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Why can't I copy/paste my gradient from Illustrator into InDesign?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2018

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I have followed every tutorial, reviewed every other forum on this, went step by step with all preferences and my gradient still pastes as an image. Is it the new update that refuses to copy/paste swatches between the two? Please help. Thank you.

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Correct answer by Laubender | Adobe Community Professional

Hi acew1981 ,

the bug is fixed with InDesign CC 2019 14.0.2.324.

Just tested with Illustrator 23.0.3 on Windows 10.

Paste or Paste in Place was no difference. The gradient I copied over from Illustrator worked as expected.

Also see the list of fixed bugs here:

Fixed issues in InDesign

BugFixed-CopyGradientFrom-AI-to-INDD.PNG

Regards,
Uwe

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Why can't I copy/paste my gradient from Illustrator into InDesign?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2018

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I have followed every tutorial, reviewed every other forum on this, went step by step with all preferences and my gradient still pastes as an image. Is it the new update that refuses to copy/paste swatches between the two? Please help. Thank you.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Laubender | Adobe Community Professional

Hi acew1981 ,

the bug is fixed with InDesign CC 2019 14.0.2.324.

Just tested with Illustrator 23.0.3 on Windows 10.

Paste or Paste in Place was no difference. The gradient I copied over from Illustrator worked as expected.

Also see the list of fixed bugs here:

Fixed issues in InDesign

BugFixed-CopyGradientFrom-AI-to-INDD.PNG

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 15, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 15, 2018

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Hi erpdesigns ,

what do you want to accomplish? Storing a gradient from Illustrator in the Swatches panel of InDesign?

You still can do this. But only with gradients where the colors are in the CMYK color model.

Linear gradients and radial ones. Not the new free form of Illustrator CC 2019.

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 15, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2018

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All I want to do is try to bring the gradient swatch over from Illustrator over to InDesign. At one point you could copy and paste it but it does not work. Everything that has been suggested has been done

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Nov 16, 2018 0
New Here ,
Sep 13, 2019

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The key here is to have both workspaces in CMYK, i was just blasting my brains here not getting it to work, until i noticed, that the initial gradients illustrator file was in RGB. Switched workspace to CMYK from illustrator and works like a charm 🙂

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Sep 13, 2019 1
New Here ,
Mar 27, 2020

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I keep forgetting this but it almost always helps to switch to cmyk

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Mar 27, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 15, 2018

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I have found that usually only simple shapes with solid colors will copy from Illustrator and paste into InDesign will remain vector, without being converted to an image.

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Nov 15, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 15, 2018

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It's also based on how complex the graphic is that you're copying. The vector graphic needs to be less than about 500 paths as described in this old article I wrote years ago:

The Magic Number - InDesignSecrets.com : InDesignSecrets

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Nov 15, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2018

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All I want to do is try to bring the gradient swatch over from Illustrator over to InDesign. At one point you could copy and paste it but it does not work. Everything that has been suggested has been done. Thank you for your article which Ive read and thats why I posted the question. Im stuck

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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Hi erpdesigns ,

did I ask too much from you?

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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What version of ID and AI are you using? And can you confirm that the AI document’s color mode is CMYK?

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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In the other thread mentioned, I tested this.

Copy and paste with a gradient from Illy to InDesign works in 2018. It fails when pasted to InDesign 2019, even when created in Illustrator 2018. It is a reproducible bug.

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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Hi, I am using IND and AI 2019 Mac, if I copy paste the gradient works

Doesn't work on the page but will save the gradient on the panel

E

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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Hi Jane,

do you have a sample Illustrator file?

I cannot see, that the gradient will not appear in the Swatches panel.

However, I can see that the gradient is not applied to the pasted element from Illustrator.

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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I think it is broken in 2019. The thread I posted in #4 shows the same problem.

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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Hi Eugenio.NYC ,

yes! That's exactly the behavior I can see with CC 2019.

The gradient will show up in the Swatches panel, but it is not applied to the pasted object. Or it is applied in a strange way to the pasted object. I assume, that one of the base colors of the gradient is applied…

Our OP here may be plagued by a different problem: No new gradient in the Swatches panel.

But I'm not sure about that.

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2018

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Hi Laubender​,

Don't be rude. I'm trying to have a constructive discussion on this and every possibility simply does not work. There is a bug.

Thank you for your efforts and I appreciate everyone's time

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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erpdesigns  wrote

All I want to do is try to bring the gradient swatch over from Illustrator over to InDesign. …

So I thought, that this is not working.

And I still think, the discussion is very constructive. Never thought differently.

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2018

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All I want to do is try to bring the gradient swatch over from Illustrator over to InDesign. At one point you could copy and paste it but it does not work. Everything that has been suggested has been done

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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Hi,

so we need some real samples to play with.

Do an Illustrator file with your gradient only and post it here.

Dropbox, WeTransfer link or a similar service.

Regards,

Uwe

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 15, 2018

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It looks like there is a problem with CC2019, and you also have to set the Clipboard preferences correctly in both applications before you cut and paste. Check this thread:

https://forums.adobe.com/message/10736367?et=watches.email.outcome#10736367

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Nov 15, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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Here is the link on User Voice where the bug has been reported to the engineers. As of now, it only has one vote:

I have problems copying illustrations from illustrator into documents InDesign. – Adobe InDesign Fee...

