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How to Embed Images in InDesign

How to Embed Images in InDesign

Adobe’s InDesign software brings together the powerful tools page layout specialists need to get their jobs done. That means it has powerful image processing tools to help you put finishing touches on the presentation of your visual assets, making your edits even more precise. Using it to edit and customize visuals from stock photo and vector graphic assets you find on Shutterstock means having access to a library with hundreds of millions of options for making your next publishing project pop. Before you can get the most out of InDesign’s ability to work with pictures and graphics, you need to know how to embed images in InDesign.

Importing and Embedding Your First Image

You can follow these steps with any sample image in your library.
  • Import the image or select a previously imported image from the Links panel. Regularly imported images will be linked files unless you choose to embed them.
  • Open the Links panel and select Embed.
  • Choose whether you want to embed this one instance of the image or if you want to embed all.

That’s all it takes to embed an image in Adobe InDesign.

Why Embed Images?

Usually, projects work efficiently with linked files. InDesign allows you to tweak the presentation of all your source links to ensure they have the right optics on the page, but you edit the images themselves in another program. It has the advantage of keeping the InDesign project file small. It also automatically updates your project whenever you edit one of those source files, making the process of on-the fly editing easier.

Why embed an image, then? If you want control over when and how your images update after edits, or if you are looking to export certain file types, embedding an image will import a copy of it directly into InDesign. This makes it easier to work with printers across a variety of hardware platforms, which is a key ability for many players in the publishing industry. Embedding an image also makes its presentation self-sufficient to the project file. That means if you send the file to another person for review, you won’t need to bundle in that embedded image as an extra linked file. This makes it much easier to get feedback from someone at another workstation, or even at another location.


Learning how InDesign manages your image assets and how you can control it to better collaborate on projects means getting more done with InDesign. Combine that with the selection offered by Shutterstock’s catalog of great stock photos, and you will be able to build dynamic publications that will blow readers away.
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