29 Replies Latest reply on Feb 14, 2014 1:39 AM by Laubender

    Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app

    newIndesignUser Level 1

      Windws 7, CS6 trial version.

       

      I'd like to copy/paste a small image from another windows app (call it A) to open InDesign document using the windows clipboard.

       

      For some reason, when I paste the image into an open InDesign document, the image does not show up. Only an empty small frame shows up.

       

      error2_illustrator.png

       

      When I do the same thing and try to paste the image to Illustrator CS6 from same app A, I get this error:

       

      error1_illustrator.png

      The image I am trying to paste is very small. I can paste such images from app A into other windows applications with no problem. For example, I can paste into Word fine. If I then copy the same image from WORD to InDesign (also using the clipboard), then the paste is successful and I can see the image in inDesign now.

       

      It is only when I try to paste directly from A to indesign or Illustrator that it fails.

       

      I tried many other ways to paste the image into inDesign. Paste, CTRL-V, Paste-In place, etc...

       

      I know that one is suppsed to save an image to a file, then to use PLACE to copy it into inDesign. But these are many small items that I need to copy many one by one on the fly all the time, and it is no practical to keep saving each item to a file in order to copy it to inDesign.

       

      I can copy/paste from same app A into indesign normal text. It is only pictures that I am not able to copy.

       

      Question is: Why does inDesign fail to paste this image from app A, but I can paste, using the clipboard, from Word into indesign?

       

      What can I do to make the paste work from application A?

       

      I am on windows 7.  Illustrator is 17.1.0 64bits, and InDesign is 9.2 64 bit.

       

      Message was edited by: newIndesignUser

       

      Message was edited by: newIndesignUser

        • 1. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          It would be helpful to know the actual application...

           

          And in general one should not paste images into ID. Use File > Place to import and link them.

          • 2. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
            newIndesignUser Level 1

            The other application is called Scientific Word.

             

            It is not practical to save each item I want to copy from SW to a file, then use import it to inDesign. These can be tiny equations all over the place, and I do this all the time. I have to use copy/paste with the mouse to do this.

             

            I am able to copy/paste images (which are equations) from SW to many other windows apps with no problem. It is only inDesign and Illustrator that give the error.

             

            Any other information I can provide please let me know

            • 3. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
              Frans van der Geest (ACP) Adobe Community Professional

              Never, never Copy/Paste into InDesign. Use Place. Copying and pastong fron another application to InDesign is a bad habbit - except if you want to be able to change vector graphics from Illustrator (say a magazine log that changes color on the cover each issue) in InDesign directly. But not bitmaps, place!

              • 4. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                Frans van der Geest (ACP) Adobe Community Professional

                Forgive me my typo's I dan not edit on an iPad in this forums...

                • 5. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                  newIndesignUser Level 1

                  Again, using PLACE means the image have to be in a file first. This not practical for what I am doing. These are small items that I do not need to save to file, and need to paste directly from one app to inDesign.

                   

                  I do not see why I can't copy/paste an image to Illustrator or inDesign on windows using the clipboard, when this is something that works all the time with other apps.

                   

                  I am asking here to find if there is a way to make the copy/paste work, using the clipboard. If this does not work, then that is fine. I just just downloaded a trial version. It simply means I will not buy the product. I have to be able to use copy/paste.

                  • 6. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                    John Mensinger Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Without code-level knowledge of Scientific Word, I would theorize: 1) the equations it copies to the clipboard are of a format that the Adobe apps can't parse or don't recognize, or 2) Scientific Word has its own dedicated clipboard space the Adobe apps can't access.

                    • 7. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      I think never is really strong. Rarely is it a good idea, but copy/pasting Excel charts works like a charm as does small graphics from Illustrator.

                       

                      That said, can you copy to the clipboad in any specific format? Also, just as a lark, playing with the clipboard handling settings in your InDesign preferences.

                      • 8. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                        newIndesignUser Level 1

                        That said, can you copy to the clipboad in any specific format?

                         

                        I am afraid there is no such option. Only option is COPY PICTURE. I select the equation I want to copy in SW, then do COPY PICTURE. This copies it as an image to the clipboard. Then I can paste this into any other windows app. I've done this for years with no problem with many other apps (Visio, Word, etc...)

                         

                        (ps. I am not able to upload a screen shot here any more. I get an error)

                         

                        It is only Illustrator and inDesign (which I never used before) that do not like SW picture format for some reason. I am not able to find what format SW uses. I asked SW support if they know.

                         

                        Without being able to copy/paste using the mouse, using InDesign become not practical for me. I can't save a 2-letters image to a file in order to paste it into another app. This will not work for me. I have to be able to use the mouse.

