8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 26, 2014 2:52 PM by drpitcairn

    How best to import graphics into InDesign?

    drpitcairn Level 1

      Generally I have used png or tiff format for graphics to bring into ID, but puzzled by something that is happening with them. I will be sent a graphic file that is over 800 px wide, say 400 px vertically, and resolution is 300 dpi. So this should be plenty large to place on a page and have it span the full width of the letter sized page I would think. What is odd is that when imported the file is very small, like maybe 2.5 inches wide. Sure, I can resize it but then it seems to lose quality. So why is it coming in so small? Shouldn't 800 px horizontally be much larger than this?

       

      Thanks for any suggestions.

       

      — Richard

        • 1. Re: How best to import graphics into InDesign?
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          At 300 ppi, and 800 pixel dimension has a physical dimension of 2.667 inches.

          • 2. Re: How best to import graphics into InDesign?
            drpitcairn Level 1

            That is what it looks like, but why? If it is sized to 800 pix, then why would the resolution make it smaller?

            • 3. Re: How best to import graphics into InDesign?
              Derek Cross Level 6

              800 divided by 300 = 2.66 inches - that's how you get the printing size.

               

              If you enlarge the image in InDesign it reduces the pixels per inch so it lowers the quality of the image. if you interpolate it in Photoshop it will be better but as it adds adjacent pixels it will soften the image. So better to go back to the original image and rescan it, if it's a scan or alternatively re-import the original (hopefully) larger photograph and size it, again in Photoshop to the size and resolution you want it to appear in inDesign.

               

              So if you want to print an image say 5" wide at 300ppi, the image dimension would be 1,500px

              (for simplicity I've just given the pixel number for just one side of the image).

               

              Derek

              • 4. Re: How best to import graphics into InDesign?
                drpitcairn Level 1

                Thanks. I did not know that formula for calculating printing. Do you have a suggestion for minimal resolution to use? I thought it should be 300 but maybe that is too high.

                • 5. Re: How best to import graphics into InDesign?
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  drpitcairn wrote:

                   

                  That is what it looks like, but why? If it is sized to 800 pix, then why would the resolution make it smaller?

                  Resolution is defined as the number of pixels in a given space. The tighter you pack them the higher the resolution. And until you put the image into a situation where it has a physical size, as it does on a page, the resolution value has no meaning (nor doe the number saved in photoshop, unless you use the image at the physical size associated with the number.

                   

                  I used to demonstrate the concept of resolution to myu classes by drawing a checkerboard on a balloon. The squares represent the pixels. As you inflate the balloon, the the number of squares (pixels) remains constant, but the space thgey take up gets bigger, and the resolution goes down. In ID you'll see two resolution values listed for pixel content in the info panel, actual ppi, which is what phtoshop saves, and effective ppi, which is the number that counts --- the resolution as the image is being used on your page.

                  • 6. Re: How best to import graphics into InDesign?
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    drpitcairn wrote:

                     

                    Thanks. I did not know that formula for calculating printing. Do you have a suggestion for minimal resolution to use? I thought it should be 300 but maybe that is too high.

                    300 ppi is a rule of thumb for commercial offset printing, based on a 150 lpi linescreen and the "resolution should equal twice the linescreen" maxim. In many cases 300 ppi is more than you need, and it could be less. It depends on the printing method and the distance at which you are inteded to view the image. THere's a nice discussion about this at Distance-Resolution Formula

                    • 7. Re: How best to import graphics into InDesign?
                      Derek Cross Level 6

                      And as Peter had explained in previous posts (to others) 300ppi is rule of thumb allowing 2 pixels per LPI (line screen) which is 150 LPI for printing on good quality coated stock by sheet fed litho. This will cover most jobs, but you might want higher resolution for the very best quality work.

                      • 8. Re: How best to import graphics into InDesign?
                        drpitcairn Level 1

                        Thank you very much. A complicated process to me but your explanation greatly helps.

                         

                        — Richard