Incorporating graphics in publications can be tricky. High-quality digitized graphics are ideal for use in publications. Many times, photographs are taken from digital cameras, scanned into the computer, or created from digital graphics applications.
InDesign can incorporate many types of graphics. After a graphic is placed into an InDesign document, additional minor adjustments may be made so that it looks its best.
Using Graphics for Communication
Remember that the intention of a publication is to communicate a specific message to a target audience. Every graphic should enhance this message. If too many graphics or unrelated graphics appear in the publication, they may draw the audience's attention away from the intended message. However, graphics are still important. Without graphics, a publication may not catch the audience's attention at all.
In "Classroom Technology Today," we will use some pictures of computerized classrooms. This should enhance the meaning of the messages we are conveying, and add some visual enticement.
Understanding Graphic Formats
There are many graphic formats, and choosing the correct type of file format for an image is important. For printing, the four most widely used graphic formats are TIFF, EPS, PDF and PNG. Following is a short explanation of each:
- TIFF (Tag Interleave File Format): the best file format for photography intended for print; suitable for offset printing and desktop printing
- EPS (Encapsulated PostScript): used largely for vector images like those created in Illustrator, and for some Photoshop images that have vector components; suitable for offset graphics; preferred until recent years, but since it is not readily readable by most common software, EPS is slowly being phased out and replaced by PDF
- PDF (Portable Document Format): an open standard format that is readable on all platforms; PDF preserves all file information, both raster and vector
- PNG (Portable Network Graphics): a high-quality graphics format for both print and digital devices; compatible across platforms and applications, it is not suitable for CMYK offset printing because it supports only three colors
There are also common graphics file formats that are well-suited for electronic display. GIF (Graphic Interchange Format), JPEG orJPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group), and PNG are very compressible for quick loading speed, so they are good choices to use for digital devices. JPEG and GIF are not advised for printed publications, though.
To learn more about graphics, please consider taking the workshop, Creating Graphics for the Web.
Understanding Image Resolution
Both printed and digital graphics are actually made up of tiny dots that hold color information. When the dots are blended together, they form a picture. Image resolution refers to the number of dots per square inch, or dpi, of the image file. High resolution images are sharper or clearer than low resolution images. High resolution digital images are also larger in file size. A good rule of thumb is to use 300 dpi for photographic images. This will give a good balance between acceptable print quality and manageable file size.
Placing a Graphic
The cover page of "Classroom Technology Today" should be attractive and concise. There are several design elements there already, but a small picture of a student in a computer classroom would enhance the publication's message.
Before we place the file, we will activate the Selection Tool. This is an important step because if we were to have an insertion point set in our text, InDesign would place the graphic as an inline graphic. An inline graphic is anchored to the point in the text where it is inserted, and acts just as text; it moves along with the text it is anchored to.
We want the freedom to move this graphic to an exact place within our publication, which means we want the graphic to be placed as an independent graphic.
Step1. To activate the Selection Tool, in the Tools panel, if necessary,
Step2. To ensure that nothing is selected,
Click the pasteboard
Step3. To begin placing a graphic file,
Click File, Click Place...
Step4. To select the graphic file to be placed, beside the Look In field,
Click, Double-Click the Images folder, Double-Click classroom.tif
NOTE: To unload a loaded cursor and stop the action of placing a graphic, switch to the Selection Tool in the Tools panel.
Step5. To position the cursor, on the document page,
Click 5 3/4 inches down the left edge of the left column
Resizing a Graphic
Resizing a graphic in InDesign means working with two elements of the graphic: the image, and the frame that houses it. The element we manipulate depends on the active tool. Remembering that there are two selection tools, we know that the Selection Tool is for adjusting entire objects, while the Direct Selection Tool is for adjusting parts of objects. To scale a graphic, we can adjust the frame with the Selection Tool, and the image with the Direct Selection Tool.
When resizing an image, it is important to keep in mind that enlargement will generally cause the image to lose quality.
Step1. Make sure the graphic is still selected.
Step2. To resize the image while maintaining its proportions, press and hold:
Control key+Shift key and Press & Drag the bottom-right handle left until the graphic is as wide as the column
NOTE: Holding Control keyresizes the image and the frame simultaneously. Adding Shift keyto the action limits the change to proportional dimensions only.
Wrapping Text Around a Graphic
Wrapping text around a graphic is just like wrapping text around a text frame. The type of wrap, and the distance of separation is done with the Text Wrap panel.
Let's wrap text around this picture.
Step1. If necessary, to select the image with the Selection Tool,
Click the image
Step2. If necessary, activate the Text Wrap panel.
Step3. To jump over the object,
Placing a Larger Graphic
There will be two pictures of computer classrooms in our newsletter. We will place another graphic on the bottom of page 2. This new graphic will spread all the way across the bottom of the page.
Let's place another graphic on page 2. To do so, we must make page 2 the active page.
Step1. Scroll to page 2 of the layout.
Step2. To ensure nothing is selected,
Click the pasteboard
Step3. To begin placing the new picture, on the Menu bar,
Click File, Click Place...
Step4. To choose the desired file, in the Place dialog box,
Step5. To place the file, on page 2 of the document window,
Press & Drag a frame from 8 1/2 inches on vertical ruler until the frame aligns with the bottom margin and overlaps the right margin
Step6. To resize the frame, if necessary,
Press & Drag the right middle handle to the right margin
Step7. To add a Text Wrap to the picture, in the Text Wrap panel,
Step8. To specify a top offset, in the Text Wrap panel Top Offset field, press:
NOTE: The value should be 0.1875 in.
Step9. Save the document.