8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2013 6:11 AM by Eugene Tyson

    best diagram format to place in InDesign

    linneaadobe

      Hi all,

       

      I am creating a few diagrams - circles, lines and text - in Photoshop that I want to include in the book I am laying out in InDesign (CS6). I have tried saving the diagram as a jpg, gif, tiff and pdf (no compromising) and on transparent backgrounds where applicable but frankly, they all look pretty terrible. In particular, the text is fuzzy (I have been using Garamond, since it is a generally considered to be a good print font) even when saved and reviewed in Photoshop.

       

      Somtimes the size of the image gets changed as well; generally it saves larger.

       

      Any clue on what I am doing wrong and/or the best file format to use? I would truly appreciate some experience on this. Many thanks!

       

      Linnea

        • 1. Re: best diagram format to place in InDesign
          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Firstly, photoshop is not the correct program to be making diagrams in - you're better off using Adobe Illustrator - or if they are simple enough you can create the Diagrams directly in InDesign.

           

          Photoshop is primarily a Raster editing program, in that it deals with pixels. Illustrator is a Vector program and allows a much better image that can be printed a lot sharper.

           

          For photoshop diagrams  you would need a resolution of 600 PPI or in excess of that depending on the output for print.

           

          Why the image is fuzzy?

          1. InDesign is a Page Layout tool - when you place an image into InDesign it doesn't place the image itself, but rather a proxy image that is there only for the purpose of layout. To view a higher resolution proxy (thumbnail) you can go to View>Display Settings>High Quality - again this is still a proxy image but should show it in more detail.
          2. The image in photoshop might be very low quality - what is your resolution in photoshop and at what size are you placing the image? For example, if I have a 300 ppi that is 300x300 pixels in size in photoshop and Place it in InDesign at 300% it's original size it will be only 72 ppi - which isn't great for print reproduction.

           

          Correct format from photoshop?

          1. PDF would be the best to use when saving from photoshop for diagrams - as this can contain vector information but this relies on you using
            1. Vector shapess in photoshop
            2. Vector masks in photoshop
            3. Retaining all text layers as Text and not rasterising them

           

          You can then save the file as PDF and be sure to tick Retain Photoshop Editing Capabilities.

           

           

          But be warned that if you have black text and black lines, depending on your setup you may force those thin black lines into 4 colour Blacks which might make it difficult for a printing press (litho or flexo etc.) to keep in register.

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          • 2. Re: best diagram format to place in InDesign
            linneaadobe Level 1

            Hi Eugene,

             

            Thank you for writing. I will have to look again at my settings in Photoshop but it seems that Vector, which I have never worked with, is really the only good option if I want a professional and not a "notebook" look. Perhaps there is a trial version of Illustrator...

             

            (I do have black lines and black text.)

             

            I tried to create the diagrams in InDesign, but went back to Photoshop as I am more familiar with it. Does InDesign create Vector images as you suggest?

            • 3. Re: best diagram format to place in InDesign
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Yes, there is a trial of for Illustrator....  I think it's a pretty safe bet that if you can draw it as a vector in Photoshop you can do it directly in ID as well.

              • 4. Re: best diagram format to place in InDesign
                Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                If you dig around some online tuts and familiarise yourself with the tools in InDesign - I found this one, but I admit I have not watched it so I can't vouch for it - but it's the first one that popped up in a search http://www.digitaltutors.com/lesson/447-Drawing-vector-objects-in-InDesign

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                • 5. Re: best diagram format to place in InDesign
                  linneaadobe Level 1

                  Oh, and one more question? If I create the diagram in Illustrator, do you know what settings for saving I should use? Save as... what?

                   

                  Thanks again. I really appreciate your input.

                  • 6. Re: best diagram format to place in InDesign
                    Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Save it as an .ai and choose PDF compatible file - that's the best format probably.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: best diagram format to place in InDesign
                      linneaadobe Level 1

                      I did check out that tutorial. Thanks, it was actually pretty good and it will likely be worth it to watch some more if they have it. For the record, they covered lines and waves and shapes, but not text.

                      • 8. Re: best diagram format to place in InDesign
                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Text is pretty simple - just select the text tool and draw a text frame - then insert the text.

                         

                        If you want the text to be on a line then draw a line, then click and hold on the Text Tool to reveal the "Type on Path" tool, click the line and type.

                         

                        Check out videos on Type on Path too.

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