18 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2011 3:58 AM by Eugene Tyson

    Edit an embeded vector?

    curtis368 Level 1

      I have an indesign document with an imbeded vector in it. Is there anyway to edit the image from within indesign? Mainly I just want to change the fill color, however when I attempt to do that, it just changes the background color of the image box and I can't directly modify the actual vector.

        • 1. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          No you cannot

           

          You have to unembed the image and then open that image in illustrator or whatever vector package it was made in

          • 2. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
            John Hawkinson Level 5

            However, once you have the vectors in Illustrator, you can cut-and-paste them into InDesign and then they will be editable in InDesign.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
              curtis368 Level 1

              Yeah, I knew that, just was hoping there was a faster way since I have a lot of them do. oh well. Thank you both!

              • 4. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                macinbytes Level 4

                Generally a good idea not to embed vectors into the file. Also when you have a lot of them generally not a good idea to paste vectors in. InDesign takes a pretty steep performance hit when you have too many vector objects in a layout.

                • 5. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                  Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Generally not a good idea to copy and paste from illustrator. I almost never do it unless it's very basic illustration.

                   

                  It would be better to draw it in InDesign, it has a pen tool too!

                  • 6. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                    John Hawkinson Level 5
                    Generally not a good idea to copy and paste from illustrator....It would be better to draw it in InDesign, it has a pen tool too!

                    Why do you say that?

                    • 7. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                      Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      You're both right. There's a limit on the number of points that can be copied in an illustration from Illustrator to InDesign: 500 points. After that they're embedded and can't be edited:

                       

                      http://indesignsecrets.com/the-magic-number.php

                       

                      Less than that number and you're OK.

                      • 8. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Because it's true. See Steve's link, which I neglected to point to first off. Sorry bout that.

                        • 9. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                          John Hawkinson Level 5

                          I am not asking whether it is true or not (that comes later!), my question is "Why do you believe it to be true?"

                          • 10. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Why do you believe it's not true?

                            • 11. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                              Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Why do you recommend that workflow, John?

                              • 12. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                                John Hawkinson Level 5

                                Eugene asks:

                                Why do you believe it's not true?

                                I was quite careful to not claim that I thought Eugene's statement was untrue..

                                 

                                But since he asks, I do not believe it is better to draw paths in InDesign (I also don't believe it is better to do them in Illustrator, but sometimes one is more convenient than the other). Illustrator has some very nice convenient tools for managing paths that InDesign does not have available, and dealing with direct selection works a bit more nicely.

                                 

                                But really, the issue was he said "not a good idea to copy and paste from illustrator."

                                I think that is pretty much false.

                                There's nothing wrong with copy-and-pasting from Illustrator, no degredation, no bad consequences, nothing like that.

                                There are some limitations, as Steve points out, when you deal with complex graphics. But for everyday stuff, those limitations do not come into play, and I don't think those limitations rise to the level of making the whole feature "not a good idea" to use.

                                 

                                But I don't know what Eugene's justification is, so I'm not equipped to evaluate his claim. Hence my question. If his answer is "Trust Eugene, he knows best," I'm afraid I cannot accept that.

                                 

                                Why do you recommend that workflow, John?

                                Oh, I'm definitely not recommending a workflow here at all. The OP, curtis368, asked how to edit paths in InDesign, and I gave him another option, another tool for his toolbox. Whether he wants to or should use it is up to him. And depends on his precise application.

                                 

                                Perhaps some of the questions Eugene raises are better addressed in a Private Message though?

                                • 13. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                                  Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  You can copy and paste from Illustrator

                                   

                                  That's fine to do. There are some limitations to this though.

                                   

                                  I find it's a better workflow to use File>Place and create a link for the file.

                                   

                                  As you say John, Illustrator has the better tools for creating illustrations.

                                   

                                  So why copy and paste the objects into InDesign?

                                   

                                   

                                  The limitations are there when copying and pasting across. Say for a 3D image, you copy and paste that across, then you can disassemble the parts. You can't make any edits to how it looks in 3d in relation to depth, rotation etc.

                                   

                                  That's one limitation. It would be better to not copy and paste that to InDesign. But leave as an editable Illustrator file so that if you needed to adjust the depth or rotation or shading etc. you can do that with Illustrators 3D tool.

                                   

                                  Another thing is things like Graphical Effects won't translate nicely.

                                   

                                  If you do copy and paste things like the above you can get a white background, stitched together graphics moveable within the frame. But they're not vector anymore. There's no info in the info panel about it. How would you know what settings you used in Illustrator

                                   

                                  I'm all for shortcuts in the workflow. But I can't say I'm a fan of the shortcut of copying and pasting files from Illustrator into InDesign.

                                  • 14. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                    I'm not Eugene, but in my opinion, pasting from Illustrator is, in general, not a particularly productive workflow. It works OK, as far as getting editable paths (and you can even paste some pretty complex art if you're willing to do it in pieces), but it's still a single-use object once it gets into ID. Every time I've done it it turned out later that I wanted to re-use the art in some fashion, and that meant either editing multiple copies or creating a new snippet or doing some other "extra" work that I could have avoided by just placing the art and using edit original to make changes across all the documents it was in.

                                    • 15. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                                      Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      Just did another quick test there

                                       

                                      Make an illustrator file and use a spot colour. Then apply a drop shadow.

                                       

                                      Copy and Paste that to indesign. Spot colour is gone.

                                       

                                      Here I have a PDF screen shot of the result.

                                       

                                      The far left square was copy and pasted. The white square shows where the spot colour is as I have that plate turned off in viewing

                                       

                                       

                                      There are more caveats to this workflow of Copy and Pasting from illustrator. I'm sure you can appreciate why I suggest not doing it that way, except for the case of basic illustrations, as I stated from the start.

                                       

                                      Untitled-1.jpg

                                      • 16. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        John Hawkinson wrote:

                                         


                                         

                                        Why do you recommend that workflow, John?

                                        Oh, I'm definitely not recommending a workflow here at all. The OP, curtis368, asked how to edit paths in InDesign, and I gave him another option, another tool for his toolbox. Whether he wants to or should use it is up to him. And depends on his precise application.

                                         

                                        Perhaps some of the questions Eugene raises are better addressed in a Private Message though?

                                         

                                        But you're not giving him another tool - you're probably getting them to introduce problems in their workflow.

                                         

                                        I truly believe that. And if you're not recommending it then when even mention it? As another option? I don't think it should be considered an option.

                                         

                                        The OP needs to be aware that this is not a recommended workflow. I'm sorry if that bugs you, but I believe I'm right and I'm sticking to my guns.

                                         

                                        It's clear the OP is not a power user or perhaps even familiar with the tools they are using. Do you really think that introducing not recommened ways to a new user is a good idea?

                                         

                                        Sure I can do it beause I know the pitfalls and the problems that arise. But someone not in graphics or a power user of the software or limited knowledge of print or web technologies will struggle to find WHY their copy and pasted images from illustrator aren't working, after being recommened to do it by, whom I consider a very valued and great contributor, you John.

                                         

                                        I think it's insane to even say it without offering up the limitations.

                                         

                                        You had a right go at me for not offering and explanation of why not to do it. But you yourself offered no explanation as to WHY and WHY not to do it either.

                                         

                                        I'm not having a go at you personally. You are right you can copy and paste from Illustrator. But as you say yourself, it's not recommened.

                                        • 17. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                                          John Hawkinson Level 5

                                          Replied by private message.

                                          • 18. Re: Edit an embeded vector?
                                            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            All sorted out I hope