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Image file too large for Indesign book cover

Community Beginner ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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I have two images I have created in Photoshop 2024 for two different books I have completed.

First book - the cover design imports into InDesign within the parameters of the book cover template.  The cover photo is 6x9, 1800x2700 (pixels).  The book cover template I set in Indesign is 6x9.  I can design the spine and back cover matter and look perfect.

Second cover - the cover photo is same parameters - 6x9 at 1800x2700 pixels.  Same template design.  The spine is set larger due to more pages.  I import the second photo into the new template and it blows up beyond the Indesign workspace.  I can't seem to change the scale of this image without cutting off huge portions of the original image.

Why would two different images of the same file size behave differently?  I recreated the second book cover template w/in InDesign and got the same results.  The only difference between the two files is one is a larger file size for the data contained by 233KB.  Otherwise, they are essentially the same pixel scale.

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EPUB , Import and export

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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Are you using Place to import the images? If so, you should be able to drag-draw an image frame of any size and then rescale it. Try making the import frame small, then position and scale it to the front cover area.

 

Do the images have identical technical specs, other than their pixel size? File format, color space (RGB vs CMYK), completely flattened (no layers), etc.?

 

And... just as a test, can you place Image A in the problematic File B?


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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They have different layers because I had changed hues and saturation, which adds layers.  Should I flatten both to hopefully alleviate the problem?  Both are CMYK color format and both are .jpg.  

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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There is no reason to use the JPEG format, all linked images get previewed with a low res proxy. Place your layered Photoshop files as PSDs. If you have text layers saving as Photoshop PDF format will keep the text as vectors.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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If you click and drag while placing, you can place the image in a smaller size. In the info panel you can check the acual ppi and effective ppi. The dimensions of your image pixels x pixels may be the same, but the resolution (actual ppi) can be different. If so it will appear larger / smaller when you place it in InDesign (100%).

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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I import the second photo into the new template and it blows up beyond the Indesign workspace.

 

Hi @mhill78 , is the problem image you are placing by any chance a JPEG? If you use Photoshop’s Export to JPEG the image does not keep its output width and height info and defaults to 72PPI—your 1800 x 2700 pixel image would have an output dimension of 25" x 37.5" at 100% scale. To keep a JPEG’s output dimensions, use Save As not Export—but PSD would be a better choice.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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I can't tell if the inability to rescale the image is a technical fault or, er, something else. It can be a bear to try to rescale overblown images, but the drag-out of a small placement frame would obviate that in the first place.

 

But yes, for PS-to-ID graphics, PSD is probably a preferable option.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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Thank you for your suggestions.  Flattening and using "Save As" vs Export fixed the "unintended feature".  

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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That is exactly what I did.  However, the first image was exported as jpg and Placed into Indesign without a problem....

Well, having a background in IT, I will just chalk it up to an Adobe "unintended feature".  

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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@mhill78

 

There was a lengthy discussion about that - the difference between Save As and Export For Web - with an extra twist how InDesign imports images with any side being 1024 or a multiply of 1024.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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InDesign imports images with any side being 1024 or a multiply of 1024.

 

...if you just click and trust the system, which I have found to be a universally bad choice no matter how much of a hurry you're in. Dragging a placement window and then resizing takes only seconds and avoids the whole complicated mess of image scaling.

 


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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I had to modify even further.  By taking out all the text of the jpg, then import the "blank" photo into InDesign, it looked way better when using InDesign to create the text instead of the imported photo with the text template.  I'm learning.... 🙂  

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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A lesson nearly all of us learn.

 

That the big three Adobe apps can do much of what the others do, especially the "layout" features of AI and PS, lead many users down unproductive paths until we learn to use each tool to its strengths. And it's just as big a mistake, IMVHO, to use InDesign's feeble vector art and image-management tools beyond the simplest approaches where one-shot efficiency is more valuable than shifting to the right tools and integrating.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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quote

I had to modify even further.  By taking out all the text of the jpg, then import the "blank" photo into InDesign, it looked way better when using InDesign to create the text instead of the imported photo with the text template.  I'm learning.... 🙂  


By @mhill78

 

You can do text in Photoshop - but then you need to save as PDF from Photoshop. 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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quote
quote

I had to modify even further.  By taking out all the text of the jpg, then import the "blank" photo into InDesign, it looked way better when using InDesign to create the text instead of the imported photo with the text template.  I'm learning.... 🙂  


By @mhill78

 

You can do text in Photoshop - but then you need to save as PDF from Photoshop. 

 


By @Robert at ID-Tasker

 

 

Correct.  But I found it best to remove the text then add it in to the cover design with InDesign instead of letting the import create issues with pixelization.  Testing it both ways, creating the text in InDesign made it much cleaner when converted to PDF.  

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2024 Jul 02, 2024

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@mhill78

 

If you save from Photoshop as PDF - Text will be sharp, not pixelated - but yes, it's better to do it in InDesign anyway.

 

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