                        • 9. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                          Frans van der Geest (ACP) Adobe Community Professional

                          Oke, 'never' may be a bit strong. But bitmaps loose link information if it changes and worse, profiles for color management gettng lost are the reason I 'never' paste but Place. But indeed for this kind of scenerios (ad with some Illustrator logos) I see why one eants to copy/paste. But I always put my statements a bit strong ;-)

                          • 10. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            You could do the work in Word and place the word file into InDesign.

                             

                             

                             

                            Before doing so I would test it out with a few of these images.

                            • 11. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                              newIndesignUser Level 1

                              Here is an example. I copy a small equation as picture in SW, then paste it to any other application. It works. Here I pasted it into irfanView app. It works. Also it shows the image information in the clipboard. Does anyone see any prorblem with such an image?

                              error_4.png

                              When I try to paste the same image in the clipboard to say Illustrator, I get the error

                               

                              error2_illustrator.png

                              When I now copied the same image from IrfranView (also using the clipboard) and went to InDesign and did CTRL-V, then it worked. The image did show up fine. 

                              • 12. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                Will it paste into Photoshop?

                                • 13. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                  newIndesignUser Level 1

                                  I downloaded a trial version of photoshop elements 12. And this is what I did.

                                  COPY PICTURE from SW, then in photoshop did FILE->NEW->IMAGE FROM CLIPBOARD

                                  and it worked. I see the image pasted in photoshop.

                                   

                                  So, it works with photoshop. But not with Indesign and not with Illustrator. This is on windows 7 64 bit.

                                   

                                  error_5.png

                                  • 14. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                    newIndesignUser Level 1

                                    I got a reply from SW support that the image is put in clipboard using Metafile and also as an Enhanced Metafile. And it is up the receiving application which one to use when one pastes into it from the clipboard.

                                     

                                    So, the question is, why InDesign nor Illustrator are able to read Metafile image format from the clipboard? Other apps have an option called "paste special", but I could not find such an option in indesign.

                                    • 15. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                      I see in the screen shot that besides the copy picture command there's a normal copy. Does that work any differently? Does it work to paste into word, then copy from word and paste into ID?

                                      • 16. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                        newIndesignUser Level 1

                                        Peter Spier wrote:

                                         

                                        I see in the screen shot that besides the copy picture command there's a normal copy. Does that work any differently? Does it work to paste into word, then copy from word and paste into ID?

                                        Yes, Normal copy, or copy internal format, works. But these do not copy the equation as an image, hence I lose the actual math notation. I just get text type represention. I have to copy the equation as an image (picture).

                                         

                                        Yes, as I said, I can copy picture, and paste it to word or visio or any other window app. No problem, the image is copied fine. If I copy/paste to word, the image shows fine in a word document. 

                                         

                                        If I copy the image from word to InDesign, it works also. It does not not work directly from SW to indesign.

                                         

                                        InDesign does not seem to handle metafile clipboard image data, which make no sense, since this is basic image format for windows.

                                        • 17. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          But InDesign's main workflow is for publishing. In a publishing workflow, by far the best workflow is to link images for a number of reasons. Embedding images increases the file size, sometimes making the file extremely large and unstable. Embedding images doesn't work well when you're sharing a resource, like a logo, and want it to be replicated the same in multiple files. A linked graphic can be updated more easily since all the copies are linked to the same original.

                                           

                                          Furthermore, the kind of graphics which are usually used in InDesign are very complex Illustrator-created vector graphics or high-resolution images. The clipboard mechanism on both Windows and Macintosh isn't robust enough for accurate reproduction. There is no way to convey complex vectors with the Clipboard (it's limited to very simple paths). There is no way to manage colors.

                                           

                                          The workflow you're using is adequate for an office environment, but not for publishing.

                                          • 18. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                            newIndesignUser wrote:

                                            ...Yes, Normal copy, or copy internal format, works. But these do not copy the equation as an image, hence I lose the actual math notation. I just get text type represention. I have to copy the equation as an image (picture).

                                             

                                             

                                            ...If I copy the image from word to InDesign, it works also. It does not not work directly from SW to indesign.

                                             

                                            InDesign does not seem to handle metafile clipboard image data, which make no sense, since this is basic image format for windows.

                                            What font is being used for these equatons? Is it available to ID? I don't work with equations in my workflow, so I don't know much about setting them up.

                                             

                                            Seems like if you want to paste, pasting to word first is at least a viable workaround. ID is a cross-platform application, and I think the largest portion of users are still Mac-based, so it isn't all that surprising that it doesn't parse a windows-only format from the clipboard (though my suspicion is there is soomething wonky about how SW is putting the data on the clipboard to start -- you can place .wmf in ID with no problew, which ID cannot parse.

