Should I resize an image and place it or let InDesign resize it?

New Here ,
Apr 12, 2022 Apr 12, 2022

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So I recently learnt that .tiff is the preferred image format for lab printing.

I have several photos scanned into Photoshop at that 1200 dpi that are stored as psds which I plan on exporting as tiffs for use in InDesign.

The InDesign frame size I'll be working with is about the same size as a credit card. I'd like to know, should I resize the full size image and place it into InDesign, or should I place the entire full size image into the frame and let InDesign do the scaling. Which method will result in better quality prints?

Thanks,

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 12, 2022 Apr 12, 2022

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Any particular reason you are exporting to TIFF? InDesign can happily place Photoshop PSD files. The beauty with this method is that every time you update the Photoshop file you don't need to export out an intermediate file.

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New Here ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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I read tiffs are what the printers prefer over jpegs/other formats.

 

If using a psd should I place the entire huge image into the image frame and use the frame fitting options, or resize it in Photoshop first? Which method will result in a better quality prints? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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I've seen experts argue back and forth on this one for years. I've dropped giant Photoshop files into InDesign, resized them within InDesign, exported out high quality PDFs, had them professionally printed and they looked great.


I've also seen some argue that Photoshop gives you more manual control over resizing and this is therefore the better place to resize.


You could always run a comparison test yourself and compare exported out PDFs.


When resizing in Photoshop using the Image Size option, don't forget to explore the Interpolation Method drop down menu.


Hopefully some experts with strong experience in this area can advise you either way.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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I read tiffs are what the printers prefer over jpegs/other formats.


By @Spaz Melon

 

Well, you should probably stop reading 20-year-old advice. A qualified printer doesn't care one bit. They'll prefer a properly exported PDF where it won't matter one bit.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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So I recently learnt that .tiff is the preferred image format for lab printing....

I read tiffs are what the printers prefer over jpegs/other formats.

 

Are you delevering to a photo lab (e.g., dye sublimation printing), or a commercial printer (e.g., offset printing)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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Let InDesign do the scaling. For your prepared frames you have the option to fill a frame with a placed image proportionally. You can prepare frames with that option before placing the images.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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Hi @Spaz Melon , could you clarify what you are delivering to the Lab—will it be a PDF? If you inspect an image in a PDF with AcrobatPro there is no reference to the original format, so a TIFF and PSD with the same specs would be identical in the exported PDF.

 

Also, InDesign scales the image resolution, there’s no resampling— if you scale your 1200ppi image by 200% its pixels will also scale by 200% and the output resolution with no Compression will be 600ppi, which is listed as Effective Resolution in th links panel. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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I read tiffs are what the printers prefer over jpegs/other formats.

 

If using a psd should I place the entire huge image into the image frame and use the frame fitting options, or resize it in Photoshop first? Which method will result in a better quality prints? 


By @Spaz Melon

Never heard that - but perhaps in some scenarios. But in general.

 

I place PNG, TIF, PSD, JPEG etc. all in the same InDesign file all printed at the same time - there's nobody on this planet could tell what was what after it was printed. 

 

Resizing in photoshop is not required.

Place the image into InDesign and resize to the what you need.

 

The Links panel when the image is selected will show

Effective - and once it's within tolerance of the printing it will be fine.

 

When you export to PDF you can downsample to a resolution.

 

This downsampling from InDesign to PDF is the exact same process that you would go through in resizing it in Photoshop.

 

My process would be to place all images as supplied - no need to convert to any other format.

Except if you get SVG - you would need to do some work in resaving to .ai for these.

 

I wrote an article here

https://creativepro.com/high-res-image-look-low-res/#:~:text=Go%20to%20InDesign%20%3E%20Preferences%....

You can look at the Preflight portion to find out how you can check all your images are not falling below the required print standard required.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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Hi Eugene, I think the lab (a photo lab?) might require TIFF when an image format is being provided for photo output—their output device’s software might not recognize the .PSD format?

 

Then, with the images being placed in InDesign, I was assuming @Spaz Melon would be delivering a PDF, and in that case the placed image format does not matter—all image formats export to PDF as Filled Path: Image.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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That's what I was thinking too

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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@Spaz Melon wrote:

should I resize the full size image and place it into InDesign, or should I place the entire full size image into the frame and let InDesign do the scaling. Which method will result in better quality prints?


 

Both will result in a quality print, as long as the Effective Resolution, after resizing, meets the printing requirements (for example 300 ppi). In InDesign, watch the Effective Resolution in the Info panel.

 

InDesign effective PPI v00g01.gif

 

Other than that, there are some production consequences of resizing inside or outside InDesign, especially if you have many images: 

  • If you have full resolution images out of a camera, they probably contain much more data (have bigger file sizes) that you need for a credit-card-size graphics frame. This would show up as an Effective Resolution much higher than 300 ppi. Resizing images before placing them means you can resize them to the exact inch dimensions of the graphics frame at 300 ppi, so that InDesign doesn’t have to process any more data than needed. This could help with performance. 
  • If the images are resized to the correct inch dimensions and ppi value in advance, InDesign will place them at the correct size on the layout right away. In contrast, even if the images have the correct pixel dimensions, if the ppi metadata says for example 72 ppi, they will all place too large in inches, so you’ll have to manually resize every one of those images in InDesign. 
  • When InDesign resizes, it simply changes the pixel density as you enlarge or reduce it. Resizing outside InDesign gives you the opportunity to apply additional resize processing. For example, in Photoshop maybe you want to apply a specific Resample method in the Image Size command.

 

I agree that if you are delivering a PDF, you can place PSD or TIFF because what the printer’s going to see is a PDF. They would only notice they were PSDs if you were handing off an InDesign document with a folder of loose images, but not if you are handing them a single PDF with the images embedded within it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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Both will result in a quality print, as long as the Effective Resolution, after resizing, meets the printing requirements (for example 300 ppi). In InDesign,

 

Hi  @Conrad C@Spaz Melon , hasn’t mentioned the printing method yet, but a photo lab’s dye sublimation printer would likely be continuous tone—no halftone or stochastic screen interference. For dye sub printing I would turn off compression in the PDF Export Output tab and let the output be the Effective Resolution.

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