15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 28, 2016 10:32 AM by roscoeheather

    Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign

    roscoeheather

      Hey everyone,

       

      I'm new to InDesign. I am creating a catalog for my company and we have over 300 pictures that I have to put in it. This is my 3rd year making the catalog. The first year, I did not re-size any of the images before putting it in the catalog. Instead I re-sized it in the program itself. That resulted in taking forever when I loaded it everyday to work on it. Also, the pdf file was super large. The second year, I re-sized all the images to the frame that I was using and that was a lot better (still slow loading but not as bad).

      What would you recommend for InDesign? Should I re-size all the pictures to the frame that I will be using or can I enter the picture into the frame and size it from there?

       

      Thanks for you help!

      Heather

        • 1. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
          Derek Cross Level 6

          Personally I'd resize them in Photoshop to roughly the size and resolution you want them into be in inDesign allowing for some enlargement if required, and place them as hi res JPGs (unless you need some transparency).

          • 2. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
            BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

            I'm with Derek. I think it is quicker to pre-size and/or crop in Photoshop before you head over into InDesign. Here's a bonus... if cropping isn't necessary, you can record an Action to set the size and resolution for all of the images. It doesn't get any quicker than that... once you batch process them, and you get to InDesign, it's just a drop and go. And you can load multiple images in InDesign with Shift+clicking (i.e., all the images for a given spread) and just click, click, click to place them.

             

            What are you going to do with all this free time?

            • 3. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
              Derek Cross Level 6

              And OP that view is endorsed by a person Adobe states that they recognized Barb Binder of Rocky Mountain Training as one of the Top Five Most Highly-Rated Adobe Certified Instructors, Worldwide.

              • 4. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                On behalf of Adobe, I will give you a significantly different take on this.

                 

                Generally speaking, with raster images, the more operations you perform on the raster image in terms of downsampling, compressing (JPEG and JPEG2000 specifically), and color conversion you do, the more “lossiness” you engender into your workflow.

                 

                Be aware that:

                 

                (1)     No matter what you have been led to believe in the past, literally every raster image gets resampled when displayed or RIPed for printing. There is no “magic number” for DPI that bypasses this. And the fewer resampling / downsampling operations you do, the better quality you will have. I would recommend at most one downsampling other than the resampling at the RIP (or when Acrobat displays the PDF) and that is when you export PDF from InDesign.

                 

                (2)     In terms of PDF file size, the only significant difference in terms of PDF file size between whether you pre-downsample and resize the image before placing in InDesign or downsample during the export of PDF is whether you use the Crop Image Data to Frames option. This option eliminates whatever superfluous image data that you have cropped from the placed image frame. Checking this option can make a tremendous difference in reducing PDF file size for images for which you are using only part of the image within your InDesign frame.

                     4-21-2016 12-50-17 PM.png

                (3)     If you are using the same image at multiple sizes within your InDesign document, it is less optimal to downsample and resize prior to placement since you defeat the mechanism by which only one copy of the image is placed in the resultant PDF file, in which case, you might not want to use the Crop Image Data to Frames option.

                 

                Assuming that for purposes of your catalog, you are primarily using each image one time, regardless of the original resolution, I would advise not to do any resizing or resampling (or color conversion to CMYK for that matter) prior to placing the images into InDesign. After the image is placed the first time, InDesign maintains a proxy version of the image in your document for display and thus, should not take any significant time to open and load the document subsequently in InDesign.

                 

                          - Dov

                3 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                  BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                  Hi Dov! Thanks for adding the Adobe perspective. I have working knowledge of your first three points, but the last paragraph took me by surprise. I'd like to make sure I fully understand... in a print workflow (which I model in class), I correct and pre-size my images in Photoshop prior to dropping the native .psds into InDesign. When the file is ready for print, I package it and off it goes. By my count that's the one recommended downsampling prior to printing. How substantial is the trade-off between that speedy workflow and the image quality? I've never had any negative feedback on the images from the client or print shop. (And if this is inappropriate in this thread you are welcome to email me directly.)

                  • 6. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                    Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                    Print workflows I understand! 

                     

                    Quite frankly, I do not understand why you think that manually resizing images in Photoshop prior to placing into InDesign buys you anything at all. Assuming that for print you export PDF as PDF/X-4 (or at worst, High Quality Print) with downsampling for the export at 300/450, the resultant PDF file would be exactly the same size.

                     

                    You mention “package” ... I hope you don't mean that you use the InDesign “package” operation to send content to a print service provider?!? That's why we have PDF. Much more reliable and it prevents printers-who-think-they-are-helping-you from ruining your content by making improper “fixes” to your content.

