It sounds like you're jumping in before you have learned the basics of the program. Maybe you don't feel you have the time, but you will probably waste more time poking around trying to find the answers than you would learning the basics at the beginning. Sandee Cohen's book has been recommended by many people as a good place to start, and you will find videos, from the free ones on YouTube to the subscription videos at Lynda.com and other sources, as there's always the tutorials in the InDesign Help file. I can get you over this little hump, but give my suggestion some consideration.
You can place an object on the pasteboard by not having a text cursor in the text when you place. When the image is ready to be placed, just click somewhere there is nothing and that's where it will make a free-standing image. You can then size the image by using the Selection tool (black arrow) and dragging one of the sides or corners while holding the Command key (Mac OS, probably the Alt key on Windows). If you want the image to resize proportionally, hold the shift and Command before dragging a corner or side. Using the Direct Select (white arrow) will allow you to change the content or the frame (the container) independently, which works well for cropping the image within the container. You can switch between Select and Direct Select by double-clicking on the image, so that might be what's going wrong for you. There is also a circle that appears when you place the cursor over the image, and if you click on it to drag, you move the image inside the frame, but the frame remains stationary (which is another thing that newbies struggle with). Once the image is around the size you want, you can copy it with the Selection tool, switch to the type tool, place the cursor where you want the image to be placed and paste. Also, since InDesign isn't a word processor, you don't need to anchor the image within the text if that isn't what you want. The freestanding image may be placed anywhere you like, and text can be made to wrap around it if you like by going to Window>Text Wrap (wrap is applied to the thing you want to repel the text, so don't apply it to the text itself unless you want the text frame to repel text in other frames).
That's a start, but you will find things much easier once you do a little homework. Good luck, and come on back if you need help, but as with many online forums, the more you try to help yourself, the better treatment you will get from the forum users who might think you want them to do your work for you. Just sayin…
@Mary – so I would recommend:
1. Do not select an insertion point before placing.
Or: 2. Un-check "Replace selected object"* in the place dialog where you select the image you want to place.
Just size the image while placing (draw a rectangle with the filled curser) or shortly after.
Then cut and paste the image to the insertion point.
*I'm on a German UI, so the wording could be slightly different.
Images will behave differently depending on what you do when you place them.
If you click and release with no frame, the entire image will be placed with the upper left corner where you click, and the size will be 100% (based on the dimensions at which the file was saved -- in some cases where the file is direct from the camera, or the dimensions are extremely large, ID will scale the image, but this is rare). If you click and drag a fame, the frame will be proportional to the image dimensions and the image will fill the frame and scale to fit. If you click inside an exisiting frame, the image will be placed in the upper left corner at 100% and may be cropped or may leave empty space, depending on the relative sizes, unless other fitting options have been chosen for the frame.
Your description sounds, though, like you are placing the image inline into running text as an anchored object. Is it you intent that the image should be anchored to a specific spot in the text and move with it during editing? If you have an active text cursor when you use File > Place... your image will be placed at the cursor location at 100%, and if it's large it will, as you describe, displace your text. To adjust the image size you probably want to use the selection tool (black arrow) to select the frame and content together for scaling. When you use the Direct Select (white arrow) tool you slect only the image inside the frame, and the frame itself remains unchanged.
If, in fact, you really do want anchored images, you might find it easier to place them using the click and drag method on the pasteboard first, then drag the small blue square on the top edge of the frame into the position in yoru text where you want to anchor the image. Finally, if you want it inline, right click the image and choose Anchored Object > Options... and change the position from Custom to Inine or Above Line.
Hi Peter and everyone else,
Thanks so much for your replies. I have actually previously done about 8 books in InDesign in CS4, and the same problem was happening in there, but in CS6 I am finding it much harder to resize the pictures, or even find them once they are pasted.
This book I am doing in InDesign CS6 is for epub, and in the past I have had trouble with pasting the images as free floating elements, so I always make a line, place the cursor on the line and then paste the image there, so it remains in the correct place in the text. For epub I don't try to wrap the text around the image, as it seems to create too many problems.
I do use the process described by Peter, using the black arrow to select the image, and then the second arrow to resize it, but I find it baulky and have to click and select and move the image many times before I can get it to resize, or not turn into the brown box instead of the blue box. Can anyone point me to a video that explains the brown and blue boxes perhaps? Extensive googling and searching online has not given me anything helpful there.