                                             

                                            This is the first time I've ever heard of SW, by the way. We do see quite a few questions involving equations, but they tend to be users of MathType.

                                            • 19. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              But bitmaps loose link information if it changes and worse, profiles for color management gettng lost are the reason I 'never' paste but Place....

                                               

                                              The clipboard mechanism on both Windows and Macintosh isn't robust enough for accurate reproduction. There is no way to convey complex vectors with the Clipboard (it's limited to very simple paths). There is no way to manage colors.

                                               

                                              The evils of the clipboard keep coming up, but I don't see any evidence—at least on OSX. If you set your Clipboard Handling preference to Prefer PDF When pasting the pasted object is a PDF with all of the original's resolution and color information including profile assignments.

                                               

                                              So here I've pasted a CMYK box from an illustrator doc with Web Fogra28 assigned, and an RGB image from Photoshop with ProPhotoRGB assigned. When I export the page to PDF/X-4 and check the pasted objects their color assignments have been maintained:

                                               

                                              ScreenSnapz001.png

                                               

                                              With the image selected the ProPhoto profile shows as well as the res which is the same as it was in PS

                                               

                                              ScreenSnapz002.png

                                              • 20. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                So, the question is, why InDesign nor Illustrator are able to read Metafile image format from the clipboard?

                                                 

                                                Have you tried setting your Clipboard Handling preference  to PDF and Paste All Information?

                                                 

                                                Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 9.57.33 AM.png

                                                • 21. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                  Frans van der Geest (ACP) Adobe Community Professional

                                                  The evils of the clipboard keep coming up, but I don't see any evidence—at least on OSX. If you set your Clipboard Handling preference to Prefer PDF When pasting the pasted object is a PDF with all of the original's resolution and color information and that includes profiles.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  Sure. Now try it with a PSD with Layers.

                                                   

                                                  A placed PSD can have its layers settings changed, a pasted image just pastes the targeted layer. And thats it. What happens with text (not rendered as bitmap) is another question.

                                                   

                                                  Psting has gotten a lot better the last year, but my bitmaps - I still Place them!

                                                  • 22. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    Right, the advantage of placing is for future editing, but if I have a logo that I know I will never need or want to edit I can paste it as a PDF and the output quality will be no different than if I link. And there's the small advantage of the logo not needing to travel with the ID file.

                                                     

                                                    I'm not advocating for pasting, just saying nothing bad will happen at output or export.

                                                    • 23. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                      newIndesignUser Level 1

                                                      Rob Day wrote:

                                                       

                                                      So, the question is, why InDesign nor Illustrator are able to read Metafile image format from the clipboard?

                                                       

                                                      Have you tried setting your Clipboard Handling preference  to PDF and Paste All Information?

                                                       

                                                      Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 9.57.33 AM.png

                                                       

                                                      Yes. I have tried the above, and tried it again now. No difference. The image is not pasted. Only an empty frame shows up. No image.

                                                       

                                                      I will not buy inDesign if I am not able to paste a metafile images to it from the clipboard. This is something I do all the time on windows. This is for personal use, and it is not important for me if the quality is very good or not. I am not going to publish this or make a book.

                                                       

                                                      It is much more convenient to just copy/paste an equation from SW using the mouse than having to create file first, save it, then open the file again from InDesign and import the image.

                                                       

                                                      I do this all the time with all windows apps, and never had a problem copying/pasting images with the mouse and the clipboard except with Illustrator and inDesign.

                                                       

                                                      You'd expect for a product that costs thousands of dollars, something as basic as this would work.

                                                      • 24. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                        Frans van der Geest (ACP) Adobe Community Professional

                                                        Just some very simple questions:

                                                        If you draw a graphic frame first (the one with a square in it) keep that frame selected and then use PASTE INTO instead of a simple Paste, what happens? What happens if, with the frame selected after pasting, you use Object/Fitting/Adjust frame to content?

                                                        What happens if you do the same but with a Text Frame?

                                                        • 25. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                          Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                          I do this all the time with all windows apps, and never had a problem copying/pasting images with the mouse and the clipboard except with Illustrator and inDesign.

                                                           

                                                          You'd expect for a product that costs thousands of dollars, something as basic as this would work.

                                                           

                                                          Unless you have some other app besides Scientific Word that acts as a front-end for LaTeX, I really doubt that any of the rest of the Windows applications into which you are pasting are built for professional print workflows the way that InDesign and Illustrator are. WMF and EMF files are consistently problematic - they work great as a way to get stuff from one Office app to another. But that is the extent of their utility, I think.

                                                           

                                                          I've noticed that Corel Draw is more tolerant of munged-up EMF files than is Illustrator. If you can get it on the cheap, you may well be able to paste into Corel Draw and export easily editable and placeable Illustrator files.

