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Using the Links panel

From: InDesign CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using the Links panel

When you import a picture unto InDesign using place or by dragging in a file from disk or Mini Bridge InDesign doesn't actually embed the image into your document. Instead you get a thumbnail preview of the image and a link to the file on disk. Now this happens to any image file, whether you import a PDF or JPEG or a TIF or whatever. So each of the images in this file is actually linked to a file on my hard disk, and I can see that by opening the Links panel. Over here in the dock I'll click on Links, and here's a list of all the images that are linked in my file.

Using the Links panel

When you import a picture unto InDesign using place or by dragging in a file from disk or Mini Bridge InDesign doesn't actually embed the image into your document. Instead you get a thumbnail preview of the image and a link to the file on disk. Now this happens to any image file, whether you import a PDF or JPEG or a TIF or whatever. So each of the images in this file is actually linked to a file on my hard disk, and I can see that by opening the Links panel. Over here in the dock I'll click on Links, and here's a list of all the images that are linked in my file.

If I click on one of these images, it's highlighted in the Links panel. I also get information at the bottom of the Links panel in the Link Info area. You can hide and show that by double clicking on the link image, double click on it once and it closes that Link Info, double click again, and it opens. Now this Link Info is very helpful because it gives you information about the name, the format, what page it's on, its color space, and on and on and on. It's especially helpful, because it gives you information like it's scaling, this image has currently scaled 6.3%.

So that kind of feedback is very useful when you're working with images in InDesign. I also want to point out these blue numbers in the right column up here in the top of the Links panel. These are page numbers, and in a long document they can really be helpful, because they tell you exactly what page these images are on. In fact, if you click on one of these, it takes you right to the image on that page. The Links panel is also very customizable, you can really customize it to the way that you work, the kind of information you most need in here.

I'll choose panel Options from the Links panel menu, and you can see here that you can turn on and off all kinds of information in two different columns. The Show in Link Info column lets you control what shows up at the bottom here in the Link Info area. The Show Column checkboxes let you control what shows up in the top part of the Links panel up here. So for example, if you really want to find that Scale information up here in a column you can get that information as well, just turn on that checkbox, click OK, and it's added here.

Now I can't see it, because it's too wide. So I am going to make this Links panel wider just by dragging the left edge out. But you can see now that every image in my document has a scale percentage next to it. If it's too narrow, I can also make this wider by dragging this little vertical area to the right of it. Notice that this image here says 5% by 7.5%. That is very helpful because it immediately give me feedback that the image was scaled disproportionately, it's not scaled evenly, horizontally and vertically.

So that kind of information once again is very, very handy when you're working in InDesign. Now as I said all of these images are linked to files on disk, but what happens if InDesign can't find those files or what happens if those files get modified. Well, let's take a look. I am going to open up a new InDesign document here inside my Exercise files folder, and I'm going to see that as soon as I do that InDesign warns me, watch out. There is one image in this file which is missing, and one which is modified. What should I do? Well, at this point I can update the modified links if I want to, but I rarely do, and the reason I rarely do is because I like to see them update on the page.

I like to make sure that the update is what I want to have happen. So I'm going to say Don't Update Links, it opens the document and now for this document I say the Links panel gives me some extra information. I see the names of files of course, but I also see this little icon, and this little icon, that means that the map image is modified. So the yellow triangle means it's modified, the stop sign with a question mark in it means that one is missing. So alert, alert, we must do something before we print or export a PDF, or at least we really should do something.

So let's go check those out, I'm going to click on the one here to jump right to the California map, and we can look at that. I am going to switch this to high quality display as well, so I can see this little clear. It looks good. Now if I want to update that, it's very easy. I select it in the Links panel and then I click the Update Link button in the middle of this Links panel, or I could go to Links panel menu and choose Update Link. Note that I also have the option to Update All Links. This is very useful if you open a document and you have like 30 links that are all modified for one reason or another.

You could update all of them quickly here. But in this case I am just going to update this one link, and we can see that well something changed about that. Whatever changed, I think this little thing moved down just a little bit. So that's good. We can see that we now are okay. There is no icon there, which means that everything is good about this file. So that's helpful. What about this file here, this taste of cal logo thing? Let's go take a look at what that is. There it is. It says Vector Artwork and it's missing. So what should we do? Well, we need to relink it to a file on disk, and the way we do that is to click on this Relink button, it looks like the little broken chain.

Or we can go to the Relink from the fly-out menu here. It opens this dialog box and it asked me to locate the file that was missing. Now I happened to know that it's here inside the Links folder, so I am simply going to select it, and then click Open. That's all it took. It found it, it relinked it. It comes in, it looks beautiful, and we're good to go. So what would've happened if I tried to print or export without relinking that image if it was missing? Well, InDesign would have simply used the low-resolution kind of pixilated version that you saw on screen.

So that would not make me a very happy camper. So it's really important that you go in there, and relink your files before printing or exporting. Now one more thing I want to show you about the Links panel. I can select an image here in the Links panel, and then choose Reveal in Finder from the Links panel menu, or on Windows it would be Reveal in Windows Explorer. I can also reveal it in Bridge or Mini Bridge, but in this case I'm simply going to reveal it in Finder. And this switches to the Mac Finder opens up the folder and chooses it on my desktop there.

This is a very helpful thing when you're trying to find an image and you are not sure way around your desktop that image came from. Now there are a lot of other tools and features in this Links panel and I am going to be covering many of those later in this chapter. But from now it's obvious that the Links panel is really something you want to keep your eye on.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5 Essential Training
InDesign CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89520 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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 29s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 47s
    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 26s
    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 47s
  18. 31m 7s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 13s
    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
      20s

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