Home / Articles / Importing and Modifying Graphics

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 and sizing graphics

The most basic way to import a graphic into InDesign is to use File > Place. There are several other ways to import graphics, which you’ll try next.

Importing, sizing, and cropping

  1. Navigate to page 5. Open the Layers panel by clicking the Layers panel icon (layerspanelicon.jpg) in the panel dock, and then click the Photos layer so that the imported images will be placed on that layer. Choose File > Place and navigate to the Lesson11 folder. Select the file Blue-Hydrangea.psd and click Open.

  2. Move the loaded raster graphics icon (loadedgraphicsicon_1.jpg) into the pasteboard area just above the page and click once. This places the graphic independently of any existing frame. InDesign automatically creates a frame around the graphic and scales it to actual size (100%).

    f0302-01.jpg
  3. This photo is much too large at actual size, so you’ll need to resize it. In this case, it needs to be scaled down. One way to do this is to type a percentage or measurements in the Control panel and InDesign will scale the graphic to those numbers, in the direction of the selected reference point. Or you can scale the graphic visually. Choose the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg) and hold down Shift+Ctrl (Windows) or Shift+Command (macOS). Drag the lower-right handle up and to the left. Watch the Control panel’s Size and Scale (or the numbers in the gray box next to the Selection tool) until the image is about 2 inches high. Holding down the Ctrl or Command key while dragging scales both the frame and the image within. Adding the Shift key keeps the image proportions so that the image is not distorted while it’s changing size.

  4. Drag the image down and to the right of the empty frame until you see the green Smart Guides appear that show the top of this frame aligned with the empty frame.

  5. Now we want to crop out most of the leaves. To do this, change the size of the frame without changing the size of the graphic inside. Drag the lower-right corner handle in toward the flower so that most of the leaves are no longer visible. Then click the content grabber (donut.jpg) and notice that the image bounding box (shown in a contrasting color to the layer color) is now much larger than the frame, indicating that part of image is being cropped by the frame. Drag the image up and to the left so that the flower is centered in the frame.

Placing a graphic into an existing frame and using frame fitting options

The next way to use File > Place is to place a graphic into an existing frame.

  1. Click the empty frame to the left of the Blue-Hydrangea.psd image. Choose File > Place, select Butterfly-on-flower.psd, and click Open. This time the image is imported into the frame. Once again, it’s at actual size (100%) and that’s too large since the intention is to show the whole butterfly.

    f0303-02.jpg
    f0303-03.jpg
  2. Choose Object > Fitting > Fit Content To Frame, which seems like the right choice. But examine the result: the image is indeed within the frame, but the butterfly is distorted (stretched vertically). Confirm this by clicking the content grabber (donut.jpg) in the center of the frame (so that you are viewing data about the image rather than the frame), and then look at the scale values in the Control panel or the Properties panel. The horizontal and vertical numbers are very different, showing the distortion.

    f0303-04.jpg
  3. To scale the image without distortion, choose Object > Fitting > Fit Content Proportionally. The image is not distorted, but now it’s too small. Choose Object > Fitting > Fill Frame Proportionally. This option sizes the image within the frame without distortion, and it crops part of the image if it’s a different shape than the frame (as in this case). However, this is still not what we want because the butterfly is too far to the right of the frame.

  4. Choose Object > Fitting > Content-Aware Fit. This feature intelligently fits the best part from the image when you place it inside a frame by evaluating various parts of the image. The butterfly and flower are now nearly centered in the frame automatically. You can nudge the content over if you’d like.

    f0303-05.jpg
  5. Select the circular picture frame in the lower left and place the image Calla-Lilly.psd. This frame was set up to center the image at 100% size. The photo is centered within the frame, but the subject of the photo (the flower) is not centered in the original image. Select either the circular frame or the image within and choose Object > Fitting > Content-Aware Fit. The flower now fits much better in the circle because Content-Aware Fit attempts to find the subject of an image. Notice that InDesign scaled as well as moved the image.

Placing a graphic into an existing frame by dropping from the desktop

  1. Another way to import graphics is to drop them onto a page from your desktop. Switch to File Explorer (Windows) or the Finder (macOS), and open the Lesson11 folder, which contains the Starflower.jpg file.

    Resize and arrange your File Explorer window (Windows) or Finder window (macOS) and your InDesign window, as needed, so that you can simultaneously see the list of files in the Lesson11 folder and the InDesign document window. Make sure that the right side of page 5 in your document is visible.

  2. Choose Edit > Deselect All. Drag the Starflower.jpg file over the empty frame to the right of the circular frame and release the mouse button.

  3. This picture is smaller than the placeholder frame. Select the frame and choose Object > Fitting > Fit Frame To Content. Then move the picture to a pleasing position in the group as you wish. Choose Edit > Deselect All when you’re done.

Using Adobe Bridge to import graphics

Adobe Bridge is a separate application available to Creative Cloud users with an All Apps subscription. Adobe Bridge is an application that lets you browse local and networked computers for graphics and then place them into an InDesign layout. Importing files is just one of many features the application provides. If you don’t have Bridge available, you can complete this section by dropping from the desktop again, but this time change your folder view to icons.

  1. Navigate to page 1. Then choose File > Browse In Bridge to launch Bridge. Bridge automatically opens the folder in which the InDesign document is saved or in which a selected graphic is stored. If you don’t see this folder, click the Folder panel at the top of the left panel to navigate to the Lesson11 folder.

  2. Bridge provides an easy way to locate and rename files. Because you see a preview, you can locate graphics visually without knowing the exact name. Click the graphic maple-leaf-.psd once, and then click the filename to select the filename box. Rename the file maple-leaf-yellow, and press Enter (Windows) or Return (macOS) to commit the change.

    f0305-02.jpg
  3. If necessary, make the Bridge window smaller by dragging the lower-right corner and position it so that you can also see page 1 (the cover) of the InDesign document. Drag the maple-leaf-yellow.psd file into your InDesign document and onto an open area of the pasteboard above the page and near the dark blue square. Click the pasteboard to place the image at full size and return to InDesign.

  4. Use the Selection tool (selectiontool.jpg) to position the leaf graphic in the upper-left corner of the page, on top of the empty Blue-Dark frame. Press Shift+Ctrl (Windows) or Shift+Command (macOS) and drag a corner of the frame to scale both the frame and its contents. Align the top and right edges of the graphics frame with the top and right edges of the Blue-Dark frame. Scale to a size just a bit larger than the empty Blue-Dark frame.

    f0306-01.jpg

    A very useful feature of dragging photos from Bridge is that you can quickly change pictures in a frame while seeing the new image in Bridge and then the result in InDesign. This technique is very useful in projects where the layout repeats but you need to import different pictures. You’ll try this now.

  5. With the yellow maple leaf still selected, bring the Bridge window to the front again (if needed) and choose the file maple-leaf-red.psd. Drag and drop it right over the yellow maple leaf. InDesign retains the scaling, and now you’ve switched out the image with the new one, in position, in just a few seconds. Try it again with maple-leaf-orange.psd. Select the image with the content grabber and set the Reference Point to the center position (reference_point_c.jpg) using the Control, Transform, or Properties panel. Then rotate the image within the frame a bit to the left, to about 20 degrees. Drag and drop the red leaf again. The image is switched while both the scaling and rotation are retained.

  6. To see how the reference point affects the center of rotation, experiment with rotating the image again using different reference points, such as the upper left or lower right.

  7. Choose File > Save to save your work.

8. Editing placed pictures | Next Section Previous Section

Adobe Press Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Adobe Press and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview

Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Adobe Press products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security

Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children

This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing

Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out

Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.adobepress.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020