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Importing and Modifying Graphics

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Adobe InDesign Classroom in a Book (2021 release), authors Kelly Kordes Anton and Tina DeJarld explain how to add and transform graphics in Adobe InDesign. You will learn various techniques including adjusting size and display quality and adding backgrounds, text, and layers.

Importing native Adobe graphic files

When you import files saved from Adobe applications such as Photoshop (.psd), Illustrator (.ai), and Acrobat (.pdf), InDesign allows you to work with these files in unique ways that you can’t do with other file formats. For example, you can turn the visibility of layers off and on in InDesign.

Working with a Photoshop file with layers

Next, we’ll work with a layered Photoshop file and adjust the visibility of the individual layers. If you locked the Background photos layer in the previous exercise, go to the Layers panel and unlock it now.

  1. In the Links panel, click the link for Cover-RedFlower.psd, and click the Go To Link button (gotolinkbutton.jpg) to select the file and center it in your document window. This file, which you relinked in a previous exercise, has four layers.

  2. Choose Object > Object Layer Options to open the Object Layer Options dialog box. This dialog box allows you to show and hide layers.

  3. Move the Object Layer Options dialog box so that you can see as much as possible of the selected image. Select the Preview option to view changes while keeping the dialog box open.

  4. In the Object Layer Options dialog box, click the eye icon (eyeicon.jpg) to the left of the Cobblestones layer. This turns off the layer, leaving only the Red Poppy layer visible.

  5. Click the eye icon (eyeicon.jpg) to the left of the Green Texture layer to turn the layer on. Turn that layer off and turn on the Sky with Clouds layer. Click OK.

  6. Choose File > Save to save your work.

Creating an anchored graphics frame

An anchored graphics frame moves with the text to which it’s anchored if editing causes the text to reflow. In this exercise, you’ll anchor the CD title to a text frame on the center page.

  1. In the Pages panel, double-click the second spread, and choose View > Fit Spread In Window. At the bottom of the pasteboard is the Songs of the Garden logo. You’ll insert this graphic into a paragraph on the page.

  2. Press and hold Z to temporarily access the Zoom tool, or select the Zoom tool (zoomtool.jpg) and click so that you can see the logo and the text frame above it.

  3. Choose Type > Show Hidden Characters to view the spaces and paragraph returns in the text. This helps you locate where you want to anchor the frame.

  4. Select the Type tool (typetool.jpg) and click in front of the word “Addie” at the beginning of the second paragraph. Press Enter or Return, creating an empty paragraph.

  5. Return to the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), and click the logo. (Be careful to click outside the content grabber so that you select the frame and not the graphic within.) Notice the small solid-red square near the upper-right corner of the frame. You can drag this square into a text frame to anchor an object to text.

  6. Hold down the Shift key and drag the red square near the upper right of the logo frame to the beginning of the empty second paragraph. Holding the Shift key creates an inline graphic that flows with the text (as opposed to floating outside the text frame). You’ll see a bold cursor indicating the point where the graphic will be inserted. Release the mouse button. After the graphic is anchored, the red square on the graphic’s frame changes to an anchor symbol. Now if the text in the paragraph above is edited, the graphic will stay between the first and third paragraphs and move up or down if text is added or deleted without you having to adjust its position.


    Once a graphic is anchored, you can select it with the Type tool and apply text attributes that affect its position. Now you’ll create space between the graphic and the surrounding text with the Space Before option.

  7. Select the Type tool (typetool.jpg), and then click to the right of the inline graphic to establish the insertion point in that paragraph.

  8. Click the Paragraph Formatting Controls button (paragraphicon.jpg) in the Control panel. Hold down the Shift key and click the up arrow button to the right of the Space Before icon (spacebeforebutton.jpg) four times to change the value to 1 in. As you increase the value, the anchored graphics frame and the text below it shift downward.

  9. To see how the anchored graphic flows when text is edited, click to the right of the period that ends the first paragraph, and then press Enter or Return twice. Notice how the graphic moves down each time you press the key. Press Backspace (Windows) or Delete (macOS) twice to remove the extra paragraph returns, and the graphic moves back up.

  10. Choose File > Save to save your work.

Adding text wrap to an anchored graphics frame

You can customize how the paragraph text wraps around an anchored graphics frame. The text wrap settings offer many different options to flow text around a frame or the shape of the graphic within the frame.

  1. Using the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), select the graphics frame with the Songs of the Garden logo you placed in the previous exercise.

  2. Press Shift+Ctrl (Windows) or Shift+Command (macOS), and drag the upper-right handle of the frame up and to the right until you’ve scaled the graphic and its frame to cover roughly 20% of the second column. With the graphic still selected, drag it downward so that the top is below the first paragraph.

  3. Choose Window > Text Wrap to access the Text Wrap panel. Position the panel so that you can see the changes as you apply settings. In the Text Wrap panel, select Wrap Around Object Shape (wraparoundobjectshape.jpg) to flow the text around the graphic. An animation may play that demonstrates a new feature called Subject-Aware Text Wrap, which is also activated as the default setting under Contour Options, in the Type menu, where it’s called Select Subject. You’ll learn about this feature later in the lesson.

