7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2016 8:26 AM by johnf76405211

    PNG image quality in InDesign ?

    AaronIL

      I've noticed several discussions on image quality issues in InDesign, but none of the ones I checked answered my question.

       

      Why does a PNG file created in Illustrator look terrible in InDesign (even with Display Performance set to high quality)?

       

      Here's a screen cap to explain. Background is how it looks in InDesign. Upper right is how it looks in Illustrator. Lower right is how the PNG looks in OS X Preview. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

       

      Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 7.05.25 PM.png

        • 1. Re: PNG image quality in InDesign ?
          Salah Fadlabi Level 5

          PNG setting?

          Are trying to place in indesign as Ai or pdf file?

          • 2. Re: PNG image quality in InDesign ?
            AaronIL Level 1

            I exported it from Illustrator as a PNG. Then I placed the PNG in InDesign.

             

            I wasn't aware you could export directly from Illustrator into InDesign!

             

            Strange, I just quit Illustrator and restarted, and the image is displaying just fine now.

            • 3. Re: PNG image quality in InDesign ?
              Salah Fadlabi Level 5

              I wasn't aware you could export directly from Illustrator into InDesign!

              You can place Ai or pdf in indesing, File>Place.

              • 4. Re: PNG image quality in InDesign ?
                Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                If you create stuff for print, avoid PNG.

                If you create art in Illustrator, there is not even one single reason to use PNG!

                1. PNG is a rasterized file.
                2. PNG is only RGB
                3. PNG supports only alpha transparency.

                 

                When you create artwork in Illustrator save as an AI file or as a PDF/X-4 file, import it in InDesign via File > Place…:

                1. AI and PDF/X-4 (only) support any form of transparency in InDesign.
                2. AI and PDF/X-4 (only) remain as vectors which will improve quality.
                3. AI and PDF/X-4 (only) support CMYK and RGB as well.
                4. AI and PDF/X-4 (only) reduce normally final file size.
                • 5. Re: PNG image quality in InDesign ?
                  AaronIL Level 1

                  Thanks Willi. I am creating stuff for print and/or PDF viewing. It needs to be able to do both, though mostly it will be PDF viewing I imagine.

                   

                  I'm going to be using a combination of Illustrator vector art as well as image files.

                   

                  So even if in this particular example you guys are right -- I can just use my AI file -- that's not going to be true for other instances in the project. What I've noticed is that InDesign is erratic in how it displays PNGs. Sometimes it appears as it should, sometimes it has terribly resolution. There doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason to these changes.

                   

                  Since I know *some* of what I'll be working with in InDesign are image files, is there a "gold standard" image file format that's superior to PNG?

                   

                  I definitely need alpha transparency. I wasn't even aware there were other forms of transparency. I still have much to learn.

                  • 6. Re: PNG image quality in InDesign ?
                    Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant
                    1. Use AI or PDF/X-4 if your have vectors with text (and maybe some images used there).
                    2. Use PSD in RGB with color profile if you have images with some kind of transparency but without text or vectors. You can use different Layer Compositions from Photoshop with PSD files.
                    3. Use PDF with Photoshop's default saving settings, if you use images with text and/or vectors.
                    4. Use JPG with high quality in RGB with color profile if you have images without layers and no transparency.
                    5. Use PNG only if you don't consider to print.
                    • 7. Re: PNG image quality in InDesign ?
                      johnf76405211 Level 1

                      The behavior you're seeing isn't a function of the image format. Indesign makes or imports a low-rez version of pixel images and then, eventually, builds a high-rez version if you've set your screen preview  to do so. Recent Indy versions have gotten lackadaisical about this; sometimes on my workstation it simply seems to forget to make the high-rez preview. Previously, this could consistently be solved by forcing an image re-link, but often that's no longer the case.

                       

                      I'm guessing it's a function of available RAM, but that is a shot in the dark.

                       

                      Vector objects have their own issues - they often just become invisible while dragging. Zooming in or out usually clears that up.