Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Use the Links panel, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Narrator] I'm going to open this file from my exercise files folder by double clicking on it. It's the one that starts with 05A, and when InDesign opens this file, I get this alert dialogue box. What's that about? Well, when you import a picture into InDesign, using place or by dragging in a file from disc, 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 disc. This happens with any image file, whether you import a PDF, or a JPEG, or a TIFF, or whatever.
It's simply saving a link to the file on disc, and so sometimes when you open documents, you'll see an alert like this one. In this case, it tells me that there's one missing link and two modified links. That's because when I open the document, InDesign went looking for all of the images linked on disc. One of them was totally missing. InDesign just couldn't find it, and two of them had been modified. That is, someone edited these images since the time I imported them, so InDesign's asking me, what do you want to do? If I click update links, it will update all the modified ones.
It doesn't know what to do about the missing one, but in this case, I'm actually not going to do that. I'm going to click don't update links, because I want to show you how to do this manually. The key to fixing these is the links panel, and it's over here in the dot. If you don't see it there, you can always find it from the window menu. The links panel is like the control central for all your linked graphics. All the linked images that you have in your document will show up here, and it tells you the status of those images. For example, here we see three alert icons.
The yellow one means it's modified. The red one means it's missing. Now all those images that have no alert icon, that means they're okay. InDesign knows where to find them and they're all up-to-date. Now the links panel can actually tell you other information about your linked images as well. For example, if I click on this image here, I can come down to the bottom of the panel and I can see information about this. I can see its name, that it's a Photoshop file. It's in the CMYK format, and even its resolution down here.
By the way, if you don't see this link info at the bottom of the panel, you may need to click this little twirly triangle over here. I'll click it once and it closes that area. Click again, and it opens. Now there are a couple more things I should tell you about the links panel. First of all, if you have a lot of images inside your document, you may want to adjust the size of the links panel. For example, I can drag this little gray bar in the middle of the panel up or down, to give me more or less area for my images. Next, you might notice that all of these images are in page order, from the beginning of the document to the end.
But if I come up here and click this little status icon up at the top of the panel, it groups all of the problem images together. I just find it makes it easier to spot them. Okay, let's go ahead and fix one of these modified images. Now I may not know where in my document this image is right now, so I can click this little underline number in the right column. That takes me directly to that image, and it even selects it for me on the page. It's this image here. In order to update this image to the newest version, I have several different choices.
I could go to the links panel menu up here, and choose update link, or I could click the update link button in the middle of the panel. A third option is to simply double click on the modified icon inside the links panel. But I'm going to do it a different way. I'm going to use the fastest and coolest way, which is simply to click on the icon, which is attached to the graphic frame. Now right now, the image is selected, not the frame, so I'll press the escape key on my keyboard, and that selects the frame itself.
Now, I'm going to press the W key on my keyboard, so I can see all my frame edges, and when I see my frame edges, I also see the modified icon in the upper left corner of the frame itself. I find it's really helpful to have this icon right there on the image itself, so to update it to the newest version, all I need to do is click once on that icon. That's it. You'll see the modified icon disappears and it's replaced with a link icon, meaning it is successfully linking to the file on disc. Okay, now let's fix this second modified image.
I'll come over here and click on the page number. That takes me right to the image. Now I'll press command two or control two to zoom in on this, and now in this case, I'll simply double click on the icon inside the panel, and that updates it. There we go. Finally, let's take care of the missing image. Here in the links panel, I can see that this image is missing, and it's my job to tell InDesign where this image is on disc, so that InDesign can reimport it and have a good link. So let's go ahead and look for it first.
I'll click on the number four, which takes me to the image. Then I'll zoom in on this by pressing command two or control two on Windows. Once again, it's the image selected inside the frame, so I'll press the escape key to select the frame itself. I suppose you don't technically have to select the frame, but I'm in the habit of doing it that way. Once again, I can see a missing icon inside the links panel and in the upper left corner of the frame, and once again, there are multiple ways to relink this to a new image. I could click once on the missing icon on the frame, or two times on the icon inside the links panel, or I could choose relink from the links panel menu, or I could click the little link icon at the bottom or the middle of the links panel here.
I'll do that, so now InDesign asks me where I should find this image, so I'll go look for it. Now this image should be inside my links folder, inside my exercise files folder, so I'll navigate up one level, scroll down here and look inside the links folder. Now that image should be in here somewhere, but there's a little clue at the top of the dialogue box that I want to pay attention to. Up here, it's showing me the name of the file that I'm looking for, and I can see that it's looking for something called Gen Draft Version.
Well, now I know what happened to it. That file was a draft version of this image that I threw away a long time ago. I'm never going to find it, but I can replace it with a new version. A new image. All I need to do is scroll down here until I find the image I want to import. Then I'll select it, click open, and InDesign replaces the old version with the new one. So we're good to go. Now notice at the top of my links panel, there's another image up here that has no page number next to it.
Well, that's because there's a little triangle over here in the left column, and if I click that, I can see the same image shows up more than once. This is telling me that the image has been used more than once in my document. You see how it's been used on page two and page four? If I click on it, it takes me right to that image, so now I know where it is in my document, but maybe I want to know where this image file is on my hard drive, or on the server. Well, here's what I can do. If I hover my cursor over the image name, InDesign shows me a little tool tip that shows me the path where it is on disc, so that's kind of neat, but I'm going to take it one further.
I'm going to go to the links panel menu, and I'll scroll down here to choose reveal and finder, or in Windows, it would be reveal in Windows Explorer. When I choose that, InDesign switches back to the desktop, opens that folder and selects the image for me. There it is, down here. Now I want to be absolutely clear about this. Before you print or export your documents, it's very important that all of your images be up-to-date in the links panel. Not missing or modified, or else InDesign will only be able to use the low-resolution preview, and your output may not look right.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents