Indesign placing images

by Design Workshop Sydney

Placing images is a large part of the Adobe Indesign workflow – we spend a lot of time in this area in our Indesign training courses.Print
Before we place our images, however, we may wish to create some non-printing guides to help us design each page. In this example we created three horizontal guides at 25, 45 and 130mm. We do this by selecting the Selection tool (the black arrow), then click and drag from the white space of the horizontal (top) ruler, and down the page.
Note the number in the Y field in the top left hand side of the Control panel. You don’t have to make it completely accurate – you can drag it down a bit then punch in the numbers in the Y field. These will give us guides for various parts of the page design. We also created a vertical guide at 10 mm in the same manner.
Alternatively, go to the Layout menu and choose Create Guides to split a page into thirds or quarters, etc.
When placing images there are two basic methods. Either go to the File menu and select Place (the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+D). We then browse to an image of choice. Click to place it outside the page initially, then move it into the page with the Selection tool (the black arrow). To scale the image, we can either change the scale fields at the top Control panel, or press down on the Control and Shift keys together (Mac: Cmd+Shift), then click and drag on a corner anchor point with the Selection tool (black arrow). Or you can adjust the frame size by right clicking and choosing Fitting and Fill Frame Proportionally.
The second method is to select the Rectangle Frame tool then click and drag on the page to create a small placeholder frame on the page itself. We then go to the File menu and choose Place (or Ctrl+D), browse to an image and hit Open. We then right-click on the image to choose Fitting and Fit Content Proportionally.
Note that in Indesign a placed image consists of two elements: the frame and the content. The Selection tool (black arrow) will move the frame with content together; the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow) will adjust only the content within the frame, and so is not used quite so much.
To view the images as they would actually print, go to the View menu and select Display Performance and High Quality Display.
More tips and techniques can be found at There are many tutorials and forums for designers to discuss topics and the latest Indesign features. See also many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Indesign Blog Posts: