Photoshop file looks pixelated in InDesign

Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Hi,

I am making a book in InDesign CC 2017.1 with illustrations from Photoshop.

When I place the photoshop file into the ID document, the image looks pixelated, but when I export it as a PDF, it looks fine.

I am viewing it with "High Quality Display" selected, but it doesn't help.

How do I get it so it looks like it will when I export it for print?

Here is a screenshot of the pixelated image...

Screen Shot.png

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

The display quality doesn't matter for output quality.

Important is:

  1. Is the file linked correctly? (Look into the link panel)
  2. Is the effective resolution high enough? (It is also found in the link panel)
  3. Do you choose the correct PDF export settings?
  4. Does the file has the correct format? If it is a vector file with transparency don't use EPS, use PDF or AI.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Right Mouse click > Context menu > Display Quality

High quality may slow down the computer.

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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I have done that, it is on the highest quality possible, but it still looks pixelated.

I am sure the file is not pixelated or low-quality.

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Advisor ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Have you checked the global display performance is on High Quality AS WELL AS the Image frame itself?

Is the file linked correctly?

Do you have any errors like this?

2017-04-05_10-03-24.png

Or:

2017-04-05_10-05-49.png

Best,

EW

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Advisor ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Apologies for the screenshots - recycling old ones to save time responding.

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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How do I find out the image frame quality?

The files are linked correctly.

Thanks so much for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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How do I find out the image frame quality?

The files are linked correctly.

Keep in mind that the preview for linked files is a JPEG proxy and not the file itself so the scaling and zoom amount could affect the preview quality. I've also seen the preview degrade when memory is short even when the display quality is set to high. Have you tried restarting?

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Advisor ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Well... two thoughts... one a suggestion and one a question:

Why are you making illustrations like this in Photoshop rather than Illustrator?

I assume you have Illustrator as you have InDesign as well.

This would be a far better programme for this type of drawing.

The question however is what size is the illustration in Photoshop? (Width x Height x Resolution?)


Also what preview mode in InDesign are you using?

Have you tried using High Quality Display settings?

Right click the image then >

2017-04-26_16-31-08.png

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Thank you Eternal Warrior for your help...

I am making the illustrations in Photoshop because

1) I am drawing them with a Wacom pen tablet, which works better in photoshop (and I like the hand-made feel better than the precise lines you get in Illustrator)

2) I bought Illustrator less than a year ago, and haven't had time to really learn it, while I have been working in Photoshop for years.

The illustration is approximately 6 inches square, at 500 pixels per inch.

Thanks so much!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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The display quality doesn't matter for output quality.

Important is:

  1. Is the file linked correctly? (Look into the link panel)
  2. Is the effective resolution high enough? (It is also found in the link panel)
  3. Do you choose the correct PDF export settings?
  4. Does the file has the correct format? If it is a vector file with transparency don't use EPS, use PDF or AI.

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Thanks so much Willi...

The file is linked correctly, and the resolution is fine. I don't know what the PDF export settings have to do with it, because the problem is only when I am in InDesign. It is a .psd file with transparency.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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With the export settings you can reduce the output resolution.

When it comes to the efective resolution of a linked file in InDesign take care that you don't confuse it with the image's resolution (without the scale factor in InDesign).

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Since the problem is with the InDesign document in InDesign,I don't understand what the output resolution for exporting the document has to do with it.

Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Notice Rob^ referring to the "proxy". That's because the image you see in the InDesign editing window is not your image. It is indeed a proxy image that InDesign writes and displays solely for the purpose of representing your placed graphic. No quality judgements based on the on-screen appearance of the proxy are worth your time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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I don't know what the PDF export settings have to do with it, because the problem is only when I am in InDesign.

Right, your export settings have no affect on InDesign's display. There are a lot of factors that affect the display proxy (but not the actual linked file that will get printed or exported). The proxy for art with fine lines like yours does not scale well, so here's a combination of scaled-down art where the quality of the proxy changes depending on the zoom level

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 1.50.46 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 1.51.11 PM.png

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Guide ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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LoveGod  wrote

…and the resolution is fine.

It might be, but you haven't said what the effective resolution is. Click on the image, go to the links manager and look for this:

ss.png

This image is 300ppi in Photoshop, but because it's scaled larger in InDesign, the effective resolution is only 99ppi. Your 500ppi image is what it is when placed at 100%, but you didn't say if you have scaled it in InDesign.

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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The links panel says that the effective resolution is 706 ppi.

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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Thank you everyone for your help.

From what I am hearing, it sounds like it is not a problem with my Photoshop or InDesign documents themselves, but it is just how InDesign renders my file, and it can't be fixed.Is this right? Should I just not worry about it? Is there a way so I can at least see my graphic without it being pixelated?

Thanks.

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Guide ,
Apr 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017

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LoveGod  wrote

Is there a way so I can at least see my graphic without it being pixelated?

The part of the image that you see in InDesign (the preview) is built from the image, although it isn't actually the image itself. If you really want it to be more clear in InDesign, you could lower the resolution in Photoshop without resampling (very important point) to something like 100ppi. That will necessitate it being scaled down in InDesign to the size you need it to be. The larger the image physically, the more data in the preview, so once it's scaled down, it will be a bit sharper. Make sure you don't resample in Photoshop, or you will be removing data (and detail) from your file. Larger previews will make your InDesign file a bit larger in file size, but if it's just a few images, it probably won't be a problem. But, I wouldn't suggest doing this for a large book with tons of images, because the extra file size could really add up, and a larger file is more likely to fail.

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Advisor ,
Apr 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017

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Hello LoveGod​,

Just another couple of thoughts... Have you looked at the Edit > Preferences > Display Performance settings?

2017-04-27_09-47-35.png

By either modifying the default view to High Quality or adjusting the sliders under view settings for typical display you should be able to see the most crisp version InDesign can produce based on the effective size and resolution you have decided to use it at.

If you then again make sure that the object frame you are placing that image from (You are placing aren't you? IF not you should using native PSD files...) as in post 2 of this thread is also on High Quality - this should hopefully correctly display your image.

The only other thing to suggest... and I don't know what you the end dimensions of the final product would be.... But you could make the image you are placing as a 3rd of the final size with a 300 resolution...

Not going to say that there is something wrong with your illustration settings but > it may be unnecessary overkill.... I.e. the fact you are using such a large size and resolution is actually working against you here.

But as others have pointed out. If the final output isn't being affected > then this isn't the end of the world...

You just need to decide how much of the W x H x R you actually NEED for the task rather than what you WANT.

Hope this helps and sorry I didn't reply sooner.

Best wishes,

EW

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Advisor ,
Apr 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017

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If its only A4 print then something like 1000 px x 1000 px x 300 px/cm (or px per inch) should look fine...

A3 1500

A2 2000

A1 2500

Otherwise for like billboards etc best bet is to divide the final output size by 3 and work at that calculated output when doing the InDesign file or linked files...

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Explorer ,
Apr 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017

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Thank you so much everyone for your input.

I think I have reached the conclusion that, since the pixelation in InDesign does not affect the final product, I should just not worry about it. I hope that Adobe will figure out a easy way around this.

Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017

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I hope that Adobe will figure out a easy way around this.

It's not likely to change, the linked proxy method is needed for performance. Imagine a 200 page photobook with full res embedded images. You could easily end up with multi-gigabyte page layouts.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 14, 2022 Jul 14, 2022

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Hi all,

 

Check out the following article to correct the workflow for moving files from Photoshop to InDesign and resolve the file pixelation issue: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/photoshop-assets-in-indesign.html

 

Hope it helps,

Thanks,

Mohit

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