Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In the last chapter, I went on at some length about RGB images, but the truth is that many people still want to import CMYK images into InDesign and that's fine too, but there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when importing CMYK files. Here, I have a CMYK file open in Photoshop and I want to save it to disk. So I'm going to go up to the File menu and choose Save As. I put this up on my desktop and I'm going to leave it named baking choco.psd. The first choice I have to make is which format to save this in. These days I normally just save files in the native Photoshop PSD file format. It's very robust, it's very flexible, it works great with InDesign and that's just fine.
TIFF is another good choice. It's even more flexible because you can use it in more programs, but it doesn't have all the features that Photoshop format has. Another good option might be JPEG. JPEG files are much smaller, of course. You can have a CMYK JPEG file. A lot of people don't realize that. It does come at the cost of having slight image degradation, but if you use the maximum quality JPEG, it's really not that big of a deal. You'll probably never notice. But in this case, I'm just going to leave this set to Photoshop to get a PSD file. Now, the next thing I want to choose is whether or not to embed my color profile. This is a really big deal and a lot of people don't realize it. A lot of people just embed the color profile for everything. But as we learned in an earlier movie in this chapter, InDesign by default ignores your embedded color profiles when it comes to CMYK images.
So what's the point of embedding them? You might say, well, what is the point of not embedding them? Well, here is the issue. With an RGB image, embedding a color profile is not a big deal at all. It's only like 1k or 2k added to the size of your file. But a CMYK image is different. When you embed a color profile in a CMYK image, it increases your file size 1, sometimes 2 megabytes. Now, that may not seem like a lot if you have a 50 megabyte file or something, but let's say you have 100 images. Well, all of a sudden you have 100 or 200 megabytes of extra data that you may not need.
Here's another example. What if you have a little, tiny 200k images, it's a little, tiny image that you're going to put on your page. Well, that 200k image suddenly becomes almost a 2 megabyte image, just because you embedded your color profile. So if InDesign is not going to be reading it, then just turn it off. You don't need it in there. Now, there are times when you might want to embed your color profile. For example, you might have targeted a very specific output device, where you need that color profile. You might want to embed it or maybe you're sending your document to somebody else and you have no idea of what they're going to be doing with it.
But you want to make sure that they have the proper settings for that image or you're sending a file to somebody else to do further work on, on their copy of Photoshop. If that's a CMYK image, you probably do want to embed your color profile. But if you're just importing it into InDesign and printing it, like so many of us do, then I just would not even bother embedding it at all. Okay, let's go ahead and save this file and import it into InDesign. I'll go back to InDesign, I'm going to select this frame down here and zoom it to 200%, just go a little bit closer there. That looks good. Now let's go ahead and place it, Command+D or Ctrl+D. I'll select my Photoshop file and I'm going to make sure Show Import Options is selected in the Place dialog box.
I'll click Open and I can see that I can turn on and off Layers if I need to. But what I want to do here is click on the Color tab to show you that you can specify your own color profile here from this pop-up menu. Now if there were an embedded color profile, it would show up above the Use Document Default. Embedded profiles always show up at the top of the list above Use Document Default. But in this case, it's not there, so I know that there has nothing been embedded in this image. If that was a mistake, if I really did want to apply a profile to this image, then I could go ahead and choose it here. But I'm not going to, because I'm going to show you a trick on how to do that inside InDesign, once it's already on the page.
I'll click OK, it imports here. Better go to Fitting and I'll just say Fit Content Proportionally, and then move this over a little bit so it's centered. That looks better. I make it even look better here by turning on High Quality Display. There we go. That's much better. Now, let's say somebody has sent me the CMYK file and then get an email from them later saying, oh! By the way, make sure you use my custom profile that I used for this document or else it's just not going to print right. Well, what do you do? It's already inside InDesign, so how do you tell InDesign to use a profile.
Well, you can do that by selecting the frame, going to the Object menu and choosing Image Color Settings. Here we have the same controls that we saw in the Import Options dialog box, the Profile and Rendering Intent. I can say I want this to have, oh let's say, a Coated FOGRA CMYK profile, because that's what the person wanted me to use, and I know that that's the proper profile for this particular image. I can also choose a Rendering Intent if I needed to choose something differently. For example, if this image has a lot of very rich colors, maybe I would want to use Perceptual. In general though, you just don't need to worry about Rendering Intents when it comes to CMYK images so much.
I'll go ahead and click OK, and we can see that it changed just a little bit. We don't see too much of a change, but it changed a little bit, because I told InDesign that it has a different profile and therefore InDesign interprets those colors differently. So that's a good thing. Even more importantly, when I output this, when I print this or I make a PDF document of this, and I specify my own CMYK output profile, which I'll be talking about in a later movie in this chapter. Once I do that, InDesign will convert this CMYK document from the profile I just told it to use into my output space. Now, if I had other CMYK images that I did not specify a profile, it just ignores them. It just sends the data through. It preserves the numbers. That's one of the settings that we had looked at in an earlier movie.
But in this case, it's not going to preserve the numbers. It's going to preserve the appearance of it based on that profile. Now, how can you tell how well your images will survive a conversion or how can you tell how your whole document is going to look when it's printed? The easiest way is to proof your document on screen. That's called soft proofing and that's what I'm going to cover in the next movie.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.