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Can vector files in InDesign be scaled larger than 100% without issue?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I've never given this a second thought as I've always figured scaling an ai or eps file in InDesign over 100% doesn't matter since it's a vector (assuming they don't contain a raster image in them somewhere), but a collegue said she had spoken to a printer some years ago that advised even vectors should be scaled in Illustrator first so they're never scaled over 100% after importing to InDesign. Does this have any bearing on print projects?

 

I've been scaling my vectors all will-nilly in InDesign for years with no regard to scale percentage—I'm hoping I haven't been messign up my print files all these years. :')

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Import and export, Print

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Adobe Community Professional , Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021
As a prepress guy with 30 years experience with various RIP workflows, this has never been an issue of concern. You're good.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Depends on how much scaling you do and whether the stroke weights scale with it and how well. A little bit shouldn't make a difference, but if you're doing some seriously large scaling, I'd be tempted to do in the original application so you can control it.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I've never experienced an importing ai file's strokes or effects not changing with scale in InDesign before—is there a setting InDesign that can turn enable/disable that?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Scaling vector files is one of their main benefits. As mentioned, if you scale in InDesign, you will scale everything proportionally--so if you double the size, your 4 pt stroke will become 8 pts. However, if you do the scaling in Illustrator first (assuming it is an Illustrator file), you can disable stroke and fill scaling there.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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The stroke on a small image might look too thick if scaled really large, but that's a matter of opinion, and it could vary from one image to the next, but I think your printer from years ago might have been talking about something else. There used to be the philosophy that you should always place images at 100% with no rotation to give InDesign less to think about. This was probably true many years ago, but less so these days, and possibly not at all. It's not something I ever think about, but if there are any reasons to reconsider, I'd be glad to hear why.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I agree with @mig62 --it was probably an issue with an imagesetter's processing power, not a technical software issue.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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My colleague has been in the game for a lot longer than I have, I wonder if this is a practice she's always held on to since that philosphy was in play (though I didn't ask how long ago she was told what she was told).

 

It's always fascinating to hear about the sort of things designers had to be concious of before my time. 🙂

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Explorer ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I work for a commercial printer and haven't seen any issues with Illustrator files placed into InDesign, then scaled over 100%. That being said, not all printers have the same prepress software, we use Kodak Prinergy, so I would ask the printer you are sending files to. Also curious if you are submitting PDFs or native InDesign files? 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I'm glad you chimed in as a printer—I was wondering if a printer's setup might play a factor. The files I send depend on the complexity: No binding and no mail merge, then PDF. Everything else, packed InDesign files. As a perrson on the inside, what's the best way you like to get files from designers?

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Explorer ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I can't speak for all printers, but for the vast majority of jobs, we love  (properly created) PDFs (built to final trim size, 1/8 bleed, at least 1/8 margins, all fonts embedded, image resolution at least 200ppi, ideally all spot colors converted to process, unless printing as spot, black type consists of only black (does not contain CMY). Of course covers with spot varnish or pages with black plate changes, for example, require a little extra work before submitting, but we still prefer PDFs.

There are times when we prefer a Packaged InDesign, but that is very rare.

 

Thanks for asking. 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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As a prepress guy with 30 years experience with various RIP workflows, this has never been an issue of concern. You're good.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Thanks ya'll, I'm excited the print folks are here to help! I just saw this brought up elsewhere and I have to ask: in the case of an Illustrator file that uses raster effects like dropshadow, would those be a concern when scaling up? On paper it sounds like that might be an issue, but I'm not the print guy. 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Yes, raster effects can be a problem if enlarging too much. The default print setting in AI is 300 ppi, so if you double the image in ID, it goes down to 150 ppi.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 06, 2021 Nov 06, 2021

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LATEST
  1. Don't use EPS in any way in InDesign. Avoid it.
  2. If you place vectors in InDesign use PDF/X-4 or AI, regardless what the printer requires later.
  3. If you have no raster effects, which is often happening with transparency effects or shadows you can scale it in InDesign. Surely patterns and strokes will be scaled also.
  4. If you have raster effects or linked/embedded images scaling will affect the quality and you might end up with a to low resolution.
  5. You can increase or reduce the raster effect resolution in Illustrator, but be aware that a change of raster effects resolution settings will change the appearance of many filters and effects.

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