There are a variety of methods for taking a Photoshop file and placing to into InDesign. After many years of InDesign 2.0 and CS in production use, I thought it opportune to expose another workflow choice taken by these customers. It directly relates to the placement of files from Photoshop into InDesign 2.0/CS layouts.
Apart from supporting the traditional TIFF (.tif) file format, InDesign also permits the placement of JPEG (.jpeg, .jpe, .jpg), Macintosh PICT, GIF, Portable Network Graphics (PNG) and other bitmap-style formats.
The most commonly touted method is to save an Adobe Photoshop .psd file, and place this into InDesign 2.0/CS. Transparency, otherwise known as alpha channel support, is fully supported in InDesign 2.0/CS. What does not work, however, are vector layers. When placed into InDesign 2.0/CS, vector layers including text layers are rasterised at the resolution of the Photoshop file (or transparency flattener, depending on the mechanics of the file).
Example 1: Photoshop image, containing Transparency as shown by the checkerboard pattern.
Example 2: The same Photoshop image, containing Transparency, placed into InDesign. The transparency is respected.
With Photoshop 6.0, and included in Photoshop 7.0 and CS, Adobe added the ability to save a Photoshop PDF file. Photoshop PDF has many benefits, and also shares many of the features of the Photoshop PSD format.
This format, like the Photoshop PSD format, has the following features
- Transparency support.
- Photoshop layers. including text layers, adjustment layers, layer masks etc are saved in the same file
Additionally, Photoshop PDF has the following features that Photoshop PSD does not have:
- Its PDF. can be displayed in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Vector layers. keeping text/vector shapes kept as vector shapes for crisp printing and screen viewing)
- Security. using the security features of Adobe PDF, your images can be locked from viewing/editing by other people.
- Compression. images can be compressed using ZIP(lossless: no pixels are hurt) or JPEG (lossy: image data is changed)
With InDesign, Adobe has added support for the placement of PDF files without having to resort to “making and EPS” to ensure quality output. InDesign CS also permits the placement of PDF files that contain transparency information – and holds the transparency information.
To save a Photoshop PDF for placement into InDesign, the go to File>Save As.
Example 4: File>Save As. Choosing Photoshop PDF, here I am saving the layers (permitting late stage editing of the text layer if I wish)
Example 5: File>Save As. Choosing Photoshop PDF: a subsequent dialog box permits the saving of Transparency, applying security and in this particular file: retain the vector data as vector.
This Photoshop PDF can be placed into InDesign – the the same as any PDF. When placed into InDesign 2.0/CS, the file looks similar to the following. Notice I am only seeing the Proxy View of the image:
In the above example, I have turned on “High Quality Display”. The vector quality of the text, and any vector shape layers (including vector clipping groups) are respected; just as they are respected when printing or exporting as PDF or EPS.
Additionally, it is worth noting that the file extensions supported by Photoshop PDF are .pdf and .pdp
What is the difference? Nothing, apart from the file extension. The contents are exactly the same. The reason why there are two options is for the Windows platform. On Windows, the extension is used to associate a file with an application. .pdf is associated with Adobe Acrobat. When you double click on a file, this dot extension is used to assist Windows in determining which application to launch to view the file. With InDesign 2.0, when using the contextual menu “Graphics>Edit Original“, this association is also used. As this is a Photoshop PDF, and normally when editing/viewing the file – you would like to show it in Photoshop, an additional extension is permitted: .pdp, or Photoshop PDF.
I would recommend using the .pdp extension when saving a file from Photoshop as a Photoshop PDF. There were changes in InDesign 2.0 and 2.0.1 to support .pdp as equivilent to .pdf.
For MacOS users, the extension for InDesign 2.0 files is .indd
In fact, I would always use Photoshop PDF as the primary format when taking files from Adobe Photoshop to InDesign. There are no downsides: the file size is smaller, vector text and layers are supported and kept as vector.