InDesign offers a plethora of ways to place new photos and graphics into your document. Adobe has also made it simple to replace an existing image or graphic with a new one. To replace an existing photo or graphic, simply hit Command + D (Place) and choose your image as normal. But when you’re ready to replace the existing image, hold down the Option key and click the photo or graphic you wish to replace. The new image will be placed inside the original image container. This is especially useful when you load your Place cursor with more than one image at a time to replace several existing images. If you only wish to replace a single photo or graphic, simply select the existing image first, then go through the normal method of placing an image.
One of the things I love about Adobe InDesign is that there’s usually more than one way to accomplish virtually any task. Take placing images in your document. InDesign offers a plethora of options to improve productivity in this area, thanks to keyboard shortcuts. In my Image-placing shortcuts in Adobe InDesign article at Macworld’s Creative Notes blog, I show you some handy shortcuts for placing single and multiple images into your document using InDesign.
I can’t stress enough the importance of saving your Photoshop and Illustrator files as native .psd and .ai files, rather than the old standby .tif and .eps. While these older formats will work just fine for most uses, when you place native files you get the advantage of full transparency support and most times, smaller file sizes. Let’s say you have applied a drop shadow to an object in Illustrator. If you save it as an .ai file, the shadow will appropriately darken whatever color or object that is underneath it in your InDesign document. If you save the same Illustrator file as an .eps you get unexpected results – usually a white bounding box behind the shadow either on screen, when printed, or both.
Did you know that you can place a multi-page PDF file in your InDesign document only using the Place command one time? Let’s say you want to place your two-page PDF file into your InDesign document. Start by hitting Command + D to place the file, navigate to the PDF you wish to place and select it. Then make sure you have the Show Import Options box checked. When you hit Open, the Options dialog box opens. Click the All button in the Pages section (or select a page range if you only want a few pages from a long PDF file), and hit OK. Now when you go to place your file in your document, the cursor changes to a PDF icon with a plus mark. That plus mark indicates that there is more than one page to be placed. Simply click in your InDesign document where you want to place the PDF pages.
Did you know that you can drag a graphic, photo, PDF or text file onto an empty frame in Adobe InDesign from the OSX Finder or Adobe Bridge and InDesign will fill that frame with the file you dragged. Not only does this feature save you the time of sizing the placed item once it’s in your document (because you already have that frame sized correctly, right?), but it can save you dozens of clicks in a navigation box if you already have the folder with those graphics and text files open in the Finder. You can also drag files from the Finder to InDesign without having an empty frame in your document, but InDesign just places them at 100% size in your document. This option is great if you don’t know where exactly you’re going to place the images just yet or what size you’re going to make them, but you want to see what they look like for comparison in your layout.