Import and Replace Imagines in InDesign and InCopy

show more Importing and replacing images provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Anne-Marie Concepción as part of the Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy show less
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Importing and replacing images

When you're working with images in InCopy, image frames that the designer has exported to the InCopy format that you can check them out, you're not limited to just working with the images that the designer placed in there. You can also replace those images with images of your own like pictures of your grandkids or of your dog, but you could also place images right into empty frames. As we see here, we have four images that we're going to be playing with in this video and we will be replacing these images with other images that are inside our server folder.

It is important that you don't just place images from your own hard drive or from your own digital camera into the layout because the designer will need the original files when he or she exports to PDF for the printer or when they package the InDesign document to hand off to their vendor. So you want to make sure that the images are already on the server in a place where everybody can access them. But of course, before we even get that far we need to check out these images. First I would just want to zoom in a little bit by pressing Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus a few times. And I've clicked on that bottom image and that blue frame represents the actual size of the entire image.

And to check out all these images at once I think the fastest way for me would just be to go to the Assignments panel and I'm going to Shift+Click on all of these entries that have the little icon indicating it's an image frame next to it and then click on the icon at the bottom that says check them all out. There we go. So let's start out with the top image. This is an image of a flower and as I click it you can see the image is actually very large and the designer centered it so everything was cropped out except for the pretty red flower by itself. But let's say that we want to replace this with a different image.

Step one is to select the image that you want to replace. So I click on it. Step two is go to File menu and choose Place. That is the InCopy and InDesign command for Import. So I go down to Place or I could press Ctrl+D and right-- we're looking inside the folder that is inside the exercise folder called image library. If you're following along you can do this with any image files that are on your hard drive and in fact you're not even limited to images. What you are going to you going to see here is anything that InCopy can import into that frame and that would include JPEGs and GIFs and TIFs and PSDs and AIs and all those of image format, but also InDesign files.

You can place the InDesign file into one of these frames, and what you see is little picture of the page that you select and the same thing for PDF files. You could even place QuickTime movies or Flash movies. Let's just start with simple JPEGs. As you click at one of these JPEG you'll see a little preview down here. Now this is on the Windows side. If you are following along on Mac on InCopy you don't see a little preview. Instead you'd need to change this part up here so that you're in column view and you can see a preview of a selected image. And then you just go through here and choose the one that you want. I like this one, it's California_snow. That looks good.

If you'd like to you can turn on Show Import Options which will give you options about what exactly it's going to import from that image. When you have a JPEG selected, I am going to go ahead and click Open here. You see there are not that many options. Basically is there a clipping path and do you want to use it? But if you had for example, a layered Illustrator file or Photoshop file, you'd be able to choose which layers should be showing. If you had an InDesign or PDF file then you could choose which page you want to show and so on. I am going to click OK and the image immediately replaces the one that you had selected.

Now it may look incomprehensible because it's placing it at 100% size. And if you press and drag on it then you can see what the entire image looks like. I think the fastest way to get this image fitting correctly is just to right-click, choose Fitting, and then I'll choose Fill Frame Proportionally. The Fitting and the Transform commands were covered in a different video. There we go. That looks pretty good to me. And let's do the same thing to this image. This time I am going to select it. We go to File > Place. I'll choose a different image, like say this one.

I don't to need to Show Import Options any more. I am going to turn it off. Click Open. And that was not so large. I think just drag it to crop it there. That looks pretty. And now we want to fill these two frames with new images. Now there's nothing select, right, so you don't need to do that first. Just go right to File and choose Place. You can select one at a time if you'd like or you could select two images at once. I am just holding down the Shift key to select these two images and then I'll click Open. And now both images are loaded into my cursor and I'm going to just hover over one of the frames, and notice how there's a little icon that looks like a circle to slash through it.

That means like if I click here nothing is going to happen. You have to hover your cursor over an image frame that you've checked out and then you'll see a little paintbrush icon, if it's a photograph, or you'll see a little like A icon if it's a Illustrator file, indicating that it's detecting that there is a frame and it will allow you to place that picture. So all you need to do is click, click anywhere inside that frame and the picture gets entered. Again, it's kind of incomprehensible, right because we haven't scaled it yet but take my word for it. All you need to do is click. And now that's a little picture, all right.

And now we'll go ahead and manipulate them ourselves to fit. This one, I am going to drag a corner and hold down Command+Shift and Ctrl+Shift to resize it proportionally from my keyboard and this one I am-- well, that's a big image. I am going to right-click here and use our friend, the Fill Frame Proportionally command. So when you place images, even when you replace existing images, what's retained inside this little image frame file is the path to the original image. If you go to your Window menu and look at the Links panel, which is not part of any of the default workspaces in InCopy, you can see that it's maintaining a link to the actual image.

So there is the California_snow and there is a chrysanthemum and so on. There are lots of information and fun things that you can do here in the Links panel. If you'd like to learn more about the Links panel I suggest you take a look at the videos on the Links panel in the InDesign videos here on Because just about anything you can do in the Links panel in InDesign you can do in the Links panel here in InCopy. But I just wanted to let you know that you're now actually linking to the original image. You are not importing the entire image here; you're linking to it. And in fact, if you wanted to edit this image, let's say that you didn't like that color and you wanted it to look a little different, you could right-click on this image or you could choose it from the Links panel menu and edit the original image.

This would open up in whichever program you've got set that edits JPEGs or you could choose to Edit With and say for example, Photoshop. And this image we would open in Photoshop. You could change it, close it, and it would update the image right here in the layout. So you do have a lot of control with images, even though the thing is called InCopy. It should be called I think InEdit.

Importing and replacing images
Video duration: 6m 36s 7h 30m Intermediate


Importing and replacing images provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Anne-Marie Concepción as part of the Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy

InCopy InDesign
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