5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2011 4:09 PM by zslash64

    Data Merge Image Quality

    zslash64 Level 1

      Hello,

       

      I've been working with the data merge feature of indesign to bring in a variable background image. I recently noticed the image quality was significantly better when I placed the background image directly into the merge file rather than using the variable image field to bring the image image into the file. I've triple checked my export settings and even tried deleting the merged image from the file and placing the same image directly. This some how improves the image quality and I'm baffled as to why. Anyone know what might cause this?

        • 1. Re: Data Merge Image Quality
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Are you set to High Quality Display? I've never heard anyone else mention this...

          • 2. Re: Data Merge Image Quality
            zslash64 Level 1

            Yeah I did try changing my display performance, but I wasn't aware that effected export settings?  The import baground is a 300 ppi tiff. Granted I know the quality won't be as high as the origianl uncompressed image, but I can't seem to find the reason for the differences in  the exported images other than the way they have been placed in the file.

             

            I'm currently creating images for screen so I'm exporting Max quality jpg ( required format for this specific project).

            72ppi

            Following checked in the export settings:

            • Embed Color Profile
            • Progressive (believe I may have tried changing this, but not sure how it would effect image quality)
            • Anti-alias
            • Simulate Overprint

             

            I used most of these settings as they were the default.

             

            Thanks again for any help anyone can offer.

            • 3. Re: Data Merge Image Quality
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Dispaly settings don't affect export, but I had the impression you were seeing something in ID, not the PDF.

               

              I'm currently creating images for screen so I'm exporting Max quality jpg ( required format for this specific project).

              72ppi

              Following checked in the export settings:

              • Embed Color Profile
              • Progressive (believe I may have tried changing this, but not sure how it would effect image quality)
              • Anti-alias
              • Simulate Overprint

               

              I used most of these settings as they were the default.

               

              Thanks again for any help anyone can offer.

               

              You'll get much better result is you export to a high quality PDF first, then convert to jpeg in Photoshop.

              • 4. Re: Data Merge Image Quality
                zslash64 Level 1

                That was originally part of my process, but even with batch processes in Photoshop and/or Acrobat it added more steps to an already lengthy process (I'm producing approximately 3000+ images with the data merge).

                 

                Its a difficult situation as I know Indesign is more spefically for print and that the output of the pdf would print as the acurate size on paper, but seeing as the final product is only for screen viewing only, the added resolution from the high quality PDF makes the on screen image roughly 3 times the desired size.

                 

                Not sure that option is the best solution for this situation as my final image size has to be a specific pixel size (which now I'm able to achieve with a direct export out of Indesign). Granted it just adds another batch process to resize the images in Photoshop (or one action to do it all), but it didn't seem to produce any better quality images by the time everything was all said and done.

                 

                Just trying to figure out where I went wrong with the image quailty from the data merge vs the placed image...I'll expirment more and see if what I can find...worst case senero I can use multiple master pages for the variable background, just figured I'd see if anyone else has experienced a similar problem.

                • 5. Re: Data Merge Image Quality
                  zslash64 Level 1

                  I think I may have discoved the problem. In the content placement options (Data Merge panel menu>Content Placement Options...) the default placement is to "Fit Images Proportionally" which is what I did on my origianl merge. When I chose "Fill Frames Proportionally" my export quality issue disappeared. I have no idea why this would have affected image quality, but hopefully this will help someone else in the future.