Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Copying InDesign artwork into Illustrator or Photoshop, part of InDesign Insider Training: Working with Photoshop and Illustrator.
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- So far, we've only been concern with pulling artwork from Photoshop and Illustrator into InDesign. But what if you want to go the other way, like get a page from InDesign into Photoshop or maybe use some InDesign frame or shape in Illustrator. Well, it turns out that's not difficult at all. I'm going to quickly show you a couple of different methods for pushing your InDesign artwork into those other programs. But first, let's just start with the most obvious technique, copy and paste. Now, when you select something in InDesign, like I'll select these three objects and then when you copy them to the clipboard by pressing Cmd+C or Ctrl+C, what InDesign is actually doing, is copying the InDesign objects and a PDF of those objects onto the clipboard.
Now, if I paste this back into InDesign, it obviously uses the InDesign objects. But, if I switch to Illustrator like this, now Illustrator doesn't know what to do with the InDesign objects but it totally knows what to do with the PDF. So when I paste by pressing Cmd+V or Ctrl+V on Windows, it sees that PDF and it converts it into editable Illustrator objects. But there are a couple of things that you got to know about this. First, text might look very different when you paste it in from InDesign.
I'll talk about text and text formatting later on in this chapter. Second, pasting artwork usually also brings in something call a clipping mask. It's an invisible rectangle that surrounds the artwork and sometimes there's a separate clipping mask around each and every object which can really be a pain. Now, the clipping mask is hard to see here but if I go to the View menu and choose Outline, and then I'll zoom in on the corner of this, you can see there's extra rectangle on the outside of my artwork. That's the clipping mask.
Now, you generally don't want that there because it just gets in the way. So, there's a couple of ways to get rid of it. Here, I'll go back to Preview mode from the View menu and then I am going to the Object menu and I'm going to scroll all the way down to Clipping Mask and then I'll choose Release. Now, that rectangle is still there but it's not affecting the other objects. So, I'm just going to click out here to deselect everything and I'll scroll over the edge of that object and then delete it. Now it's gone. Now, of course you might know that I could also have avoided that whole release clipping mask rigmarole just by selecting the rectangle with the direct selection tool and deleting it. That does the same thing.
So anyway, now we have the artwork, just those paths without the clipping masks. Now, of course one of the reasons, you might copy InDesign artwork into Illustrator, is if you need an effect that's hard to create in InDesign but easy to do in Illustrator. Remember, Illustrator is one of our favorite InDesign plugins, right? So, for example I'm going to choose these boring strokes here, that black outside border and this red line down here and I'm going to make these more cool by changing them to variable width strokes.
I'll go up to my Options bar and change it to one of these. That looks pretty good. Now as I mentioned in an earlier movie, I could just copy this out of Illustrator, now let's put those back in InDesign. I don't need that logo that's already in InDesign but I'll take those two paths that I just affected and I'll copy those to the clipboard with a Cmd+C or Ctrl+C, switch back into InDesign and I'm going to zoom into 100% by pressing Cmd+1 or Ctrl+1 on Windows and I might as well delete those two objects that stroke and this stroke here, there we go and now I'll paste my new objects in.
Terrific! That's looking much better. OK, but what about Photoshop? You can copy and paste from InDesign directly into Photoshop but to be honest, Photostop seems to be happier when you copy from Illustrator. I find this just a cleaner transfer. So, I'm going to switch back to Illustrator and here's the artwork I was just creating so I can copy all of this, this time including that logo and copy it to the clipboard. Now, that it's on my clipboard, I'll head over to Photoshop and you can see I have an empty document here so I'll just press Cmd+V or Ctrl+V on Windows and because I copied this from Illustrator, Photoshop gives me a choice of how it should be converted into my Photoshop document.
If I were pasting directly from InDesign, I wouldn't get this choice. It would just show up as a vector smart object. So that's one difference between pasting from Illustrator into InDesign. But in this case, I'm going to leave it as Smart Object and click OK. Now you can see that this artwork shows up in transform mode. That means I can just drag it around by dragging the middle point or dragging the outside to rotate it or even shift dragging one of these corner points to scale it proportionally. Then, when it look just like I wanted, I'll press Enter on my keyboard.
Now, in this file in Photoshop, it's just pixels, right? I can't select a single object anymore. It's rasterized, turned into a bitmap image. But look over here in the Layers panel. That little icon down here means that this is a vector smart object. That means the vector paths are actually maintained behind the scenes and that means I can actually continue to scale the artwork down or up as much as I want and Photoshop will make it look as good as possible with the new size. So, that's good.
But even better, if I later want to edit the vectors, all I need to do is double click on this little thumbnail and it opens it back up in Illustrator. Now, remember this is not your original file. It has nothing to do with the InDesign file or even that Illustrator file that I copied out of. This is just a temporary file but what's great about this is I can make a change and put it back into Photoshop. For example, I can see that I made a real mistake here. I left out some of the logo. So I'm going to switch back over to my other Illustrator document by clicking on that tab and then I'm going to select just these objects in here, the ones that I left out and I'll copy those to the clipboard, come back to this tab and paste.
Now, all I need to do is put those in the right position. Let's zoom in here and I'll position that just pretty much where it needs to be, looks OK for now. Let's bring it down just a little bit. Great! That's good! Now, to get it back to Photoshop, all I need to do is to save this with a Cmd+S or Ctrl+S on Windows, close it with a Cmd+W or Ctrl+W on Windows and then switch back to Photoshop. Immediately you see that it updates. I just love how these programs work together like this. So, pasting artwork from InDesign into Illustrator or Photoshop, relies on the PDF format.
In fact, let's head back here to InDesign and I'm going to open up the Preferences dialog box by pressing Cmd+K or Ctrl+K on Windows and then I'm going to come down here to the Clipboard Handling pane. Now in an earlier movie, we looked at Prefer PDF When Pasting. Now, let's look at the next option, Copy PDF to Clipboard. That checkbox is the key to making this whole copy and paste thing work. If you turn that checkbox off, and I don't know why you would, but you know, people do crazy things, if you turn that off, this whole copy and paste thing stops working.
OK, so copy and paste is one way to get your InDesign artwork into these other programs. There's another way too, which is what I'll show in the next movie.
Here David Blatner, cohost of InDesign Secrets.com, goes over placing images from Illustrator and Photoshop, copying and pasting InDesign artwork, managing color and transparency, and dealing with linked images, vectors, layers, and more. By the end of the course, you should be able to move seamlessly between the three tools, getting the results you want and without losing formatting, sharpness, or quality.
- Placing Photoshop and Illustrator artwork in InDesign
- Copying InDesign artwork into Photoshop and Illustrator
- Sharing color swatches
- Managing transparency in linked artwork
- Keeping Photoshop text and vectors sharp
- Converting images to CMYK