Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding or replacing graphics, part of InDesign Quick Start.
- It's easy to get graphics into InDesign and you may be tempted to copy them out of one program and paste them in here, but don't do it. Resist the urge! Instead, you want to place them. That is, go to the File menu and choose Place. When you choose Place, InDesign gives you a list of all the different files that you can place inside this document. In this case, I'm going to place this logo file, the one labeled "White." Now this is a .AI or Adobe Illustrator file.
So then when I click Open, InDesign loads what's called the Place Gun or the Place Cursor. This Place Cursor lets me insert or place this graphic inside of a frame that I already have or it can make a frame for me. But it's very important to pay attention the Place Cursor icon. Right now, if you look closely in the upper left corner, I see the Place Cursor has little dotted lines that are sharp, but if I move it over here to the center of my page, I now have dotted lines that are curved, kind of like parenthesis.
The curved lines mean that if I click right now, the image is going to go into the empty frame behind the cursor. If I move out here on top of this locked object, or out here where there's no frame, then I get those sharp edges and that means that it's going to create a new frame for me. So here, I can simply click. That makes a frame and puts the graphic into it. Or, let me undo that. I'll press Cmd + Z or Ctrl + Z on Windows and I get back to my Place Cursor. Now, instead of clicking, I can simply click and drag.
Now it made a graphic frame at that particular size and put the graphic into it. Let's go get another graphic. But before I do, notice that this frame, this graphic frame, is still selected. I'll head up to the File menu and choose Place again. And this time, I'm going to choose the color version of the logo. Then I'll click Open. Well, what happened to my white logo? Well, you can see that the image that I placed actually replaced that original logo because it put that picture into the frame that was selected.
That's actually not what I intended to do. I wanted to put that logo down here inside this frame, but that's okay. InDesign has a very robust undo, so I'll just press Cmd + Z or Ctrl + Z on Windows and InDesign reloads the Place Cursor. And now I can click down here on this frame. Now that graphic that I placed goes into this frame. It's much too large for the frame, but I'll deal with that later. Let's go ahead and grab the last image I want to place. I'm going to click out here on the paste board where there's no objects and that deselects everything.
Then, I'll go back to the File menu and choose Place. This time, I'm going to choose this .PSD file. That is, a Photoshop file. And I'll click Open. Once again, if I click, InDesign brings in the whole image at 100% size, and that's way too big. So, I'm going to undo and instead click and drag. Again, InDesign made the frame for me and placed the picture into it. Now, one thing to notice here: you'll see that InDesign honors the transparency from this Photoshop file.
That is, where there's a checkerboard background in Photoshop, it's transparent here in InDesign. So that means I can see right through that background area. But, there's something else here that you don't see immediately. And that is that InDesign is linking to the file on disc. Every time that you place an image into InDesign, it doesn't actually embed the image into your document, it links to it. It creates a link between the InDesign document and the high resolution file on disc. You can see that by going to the Links panel.
Way over here on the right side of my screen, you'll see something called the Dock that contains a bunch of panels that I often use. In this case, I'm going to click on the word "Links" to open up the Links panel. And here, in the Links panel, we can see all of the images that we've placed. Because that Photoshop image is selected on the page, it's also selected up here in the Links panel. There's much more to say about pictures and graphics and links, but for now, we finally have a document that has text and graphics, but it's definitely far from finished.
In the next movie, I'm going to show you how to move these objects around and scale them to get just the look you want.
Want to learn more? Check out InDesign CC Essential Training (2015) for more in-depth tutorials.