  4. Under Contour Options, choose Same As Clipping from the Type menu. To increase space around the bounding box of the graphic, click the up arrow button in the Top Offset option (topoffset.jpg) three times to change the value to 0.1875 in.

    Text can also wrap around a graphic’s shape rather than around the rectangular bounding box.

  5. In the Text Wrap panel under Contour Options, choose Detect Edges from the Type menu. Detect Edges creates a vector path. The text wrap is determined by the shape of the objects in this graphic, in this case by the letters.

  6. To view the results clearly, choose Edit > Deselect All, and choose Type > Hide Hidden Characters to hide the paragraph returns and spaces.

  7. Using the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg), select the graphics frame with the Songs of the Garden logo again.

  8. In the Text Wrap panel, experiment with the available options from the Wrap To menu. Keep Largest Area as your final choice. The text moves into the largest area to one side of the text wrap boundary.

    The path created when using the Detect Edges contour option is an editable path. For example, you can manually adjust the anchor points by dragging them to a new position. You can also add or delete points, and convert them from corner points to smooth points (and vice versa) with the Pen tool (pentool.jpg). You can change the shape of curves by adjusting the anchor point handles with the Direct Selection tool (directselectiontool.jpg).

  9. Select the Direct Selection tool (directselectiontool.jpg), and then click the graphic to view the anchor points used for the text wrap. Experiment with moving individual points and notice how that reflows the text.

  10. Examine this path in the 11_End.indd file, where many points along the bottom of the graphic were deleted to better control the text flow of the first line of the paragraph below the anchored graphic. You don’t have to follow this path exactly, but use it as an example.

  11. Close the Text Wrap panel.

  12. Choose File > Save.

Importing an Illustrator file

InDesign takes full advantage of the smooth edges of vector graphics, such as those from Adobe Illustrator. When you use the High Quality Display setting, vector graphics and type appear with smooth edges at any size or magnification. In this section, you’ll place an Illustrator graphic into your InDesign document.

  1. In the Layers panel, select the Graphics layer. Choose Edit > Deselect All to make sure nothing is selected in your document.

  2. Choose View > Fit Spread In Window to see the entire spread.

  3. Choose File > Place, and select the Illustrator file Garland.ai from the Lesson11 folder. Make sure that Show Import Options is not selected. Click Open.

  4. InDesign shows the loaded vector graphics icon (loadedvectoricon.jpg). Click in the upper-left corner of the spread to add the Illustrator file to the page. Use the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg) to position it as shown here. Graphics created in Illustrator have transparent backgrounds by default.

  5. Choose File > Save to save your work.

Importing an Illustrator file with layers

You can import native Illustrator files with layers into an InDesign layout and control the visibility of the layers.

  1. Deselect all objects by clicking in the pasteboard of the document window. Click the empty frame to the left of the red box on the far left of the spread.

  2. Choose File > Place. In the lower-left of the Place dialog box, select Show Import Options. Select the file Flower-Title.ai, and click Open. The Place PDF dialog box appears when Show Import Options is selected (because Illustrator files are written in PDF file format).

  3. In the Place PDF dialog box, make sure that Show Preview is selected. In the General tab, choose Bounding Box (All Layers) from the Crop To menu and make sure that Transparent Background is selected.

  4. Click the Layers tab to view the layers. This file has three layers: a background image of a flower (Layer 3), a layer of text in English (English Title), and a layer of text in Spanish (Spanish Title).

    Although you can now designate which layers you would like to display in the imported graphic, the small Preview area makes it difficult to see the results.

  5. Click OK. You’ll select the layers to display while working in the layout.

  6. Press Ctrl+= (Windows) or Command+= (macOS) a couple of times to zoom in and center the graphic on your screen.

  7. In the Control or Properties panel, click the center reference point (reference_point_c.jpg) and then click the content grabber. Click the downward open triangle (downhollowarrow.jpg) to the right of either the X or the Y scale percentage box and choose 75%. InDesign scales the graphic and centers it in the frame. (If you use the Properties panel, you may need to click the three dots at the lower right of the Transform section to reveal the More Options section, which contains the scaling entry boxes.)

  8. Press the Esc key to select the frame and drag or nudge with the arrow keys to position the frame so that the flower is visually centered over the red box.

  9. With the graphic still selected, choose Object > Object Layer Options. Move the dialog box, if necessary, so that you can see the graphic in the document.

  10. Select Preview, and then click the eye icon (layereye.jpg) next to the English Title layer to turn it off.

  11. Click the empty box next to Spanish Title to turn on that layer. Click OK, and then choose Edit > Deselect All.

    Using layered Illustrator files allows you to store variations of an illustration in one file without having to create separate files for each variation.

  12. Choose File > Save.

11. Using subject-aware text wrap | Next Section Previous Section

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