I guess I do sound like a newbie at this, despite having done so many books already. I have done extensive googling on the problem since I started using CS4 and also I have searched high and low in InDesign help and I have not really found anything much on the subject. So this aspect of using InDesign has always been a problem for me, and I thought I would try this forum to see if there is anything that can help me understand what is going on with image placement in InDesign.
I am more familiar with CorelDraw which is much easier to use in this regard, and has a great Image processing area to manage image adjustments once you have dragged and dropped an image on the page.
At the moment for InDesign CS6 I am resizing the images in Photoshop to 300 dpi and they are coming in at a reasonable size so they don't totally break the layout and disappear along with the text following the image.
@Mary – just adding a "minute" bit of info:
1. Every image in a document has the following structure:
1.1 A container element (graphic frame, could be a rectangle, a oval, a polygon…)
1.2 The image itself
It was not present in CS4, but in CS6 you can go to your Layers Panel and get information out of every object on the current spread. Just tick the small triangle at the layer name to reveal the objects on the specific layer.
The noneprinting "blueness" of your container stems from the color of the corresponding layer in the Layers Palette. The noneprinting "brown" color surrounding the image is
also derived from the color of your layer. It's a contrasting color. If you chose the color "red" for your layer the sorrunding color of your image will be "blue", the container color will be "red".
I didn't read the replies here - so it might have already been suggested - don't know why the replies are so lengthy?
InDesign will place the image at 100% when you Place the image and select click.
You need to click and drag to draw the Frame to the correct size.
If you're placing it within a paragraph you don't get this option.
Best to open all the images you want to use and batch run a command in photoshop to Save the images to a new folder at the width of your text frame.
When you place the image now it will fit exactly in the margins.
If I understand you correctly all of your images are inlines, which is fine (and the right proceedure for ePub, I think). The place your technique is falling down the most is in the scaling. There is no reason to change to the Direct Select tool. You need to stay with the Selection tool (black arrow) in order to scale both the image AND the frame. As a convenience now, when you double-click an object with the selection tool you select the content (the color of the bounding box changes) without having to switch tools, and double-clicking a second time will switch back to the container. You might be running into this if you find bounding box colors changing unexpectedly.
Another way to deal with resizing your images is to use the control panel Width and Height fields. When a frame is selected you normally see 100% in these fields (unless your "When Scaling" preference is set to "Adjust Scaling Percentage" instead of "Apply to Content"), and they expect values in per cent units by default, but you can enter a size in any units, as long as you include the unit, like 12 mm, .5in, or 372 px, and your image and frame will be scaled to that size, leaving whichever control point you've selected in position and moving the others toward or away from it. In your case, selecting the upper left point in the proxy is probably the best bet.
I also think that placing and sizing your images on the pasteboard is likely to be easier than placing them directly inline. I mentioned before that you can drag the blue sqaure to anchor them, but you can also just cut and paste int postion in the text, which might be easier than changing the Anchored Object options -- they paste as inlines automatically.
I had a similar issue to yours and found that Peter’s suggestion in his last post, to place the images in the pasteboard first (not directly into your document), works best for me. While in the pasteboard you can resize it to your specifications. I do this adjusting the W and H in the top menu. Then I click Fit Content to Frame (because you've been adjusting the frame not the image itself). Then I cut it and paste it into my document. I did also struggle with the blue and brown boxes for a while! It was driving me crazy. But finally I grasped the concept that an image in ID comes with a frame. So, you have your frame in blue and your image in brown. You toggle between them by clicking twice with the black arrow. The first click gives you the blue frame, the second the brown frame. As you can tell from the posts above, there are several ways to achieve the same goal. You just have to find what best suits your needs. There are quite a few videos regarding placing images in ID. A good start is http://tv.adobe.com/ .
Sorry, I did say Width and Height fields, didn't I, even though I then mentioned percents. The correct fields to use would be the Horizontal Scale and Vertical Scale fields, and the rest of the suggestion was worded correctly I think. Using those fields, and leaving them linked, allows you to change the scale of both the frame and content in one step and you only need to adjust one -- when the link is active the other comes along for the ride. You can specify a percenatge to scale, or use an absolute value, as mentioned, as long as you include the units. No units is assumed to be per cent.
Thanks to Peter Speir, Ellis, Eugene and everyone for your help on this! I can see that I have been expecting InDesign to behave a certain way, instead of being able to work out how it actually works. Thanks for your advice everyone, very helpful!