11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 19, 2015 6:51 AM by rob day

    Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?

    Jack Level 1

      My book project consists of of multiple, 300dpi jpg images, wihch need to be inserted on pages of the book.

       

      I have noticed that it is mechanically simpler to simply copy and paste any image, rather than Place | Navigate to source, etc., provided that the quality of the final image in the exported PDF is not compromised.

       

      Would you please advise if the image quality is the same when copied/pasted, rather than "placed" into my inDesign document.

        • 1. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          They are not nearly the same. Use file place.

          • 2. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
            Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

            Don't use copy and paste, use only place. But you can make it faster and easier:

            • You can select several images at once and place them after.
            • You can open Bridge (or MiniBridge), select the images and drag and drop them from there.
            • You can go to the Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows) and drag the image(s) into the document.
            • On the Mac you can have an image (or also other file) open and when the file is saved you will have a small document icon on the top of the document window, take this from the open file (e.g. in Photoshop) and drag it into your document.
            • 3. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
              Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

              While copy/paste of images is dangerous poison in general, there is one time it should be fine: to copy/paste an image WITHIN ONE DOCUMENT e.g. to move it or duplicate it. This should be fine as the link info should be preserved.

               

              It MIGHT also be safe to copy/paste BETWEEN INDESIGN DOCUMENTS but I'd want confirmation of that.

               

              By the way, if you are on Windows you might find the "navigate to source" step can be speeded up by setting up a shortcut.

              • 4. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                Yes, you can do that, but in effect you are not copy/pasting an image. You are copy/pasting a link when doing it internally.

                • 5. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Would you please advise if the image quality is the same when copied/pasted, rather than "placed" into my inDesign document.....

                   

                   

                   

                  While copy/paste of images is dangerous poison in general

                   

                  If you set your Clipboard Handling preference to Prefer PDF When Pasting it's hard to find any evidence of a quality difference between pasting and linking, at least on OSX. A pasted image is embedded so there might be a problem with file size if you pasted multiple large pixel dimension images and it would be harder to edit the image once it is pasted, but Acrobat tells me the same image linked and pasted have the same resolution and color properties.

                   

                  This PDF/X-4 has the same CMYK image pasted from Photoshop and then linked. Both have Coated FOGRA27 assigned. Acrobat's Object Inspector shows no difference in resolution, bit depth, or color space:

                   

                  http://www.zenodesign.com/forum/PasteVsLinked.zip

                   

                  Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.30.21 AM.png

                  • 6. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
                    Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                    Copy & Paste increases the file size and is one of the main reasons of corrupted files.

                    BTW. If you place images, you should not recommend to use CMYK.

                    • 7. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Copy & Paste increases the file size and is one of the main reasons of corrupted files.

                       

                      The OP was asking if there's a quality difference in pasting vs. placing and the various replies are implying that there is, but on OSX I can't find any evidence of resolution, bit depth or color changes. Maybe someone on another OS can show us a problem with an export.

                      BTW. If you place images, you should not recommend to use CMYK.

                       

                      I only used CMYK as an example in my search for a color quality problem—I wasn't recommending a color space.

                       

                      I do agree for general work that needs to be output to multiple devices placing RGB is the best approach. On the other hand I wouldn't say never use CMYK. If the job is getting printed once or to a single offset press condition (not that uncommon) delaying the conversion might be convenient but doesn't produce a different result assuming the conversion profiles are the same. There are also legitimate reasons for making post CMYK corrections. You might want to force a color outside of the RGB gamut like 100% cyan, or you might want to ensure the neutrality of an image by converting it with more black generation so the neutral colors hold up better on press. And finally there are still (rather large) printers requesting CMYK—see Vista Print or Ingram

                      • 8. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
                        Jack Level 1

                        Thanks to all for useful comments on this. Finally back to it...too many distractions.

                         

                        Turns out, my printer is Ingram/Lightning Source, so yes, I need to use CMYK in my images.

                         

                        Today, after loading from IDML, I noticed that, when each image was loaded, inDesign's progress-message sequence included "Placing image". This despite the fact that most of my images had not been placed, but pasted. I need to re-load all images in the document for other reasons, and plan to place each. In a few trials I found an improved workflow that avoided the negatives that had earlier led me to copying/pasting.

                        • 9. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
                          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                          EVen if the printer needs CMYK, place RGB. Convert when you export to a CMYK PDF.

                          • 11. Re: Copy | Paste vs. Place image: are they equivalent?
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Assuming you use the same profile, conversion intent and black point compensation, the exported CMYK values will be the same whether you make the conversion in Photoshop or at export, so if your question is still about quality it doesn't matter what mode you place. If the question is about workflow RGB is better because it can be more easily re-purposed for another print condition.

                             

                            If you place RGB make sure you turn on Overprint/Separation preview so you can see the effect of the document's CMYK profile and conversion intent on the converted colors. Unfortunately, last time I checked, Ingram insists on CMYK but doesn't say what their press profile is, so you have to guess.