                     

                    In terms of image quality, the potential damage of cascading modifications to images (multiple passes at resampling, rotations, and/or color management) is dependent on the content and the target printing conditions. In terms of content, if you start off with a photographic image with quite a bit of detail, cascading resampling is generally less dangerous than if you have an image which really is a rasterization of vector-like content. Likewise, less apparent damage is noticeable when printing at relatively low resolution on newsprint versus very high resolution offset printing on smooth, coated stock.

                     

                    One other issue. Generally speaking, PSD is absolutely not the best format to use for placing imagery into InDesign documents. Why? PSD images are losslessly compressed, but relatively poorly. If your content is strictly a photographic image, ZIP-compressed TIFF is the most efficient lossless format. The real issue comes if your content from Photoshop contains anything other than raster images (i.e., vector shapes or text). PSD placed into InDesign rasterizes the vector and text content which is lossy! If you save from Photoshop as PDF (again either PDF/X-4 or High Quality Print), the vector shapes and text remain as vector and text objects in the PDF that you ultimately place into InDesign allowing much more freedom in subsequent scaling and maintaining the quality of the vector and text objects (the PDF also has the fonts embedded). Also, PDF allows you to place content from Photoshop with spot color channels.

                     

                              - Dov

                    • 7. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      I'll admit to still downsizing and color correcting in Photoshop for color critical work where I know the correct destination profile. I feel like I have more control over sharpening and conversion of out-of-gamut colors, but if I'm not going to spend time tweaking the image after downsizing I don't see any advantage.

                      • 8. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                        Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                        Peter,

                         

                        I definitely agree with you with regards to color correction and sharpening.

                         

                        Color correction is obviously independent of downsampling and it cannot readily be done after placement into InDesign (or anything else for that matter). But it is also true that one time color correction isn't lossy the same way cascading downsampling is.

                         

                        Sharpening is another issue altogether. Quite frankly, if you sharpen a very high resolution image and then downsample it significantly, you may find that the effects of the sharpening are totally lost as discarded pixels in the downsampling process. Or in some rare cases, you may actually get some image artifacts.

                         

                        My personal approach to sharpening is very simple (at least for images that I have total control over). I apply sharpening when I shoot the image by properly focusing the camera and avoiding huge amounts of cropping which effectively reduce image resolution and yield situations in which sharpening is felt to be necessary. (High quality professional zoom lenses on DSLRs certainly trump use of phone cameras in this regard!)

                         

                                  - Dov

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          For clarification, I do the sharpening (if required) and color correction AFTER the downsampling. Generally, on projects like this I do the design work with full-res RGB versions, and don't do the image edits until the layout is final and I know the sizes I really need, then I make the changes to images, save with new names, and relink.

                          • 10. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                            Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Why not doing sharpening at a postprocess stage after exporting to PDF?
                            I think sharpening should be done just before trapping in a print workflow.

                             

                            In the moment when it's absolutely clear what kind of raster system and resolution will be used for imaging plates.

                             

                            Uwe

                            • 11. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              I've never been offered that service, nor am I sure I would be willing to give up control.

                              • 12. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                                Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Of course it will depend on the role one have in the whole workflow process.


                                If you can control all from the beginning to plate making, I see sharpening at a postprocess thing.
                                If you send your PDFs over to an online print shop, then you have to do sharpening:

                                when exporting to PDF.*

                                There are plug-ins that support something like this.

                                 

                                Or sharpening after exporting to PDF.
                                There are plug-ins for Acrobat to support this (or standalone software).

                                I would use different sharpening settings for different effective resolutions.

                                 

                                I would not downsample an image before placing.
                                I would not crop it.

                                 

                                 

                                * Sharpening by exporting to PDF would be a cool feature request for InDesign, I think.

                                 

                                Uwe

                                • 13. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                                  jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                                  Thank you for the technical answer, Dov! I stopped resizing in Photoshop quite some time ago after hearing Ann-Marie say it over and over again at conferences, in videos, and in her podcasts, but did not know all the technical details behind it.

                                   

                                  And I love your thoughts on using your camera correctly in the first place—always a good idea!

                                   

                                  ~ Jane Edwards

                                  • 14. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                    I love it when clients supply good photos. I wish saw that even half the time....

                                    • 15. Re: Should I resize pictures before putting in Indesign
                                      roscoeheather Level 1

                                      Thank you so much for everyone's feedback! I am not resizing the images at all and will be using the "Crop Image Data to Frame" when I send it to the printer.