4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 7, 2012 10:54 AM by Bo LeBeau

    Exporting from InDesign to Photoshop?


      I am a Graphic Design student and I just got an e-mail from a possible client requesting that I redo a restaurant menu for him. He has requested that I give him Photoshop files that he can edit himself whenever the menu happens to change. A menu, however, really should be done in InDesign - is it possible for me to design it in InDesign but somehow export it to Photoshop so that he will be able to edit it, or will I have to take to designing it in Photoshop?

        • 1. Re: Exporting from InDesign to Photoshop?
          Michael Gianino Level 4

          It's possible, but because a menu has a good bit of text, it won't look as good when rendered into bitmaps as it would if you kept the text vector. If he wants to make daily changes, such as price changes, the convenience to him may outweigh the lower quality, but if he just wants to make occasional changes, you should talk him into letting you do the changes (for what ever fee you choose to negociate), and provide him a PDF.


          You can export the InDesign file to PDF and open it in Photoshop. The first window you will see in Photoshop (the Import PDF window) will allow you to define how the PDF will be rastered, including the color mode, size, resolution, and which page of the PDF will be rastered (if you select more than one page, each will open a a separate Photoshop document). You can then save as a Photoshop file, jpeg, tiff, or what ever format the client wants.

          • 2. Re: Exporting from InDesign to Photoshop?
            Scott Falkner Level 5

            If I were in your place I would strong discourage my client from working entirely in Photoshop to produce a menu. Anyone who would want to do this is almost certainly not savvy enough with either Photoshop or print production to do anything but a lousy job. (I would, of course, not phrase the situation that way.)


            If my efforts failed I would inform the client that rebuilding the file as an editable Photoshop file would be time consuming and billable. If the client was alright with that I would proceed this way:


            1. Export the InDesign file as a PDF. Open it in Photoshop at 600 ppi grayscale with antialiasing off (assuming the menu is one colour). 600 ppi sounds high, but remember this is typeset and should be treated as line art, not a continuous tone photograph.
            2. Start adding guides wherever you need alignment. You will probably add a lot of guides.
            3. Set the layer’s opacity to 50% or so.
            4. With the Horizontal Type tool I would re-enter all text as separate text elements. Use folders to group as you see fit. You may want to make a group for each menu item (Item name, Item description, Price). You may choose to group all like items together (i.e. one group for Item Names, one group for Item descriptions, etc.)
            5. For any other elements, like lines, try to rebuild using shapes like the Line tool. Complex paths difficult to replicate can be copied from InDesign and made into vector masks, which can either be filled or stroked.
            6. When the menu has been completely rebuilt to your satisfaction delete the template from step 1. Save the file as a Photoshop PDF. Change the file’s extension to PDP. This file will open in Photoshop and behave like a normal PSD, but it will print using vectors from any PDF savvy application like Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro.


            Steps 1 and 6 may sound contradictory. Why set the file up at such a high resolution when it will be output as vectors? That’s because it probably won’t. Make a file as idiot proof as you can, but idiot-proofing is always one generation behind idiots.


            Good luck.


            Edit: One more thing you need to tell your client is they will need to buy licences for any fonts you used. This may prompt them to request you switch to fonts you can both support without puying licences. This will suck.

            • 3. Re: Exporting from InDesign to Photoshop?
              Don Quinn Level 1

              As Photoshop CS6 introduces text styles, it is more difficult to make the argument that Photoshop cannot be used for page layout. A competent designer that understands its limitations could produce a menu in Photoshop... but then, a competent designer would also have better tools on hand (InDesign).


              Another option would be to find common ground with your client. You could use a free page layout program like Scribus that your client could install as well.


              Either way, your client is going to need to pay in some way for a truly editable menu.

              • 4. Re: Exporting from InDesign to Photoshop?
                Bo LeBeau Level 4

                Your potential client is requesting Photoshop files since everyone has heard about Photoshop and they apparently believe that it can do everything and anything.


                He may already have a copy of Photoshop, more than likely an older version, not the newest with additional text options. He may even just have Photoshop Elements.


                Laying out a lot of text in Photoshop will be difficult and time consuming, Menus often have tab leaders between the item and the price. As far as I can determine, Photoshop doesn't have any tab features.


                There are too many issues that may crop up for this to have a happy ending. The client may screw up the text when editing. He may inadvertently lower the resolution, save it in the wrong file format, wrong color mode, etc. and when the printer prints this and it looks like crap he will scream holy hell. The printer will deny any responsibility, So guess who will be blamed. He will come back to you and demand you fix it. Of course he will have made a ton to changes and will probably give you a flattened jpg file because that is all that he knows and will probably have deleted the original Photoshop PDF that you gave him. (Photoshop PDF is the only format that retains text vectors when placing in a page layout program which is what many printers will do to actually print the menu)


                It is likely that you will have to redo the menu with all his changes just to get something that will print correctly. The client won't want to be charged an additional fee so you may have to do it for free (or a greatly reduced fee) for a project that you assumed would be a one time job; create the file and the client will handle all changes in the future.


                This is best done in InDesign or another layout program. You will make all future changes (with additional fees for making changes) and then send the file to his printer.


                You will need to produce a proof for the client before sending the file to the printer. A flattened file with PROOF written over it will alert the client that this is NOT the file to automatically forward to the printer.If you send the good Photoshop PDF to him to proof he will open it in Photoshop thereby rasterizing the text. he will then likely save it (incorrectly,with some of the aforementioned issues) and send it to his printer.


                Whatever you do, GOOD LUCK!