threading text frames
      3m 12s
    6. Setting text frame columns
      4m 31s
    7. Setting text inset and vertical justification options
      3m 48s
    8. Allowing text frames to grow and shrink
      4m 5s
    9. Putting text on a path
      5m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      5m 10s
    11. Checking spelling
      5m 12s
    12. Using Find/Change
      4m 45s
  8. 28m 19s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 20s
    2. Using the Links panel
      7m 17s
    3. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 10s
    4. Fitting graphics to the frame
      5m 1s
    5. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 31s
  9. 35m 49s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 2s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      5m 6s
    3. Colorizing images
      1m 59s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 4s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      3m 33s
    6. Using other transparency effects
      5m 15s
    7. Copying and formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      5m 59s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 51s
  10. 18m 34s
    1. Creating color swatches
      4m 33s
    2. Understanding the danger and power of unnamed colors
      5m 46s
    3. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 53s
    4. Applying gradients
      4m 22s
  11. 15m 27s
    1. Editing frame and path shapes
      5m 8s
    2. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      4m 8s
    3. Making polygons and starbursts
      1m 59s
    4. Creating text outlines
      4m 12s
  12. 37m 56s
    1. Positioning objects with the Gap tool
      3m 54s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 5s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      5m 27s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 33s
    5. Grouping and locking objects
      3m 10s
    6. Nesting objects
      3m 23s
    7. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 20s
    8. Understanding text wrap
      5m 51s
    9. Using anchored objects
      6m 13s
  13. 26m 17s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 37s
    2. Collecting, conveying, and placing content
      8m 58s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 22s
    4. Scaling objects
      4m 21s
    5. Skewing objects
      1m 9s
    6. Mirroring objects
      3m 50s
  14. 24m 19s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 31s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 28s
    3. Changing case
      3m 23s
    4. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      5m 3s
    5. Using Find Font
      3m 54s
  15. 33m 11s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 5s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      2m 10s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      1m 52s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 26s
    5. Setting tabs
      7m 55s
    6. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 23s
    7. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 10s
    8. Numbering paragraphs
      6m 10s
  16. 19m 47s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 10s
    2. Using character styles
      4m 45s
    3. Editing and redefining styles
      2m 20s
    4. Using object styles
      2m 47s
    5. Applying styles with Quick Apply
      3m 45s
  17. 39m 59s
    1. Creating a table
      4m 29s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      4m 36s
    3. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      3m 0s
    4. Formatting a table
      4m 32s
    5. Formatting cells
      6m 2s
    6. Applying table styles
      5m 33s
    7. Placing graphics in cells
      3m 1s
    8. Importing Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 46s
  18. 16m 45s
    1. Building a multi-document book
      7m 27s
    2. Creating "continued on..." jump lines
      3m 51s
    3. Constructing a table of contents (TOC)
      5m 27s
  19. 23m 8s
    1. Exporting EPUBs
      6m 12s
    2. Creating an interactive PDF
      12m 49s
    3. Building a Flash SWF
      4m 7s
  20. 28m 1s
    1. Checking a document with the Preflight panel
      5m 26s
    2. Packaging for output
      3m 34s
    3. Using the Print dialog box
      4m 52s
    4. Printing a small booklet
      2m 46s
    5. Exporting a PDF
      7m 56s
    6. Exporting text
      3m 27s
  21. 1m 25s
    1. Next steps
      1m 25s

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign CS6 Essential Training
8h 24m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

InDesign is an essential tool for design firms, ad agencies, magazines, newspapers, book publishers, and freelance designers around the world. This course presents the core features and techniques that make this powerful page layout application fun and easy to use. Author David Blatner shows how to navigate and customize the workspace, manage documents and pages, work with text frames and graphics, export and print finished documents, explore creating interactive documents, and much more. He also covers popular topics such as EPUBs and long documents and includes advice on working with overset text, unnamed colors, and other troublesome issues that may arise for first-time designers.

Topics include:
  • Getting started in just 30 minutes: the quick start guide to InDesign
  • Understanding your workspace
  • Creating and setting up new documents
  • Creating and applying master pages
  • Entering and editing text
  • Placing graphics
  • Working with color and gradients
  • Editing frame and path shapes
  • Working with layers, objects, and groups
  • Rotating and scaling objects
  • Applying character and paragraph formatting
  • Using styles
  • Creating and formatting tables
  • Exporting to EPUB and interactive PDF
  • Packaging, printing, and exporting your final document
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. The basic method for importing an image is to use the Place command which you can find under the File menu. I'll choose Place or you could press Command+D or Ctrl+D on Windows. This shows me a list of all the images or all of the files that I could place right now. I'm looking at the Links folder which is inside the Exercise Folder. I am going to import the Roux Academy logo, which I am going to find at the bottom of that list. Here it is.

It's an ai file, that's in Adobe Illustrator file, which InDesign can import. When I click Open InDesign imports the image and loads the place cursor. Now it's very important to pay attention to the place cursor before you click. This place cursor tells me information about what's about to happen. Right now I see the little twirly spirally icon which shows me that it's an Acrobat file or an Illustrator file, they look the same. The edge of the place cursor are two dotted straight lines and that indicates that if I click right now it will create a new frame.