                                                           

                                                          Given your specifications (personal project, no concern for print quality) I'd have to say that InDesign is not the tool you're looking for. InDesign has rather higher standards for image file formats (and fonts) than your generic Office apps because the workflows for which it is intended tend to have rather stringent requirements. Ironically enough, it won't let you paste in EMF because it costs thousands of dollars. The thing you're trying to do with it is too basic.

                                                           

                                                          So take a look at Publisher. You can paste EMF into Publisher, no problem.

                                                           

                                                          (Really, I'd suggest that you just grit your teeth and use LaTeX instead of letting SciWord be your frontend. Then you won't need to copy/paste your equations from one tool to another.)

                                                          • 26. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                            MW Design Level 4

                                                            I downloaded the trial. Evidently one of the features not available in the trial is "Copy Picture." So I couldn't test the thing. While it may be able to copy metafiles to the clipboard, it is in one of a bazillion formats that an application can put meta data into the clipboard that Adobe evidently doesn't like...from reading through this thread.

                                                             

                                                            The code in that application is ancient. Likely the library for the clipboard is as well. If it ain't broke and all that.

                                                             

                                                            If I were to be purchasing something for use with ID, it would be MathType for use in ID. Works well. 1/6 the cost of this Whiz-bang front-end to TeX.

                                                             

                                                            Professional versus non-professional applications. I really get amused of the characterization of certain applications being for "professional" output and the rest...not so much. It isn't so much the tools one uses as how they are used. I would bet I can prep a single laid-out page in Word that one cannot tell if it was set in TeX, in Publisher that one cannot tell from an ID page, and the list goes on.

                                                            • 27. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                              newIndesignUser Level 1

                                                              F van der Geest wrote:

                                                               

                                                              Just some very simple questions:

                                                              If you draw a graphic frame first (the one with a square in it) keep that frame selected and then use PASTE INTO instead of a simple Paste, what happens? What happens if, with the frame selected after pasting, you use Object/Fitting/Adjust frame to content?

                                                              What happens if you do the same but with a Text Frame?

                                                              Thank you for the suggestions. I tried them all and the image still do not show up.

                                                              For the first case, created a frame using "Rectangle frame tool" (which is what I assume is meant by the graphic frame. I am a newbie in inDesign) and in the second case, created a frame using "Type tool" and followed your instructions.

                                                              Nothing happens. The image do not show up.

                                                              It is the same problem with illustrator. But illustrator at least gives the error:

                                                               

                                                              error_6.png

                                                              While inDesign fails quietly and with no error message (which is a bad software design, since now the user sees no error message and wonders, as the case here, what happened to the image they just pasted. A program should always generate an error message and not fail silently).

                                                              • 28. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                                Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                @newIndesignUser – I'm thinking about a solution by scripting this.

                                                                Since I am on Mac OSX, not on Windows, I hope one of the VBScripters can chime in here.

                                                                 

                                                                (I don't know, if solution one presented below will be possible with VBScript)

                                                                 

                                                                Two possible solutions I did not tested yet:

                                                                 

                                                                1. Accessing the clipboard, writing a file of its contents, loading InDesign's cursor

                                                                 

                                                                On a Mac we can access the clipboard directly through AppleScript and try to write a file from there ( * ); could be a PDF, could be possibly a PNG or something else. Once that file is written, we could load it to the cursor tip by populating the so-called PlaceGun, where the user could place it immediately on a page in InDesign.

                                                                 

                                                                2. Accessing the clipboard, writing a file of its contents using PhotoShop, loading InDesign's cursor

                                                                 

                                                                On PC and Mac we could access PhotoShop out of InDesign using a bridge between their two scripting worlds called BridgeTalk.

                                                                 

                                                                So the plan would be:

                                                                After the image was copied to the clipboard, run a script, that:

                                                                 

                                                                A. Is telling PhotoShop to make a file out of the clipboard contents

                                                                B. telling InDesign to use that file populating the placeGun

                                                                 

                                                                In effect, the user gets a file from the clipboard to its cursor tip.

                                                                 

                                                                Uwe

                                                                 

                                                                ( * ) Muppet Mark is showing that over there:

                                                                function clipboardtoPDF()

                                                                http://forums.adobe.com/message/4288426#4288426

                                                                • 29. Re: Unable to paste images to InDesign from one app
                                                                  Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                  Now, that I could test Muppet Mark's script on my Mac, it throws an error message…
                                                                  Let's see, if some of the AppleScript guys (or Mark) could answer why.

                                                                   

                                                                  Leaves us with option number 2, using PhotoShop.

                                                                   

                                                                  Uwe