11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2010 10:26 AM by PurplePlumUK

    Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?


      As a cartographer I used to work with FreeHand. Now that I have started drawing my maps in Illustrator (CS4), I still have some beginner-questions.

      I make a map as .ai file, and this map I want to place in Indesign (CS4). With FreeHand, I used to place an eps in Indesign, but now I can simply save the .ai as an .ai file that is compatible with pdf. Or, I can make an .eps file of the map first.

      Which one do I place in Indesign, the "pdf-" .ai, or the .eps?


      What are the differences?

      Is there a best way to do it?





        • 1. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
          hari_kdr Newcomer



          It doesn't matter in which format you placed. Because it is verctor format only. So it won't be a problem with format. And if you do copy and past also all objects will come properly without any distrubing. So choose your compatable and go ahed.




          • 2. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
            TommyGun96 Newcomer

            Well you might use any format aswell. But as eps is a prepress standart i use its for linking art to my layouts (vector & raster .eps) on every app i use.

            Good luck!

            • 3. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
              Larry G. Schneider Mythic

              Make an AI file with PDF compatibility, Then use that file to place in ID. You can then use Edit Original from the links panel in ID to make corrections and update the file.

              • 4. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
                PurplePlumUK Newcomer


                As for a 'best' way... this is one of those special moments when Illustrator actually lets you do it in the 'best-way-for-you'.


                Editable paste - You can Edit > Copy (Cmd/Ctrl + C) from Illustrator and Edit > Paste (Cmd/Ctrl + P) in InDesign.... yep. It's then editable in InDesign, if you're feeling ambitious.... you could do that. (I will say a word of caution about any Photographic images in the Illustrator file. If you're copying a combination of vector and raster from Illustrator and/or lots of 'effects' then I'd get a bit concerned it's asking InDesign to do a lot and therefore asking for problems.) You could be adding considerably to the file size/complexity of the InDesign file. >>>> The key thing about this is that you will end up up with an 'out-of-date' illustrator file because any changes you make in InDesign will not be updated back to the original Illustrator file. For this reason you might want to....


                Place a Linked file To me it's how you want to manage the updates (also linking keeps the extra data of the illustration so size and complexity external, if you follow). You might want to develop a workflow which helps maintian one 'original' file as the one up-to-date version to minimse any confusion. You can export editable eps's now I beleive from Illustrator and editable PDF's or you can batten them down so that in order to edit the file, InDesign will insist you go through the Link panel (or perhaps right click) to edit the source file in Illustrator. Any changes done independantly in Illustrator will also be passed through to InDesign that way. You'll maybe need to do some testing as to which file export method you can batten down that way as I've not had to be that so disciplined as you perhaps need to be.


                Which file format? As for the precise pros and cons in respect of choosing eps, over pdf, over ai... well I work in a number of design studios who suffer few if any printing issues as a result of placing eps, pdf, ai files directly into InDesign and then exporting them as PDF. I've not taken the time to get into the real techie differences between the formats because.. er... well, I've not needed to. PDF has certainly become the universal 'end' format to go out of the door to the print people so I tend to go for consistency "if in doubt" which means PDF all the way... :-) There may be some real technie nuance advantage to sticking with eps... I don't honestly know.


                Hope this helps.

                • 5. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
                  PurplePlumUK Newcomer

                  OH, sorry... just to add more if you use "Collect for output" then beware. I say this because my observation is that lot's of design studios are getting involved in all sorts of silliness because they rely on the folder created for storage of the 'original files' when these are not the original files but linked files sent for output at that time. This means they end up rifling through their computer system trying to track down the 'up-to-date' file with the result of uncosted time and cross words.


                  If that's all just gone over your head... please forgive and just ignore it :-)

                  • 6. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
                    JETalmage Rockstar



                    Do as Larry suggested: Save the AI file with PDF compatibility and place it in InDesign as a link.


                    If you copy/paste artwork that is above a certain size/complexity threshold (as maps would easily be), InDesign will present an alert advising you to do otherwise.


                    When you save an AI file with PDF compatibility, Illustrator actually writes two full versions of the artwork into the file: One as native AI constructs; the other as simplified PDF content. When you then Place that AI file into InDesign, it is the PDF content that is imported, not the native AI stuff. If you save the AI file without PDF compatibility, it won't import.


                    In principle, EPS similarly "dumbs down" the AI content to simpler constructs, but the constructs are not necessarily the same as PDF. There's nothing necessarily wrong with using EPS; but it's often considered antequated within an Adobe-only workflow. It (or legacy .ai format) may still be needed in workflows involving some non-Adobe apps. But since you're using (assumedly same-version) InDesign, either save the map as AI with PDF comatibility, or Save As a press-ready PDF. Place that in InDesign and deliver your finished InDesign project as press-ready PDF.



                    • 7. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
                      jkvg Newcomer


                      Thanks, your comment is helpful. Now I know I am on the right track. I already choose the option of PDF-compitable file instead of EPS.


                      Now another issue: when I save  the AI file, there is also the question if I want to turn on the option "compressie gebruiken" ("use compression").

                      I always turn on this option, but I am not sure this will do any harm to the file?





                      • 8. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
                        Larry G. Schneider Mythic

                        No harm will come to the file, just space saved.

                        • 9. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
                          JETalmage Rockstar

                          I never use the compression option, for the same reason I don't use it in Corel Draw: Leaving it off avoids the common error of providing someone who uses the other program a compressed copy and having the recipient wrongly think they can't open it. Illustrator can open Draw files, but not if they were compressed--and vice-versa.



                          • 10. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
                            Luke Jennings Champion

                            FWIW, The InDesign equivalent of Quarks "collect for output" is "Package"

                            Your point about linked files and fonts not being packaged is valid.

                            • 11. Re: Placing a map in Indesign; do I use .eps or .ai?
                              PurplePlumUK Newcomer

                              Apologies.. and thanks, Luke, for picking me up on that one and clarifying. File > Package is what I was referring to. Regards all.