If you'd like to import image files into Adobe InDesign, you need to get familiar with the Place function. Place allows you to drop high-quality photos and graphics into a layout, with a wide range of file types, resolutions, and color modes accepted. Below, we've shared how to import images to InDesign, so that you can create compelling layouts for a newspaper, magazine, or web-based publication.
Place vs. Copy/Paste
As a novice InDesign user, you might instinctively try to import an image with the standard "copy" and "paste" commands on your keyboard. This embeds the image in your document, but the link to your original file will be broken. That means if you decide to edit the original image at any point, the changes will not automatically be updated in InDesign. On the other hand, importing an image with "Place" will add it to your Links panel, so that the latest version is always being used.
How to Import Images to InDesign
1. First, launch InDesign and start a new document by choosing "File" > "New" > "Document". A "New Document" dialog box will appear with a variety of settings, so make sure that the Document Preset is "Default", and that the Intent is set to "Print" if you plan on printing the document. Then, click OK.
2. In your InDesign document, choose "File" > "Place" from the top menu to choose an image and place it on the page. Double-click on the file to select it, and then draw anywhere on the page with your mouse to place the image. When you drag with the mouse, the image will stretch to those specified dimensions.
3. After placing the image, you can resize it by dragging on the tiny squares located on its corners (known as "handles"). Holding down the Shift key while dragging will retain the picture's current dimensions as you resize it, and holding down the CTRL key (Command on Mac) will allow you to crop certain parts of the image. To choose exact dimensions for the image, you can also enter manual values in the Control panel.
How to Place Multiple Images
Choose "File" > "Place", but then hold down CTRL (Command on Mac) to select multiple files from the directory. All of these images will appear in the Links panel, with the designation "LP" (which stands for "loaded in place cursor") on the currently selected image. You can cycle between the images by pressing the arrow keys, and then draw on the document to place it.