If I move the place cursor over here where I actually want it, those lines get curved kind of into a parentheses and that indicates that it's going to place this image into a frame. That's not what I want to do, so I don't want to click right now instead I want to click and drag. And when I click and drag it creates a frame and places the image into it. Now I can simply drag it into place. Perfect! Now let's bring in that image one more time to put it elsewhere on my page. I'll go back to File menu, choose Place, grab my image and just before I click Open I want to check something, I want to check to see if the Replace Selected Item checkbox is turned on.

Replace Selected Item tells InDesign whether or not you want this image to go into any selected frame that you currently have. If I move this Place dialog box out of the way you can see I do actually have a frame selected. So if that checkbox were on, my image would go into this frame not where I'm going to want to put it. Of course in this case the checkbox is turned off, so it doesn't matter. I'll click Open and up comes that place cursor again and I am going to put it down here on this page. The place cursor is indicating that it's going to create a new frame; there is no empty frame behind that right now.

So I am simply going to click and it will make a frame of the right size and put the image into it. I'll drag that down into position. Now I am going to place another image, but this time I'm going to use a different method. I am going to drag it right out of a folder on my Desktop. I'll switch back to the finder, this also works with Windows, Mac or Windows it doesn't matter, grab the image that I want to drag in and simply drag it on top of the InDesign window. When I let go it doesn't look like that anything has happened. But as soon as I switch back to InDesign, you'll see that it automatically loaded my place cursor.

Now I can simply click and drag. As I'm dragging you'll notice that I can't make this any size I want, it stays height width proportional to the image itself. Now I'll drag and finally let go and in comes the image. Now let's bring some more images into my second spread. I'll press Option+Page Down or Alt+Page Down and you'll see that I have a number of empty graphic frames ready to fill. In this case I am going to bring all three images in at the same time. To do that, I go back to the Place dialog box by pressing Command+D or Ctrl+D and I am going to select all the images that I want right now, all three of them.

To select those three at one time I'll first click on the first one that I want, and then I'll hold down the Command key or Ctrl key on Windows and select the other one. There's two, now let's scroll down little bit and get the third I am looking for. Command+Click or Ctrl+Click one more time and I've selected three images at the same time inside the list in the Place dialog box. Now I'll click Open and all three of them are added to my place cursor. I can tell that there are three here, because there is a little blue 3 inside parenthesis next to the cursor.

In fact, I can actually move through those one at a time by pressing the arrow keys, the left or right arrow keys on my keyboard. If I press the right arrow you'll see it switches to the next image, press it again and it goes the third image. I can move through here until I find just the image I want right now. Then when I'm ready, I'll move my cursor on top of the frame that I want to place it in and click. The cursor changes, because now I only have two images on the place cursor and I'll click again and then click again. I'd like to bring some images down into this blank space and this third pane of this brochure.

I am going to grab four images this time and I am going to put them all in a grid, here is how it works. I'll press Command+D or Ctrl+D, I'll grab four images, I actually have no idea what these images are, I am just picking by random with the Ctrl or Command key held down and I'll click Open and it grabs all four of those onto the place cursor. Now, I'm going to start dragging with this place cursor. I drag out the height I want; I am not paying any attention to the width, just how tall this grid is going to be.

While the mouse button is still down, I am going to press the up arrow key. I press once and it breaks it into a grid of two frames. Press two more times and I get four frames in a stack. I only press the up arrow to add frames vertically. This is a single column. If I press the right arrow it would break it into a grid of two columns. But I am going to press the left arrow to go back to a single column, because that's what I am trying to do. When I let go, it makes four frames and loads in the images.

I'll talk about how to scale those images properly later on in this chapter. I want to show you one more technique for importing images. I'm going to click out on the pasteboard so that nothing is selected, go back to the Place dialog box and choose an Illustrator file at the bottom of my list. This Illustrator file is called I happen to know that this Illustrator file has multiple artboards built into it, but this technique would also work with a PDF file that has multiple pages. When you have a file that has multiple pages or multiple artboards, you need to tell InDesign which page or artboard you actually want to import.

To do that you can turn on the Show Import Options checkbox. Show Import Options tells InDesign that when you click Open it should bring up the Place PDF dialog box or the Import Options dialog box as I call it. Here we can see that there are three total pages or artboards in this document and we can move through them one at a time to see which one we actually want to bring in. I am going to go ahead and bring that first one in, but notice that I could actually bring all of them in if I want or maybe just a range of them.

If you bring in more than one page, each one is loaded up onto the place cursor as a separate image. You can also tell InDesign how to Crop this image. Right now it's set to Art, which means just bring in the size of the artwork. Don't bring in any of the white space around it. But if I change this to Media something different happens and you get an indication of that here. It brings in the entire page all the way out to the edge, or in this case all the way out to the edge of the artboard. In some cases you may find you need that, but for me right now I just need the Art itself.

I'll click OK, image is loaded up on the place cursor and I can click and drag. Note that I'm not talking about how to copy and paste images from one application to another. While you technically can copy and paste some vector artwork between InDesign and Illustrator, I strongly urge you not to copy images from Photoshop or any other program other than Illustrator. There is a number of technical reasons for this, but suffice it to say that it's rarely a good idea. However, you choose to import your images, InDesign tries to be as flexible as possible, and this is especially true when it comes to what file formats you can use.

InDesign supports all the regulars, TIFF, JPEG, PDF and so on, but it also supports native PSD files and most native AI files, that's Photoshop and Illustrator files. Later in this chapter I'll talk about some of the advantages of using these native files.

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