5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 13, 2012 2:23 PM by Rik Ramsay

    A4 Illustrator document to A5 InDesign Master


      Hello all,



      I have the following problem:

      I wanted to make an InDesign master for a book with A5 portrait page size. I thought it would be best to design the master in Illustrator and import it to InDesign as linked image, because I can easily make changes to the page colors for different chapters in Illustrator. Then I want to add textboxes and other objects in InDesign. So far so good.



      So I designed an master in Illustrator, A4 landscape with 4mm bleed. Grid size 29.7 mm (because that is A4 width / 10).


      BUT! It seems that the width of A5 is 148mm, so 2x A5 is 296 mm! That differs 1 mm in only the pagewidth, not the length.



      Now what I want to do, is to make sure everything is still aligned correctly. I think the best way to to this, is to align everything to an 29.6 mm grid in InDesign. But when I import the Illustrator file, there are a few problems. I cannot import the entire document contents, because I have content outside my bleeding area (tried every option in the import options when using 'Place'). I'd be best when there's some way to import the entire content of the illustrator file When I try some workarounds, the lines are a bit off of the grid...



      Things I tried:


      • Straightforward importing and scaling. But then it didn't align to grid, since it imports at most the bleed layer, and when scaling that, it doesn't align to grid.
      • Changing the InDesign document size, that did the trick, but I don't think our publisher will like that format, so thats not an option.
      • Directly copying the vector artwork from Illustrator to InDesign, but that doesn't establish an image link and when scaling the artwork, some of the objects suddenly disappeared or got cut in half, pretty weird...
      • Scaling the artwork in Illustrator, but that did not really work out well since it contains many, many layers, paths etc. I experienced massive performance drops, resulting in not knowing whether it has scaled correctly or not.
      • Adjusting the bleeding margins in Illustrator so that they would match the size of the illustrator contents. Did not work since I used a grid size of 29.7 mm with 16 subdivs, so 1 subdiv = 1.85625 mm. Bleeding margins round at 3 decimals...



      Remaking the document in Illustrator with a pagesize of 296×210 instead of 297×210, with the right grid sizes, and manually re-drawing the lines for the new grid will have the desired result I assume... But that would take a lot of work. And even then I cannot import the entire Illustrator file contents, at most the bleed of it (I could make a workaround, to make the bleed in Illustrator larger so everything fits inside, temporarily adjusting the bleeding margin in InDesign to match it and align the document to it and then fix the bleeding margin in InDesign and maybe in Illustrator).


      So, any suggestions to reach my goal, without having to redraw the entire document?



      Thanks in advance,


        • 1. Re: A4 Illustrator document to A5 InDesign Master
          33 Steps Level 2

          When you placed your image in InDesign did you:

          Show Import options

          Under Options:

          Crop to: Bleed?

          • 2. Re: A4 Illustrator document to A5 InDesign Master
            Roani52 Level 1

            Thank you for your response


            Yes, I did. Like I said: "(tried every option in the import options when using 'Place')"


            Problem with that is when I do that, the document is 305×218, while it should be 304×218... When I downscale it 1mm, then everything is not aligned to the grid anymore. First of all, the bleeding margin does not align with the grid.

            Second because it's downscaling the wrong amount, it should downscale 297->296 = 99.6632997% of the original size, and then have a bleeding margin of 4 mm... not downscaling 305->304 = 99.671312%. It gets even worse when I try to align that to the 29.6mm grid. And it's not possible to enter the amount I want to scale it, because of the rounding errors. Third because I have some content outside my bleeding margin in Illustrator. If I could get all of my content inside InDesign, I could allign that to the grid, which would solve my problems I hope.


            I tried:

            • Bounding Box (All Layers)
            • Art
            • Crop
            • Trim
            • Bleed
            • Media
            • 3. Re: A4 Illustrator document to A5 InDesign Master
              Rik Ramsay Level 4

              Why does the 1mm make such a big difference to you if you are including bleed and placing as a background? Don't downscale, just leave the extra 1mm hanging outside the bleed.


              If making the book in InDesign, the grid in Illustrator becomes irrelevant as you can recreate it InDesign on a master page. If you have any other objects on the AI file that are not part of the background image, I would either import these as separate layers into InD or re-create in InD.

              • 4. Re: A4 Illustrator document to A5 InDesign Master
                Roani52 Level 1

                If I leave it as it is, either one of there are going to happen: the entire book is 1 mm off-center or the textboxes and other objects I place are out of place by almost 0 mm on the top left of the left page, to almost 1 mm on the top right of the right page. Tried that, and it looks a bit odd. When someone were to look at it, they would say there is something wrong with the layout, but not able to tell what specifcly. The displacement is subtle, but noticeable. I am a bit of an perfectionist, especially when creating a master to use through an entire book.

                • 5. Re: A4 Illustrator document to A5 InDesign Master
                  Rik Ramsay Level 4

                  I can relate to being a bit of a perfectionist, but I think I am getting confused as to what you are trying to achieve.


                  If the AI file is the background, and is 1mm bigger than the InD, it makes no difference to any of the content you add in InD. You could also center the background AI so it will be 0.5mm off on either side, but either way, this margin is OUTSIDE of the bleed. When it goes to print, they will likely cut your difference off. As long as you have the background centered in InD and add the content in InD over the AI file, I don't understand the issue you are having.

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