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Nov 16, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2018

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jane-e  wrote

… As of now, it only has one vote:

I have problems copying illustrations from illustrator into documents InDesign. – Adobe InDesign Fee...

Just voted to fix the bug.

Thanks for the link, Jane!

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 18, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2018

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Laubender

It is constructive if my question was how to do it in general. That is not the issue.

Your comment of if you asked too much of me was not necessary and also condescending.

Please choose your words differently.

Thank you and this forum is answered.

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Nov 16, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018

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erpdesigns  wrote

Laubender

…Your comment of if you asked too much of me was not necessary and also condescending.

It was not meant this way. Sorry, if you recieved it like so.

Maybe I should have asked if you could do some screenshots first to illustrate the problem.

My fault.

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 16, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2018

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Some details on the bug we are seeing here:

Actually the gradient swatch is applied to the copied object.

CopyPaste-GradientFill-AI-CC-2019-to-INDD-CC-2019-Bug.PNG

But with the wrong values for GradientFillStart and GradientFillLength.

I compared the values from an exported IDMS file of a pasted rectangle to InDesign CC 2018.1 and one to InDesign CC 2019 14.0.1.209. The values in CC 2019 were way off. Not so with the same rectangle pasted to a CC 2018.1 page.

CC 2019 ( all values are in points 😞

GradientFillStart="4877.823136474006 -5013.555344725959"

GradientFillLength="7231.69921875"

CC 2018.1:

GradientFillStart="-41.991211531998275 110.90551181102363"

GradientFillLength="84.30709838867188"

How GradientFillStart and GradientFillLength should be calculated.

This sample:

1. New document with non-facing pages 100 x 100 mm page size.

2. Drag out a rectangle 100 x 100 Pt from [0,0] towards the right and the bottom.

3. Fill it with a linear gradient.

HowToCalculate-GradientFillStart-GradientFillLength-INDD.PNG

The bug is clearly with InDesign CC 2019.

Gradient Fill with CMYK colors

AI: Copy rectangle with applied gradient fill > INDD: Paste

AI CC-2018 > INDD CC-2019 > Bug

AI CC-2019 > INDD CC-2019 > Bug

AI CC-2018 > INDD CC-2018 > No Bug

AI CC-2019 > INDD CC-2018 > No Bug

What's wrong wth INDD CC-2019?

Wrong GradientFillStart

Wrong GradientFillLength

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 18, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2018

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Laubender

Uwe, are you saying the bug is that we are only seeing the upper left corner, then?

May I ask how you got the numbers? Did you write a script? Can we see it in the Gradient panel?

I am not in my office to test, but what happens if we resize the frame or reapply the swatch?

Good sleuthing!

Jane

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Nov 18, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2018

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jane-e  wrote

Uwe, are you saying the bug is that we are only seeing the upper left corner, then? …

As my numbers are showing GradientFillStart and GradientFillLength are way off. We don't see the upper left corner.

With one of my samples start is off about 4700 pts ( 65 inches ) x-direction and about 4950 pts ( 68 inches ) in y-direction.

Also length with about 7100 pts ( 99 inches ).

One can reapply the gradient fill.

First apply a different swatch like [Black] and then the new gradient fill again.

However that would spoil the applied angle of the fill, if there is one. It will be reset to zero.

Also the fill start position, if there is a different one than the left edge of the rectangle.

jane-e  wrote

…May I ask how you got the numbers? Did you write a script? Can we see it in the Gradient panel?…

I got the numbers by exporting the pasted rectangle with the applied fill to IDMS, opened the IDMS file with a text editor and discovered the numbers. You could also write a script to fetch them. The numbers cannot be seen in the Gradient panel.

One could move the path points of the pasted rectangle to show more of the gradient fill applied.

But one needs to do that with unlikely huge numbers. I tried that and expanded the 100 x 100 pt rectangle to about 5 x 5 meters. Still I cannot see the whole gradient.

Also tested copy/paste with a rectangle where the gradient angle was 45° in Illustrator. The result with the pasted rectangle was a -0.566° angle as seen from the Gradient panel. That means: The gradient angle is not transferred as expected.

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 18, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2018

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All in all the best way to workaround the bug is:

1. Copy the object with the gradient in Illustrator CC 2019

2. Paste to a page in InDesign CC 2018.1, save and close the document.

3. Open the document from InDesign CC 2018.1 with InDesign CC 2019.

Or export an IDMS file or save as IDML from InDesign CC 2018.1 and place the IDMS file or open the IDML with CC 2019.

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 18, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2018

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Laubender

Hi Uwe,

Also, it's coming into InDesign as a Group:

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Nov 18, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2018

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That's nothing unusual and is not new. 🙂

If there is a stroke applied it will show as a group of objects:

Rectangle holding the stroke.

Graphic frame with a nested rectangle holding the fill.

Regards,
Uwe

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Nov 18, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jun 12, 2019

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I have just tried this several times and spent two days trying to figure out how to do this. I even contacted adobe about this and their support said it cannot be done. Out of frustration i kept trying many things. I decided to close out both indesign and illustrator. Created new files etc. Still no avail. I then copied the gradient object from illustrator and went into indesign and selected edit menu then "paste into place". it worked! I hope this helps someone else.

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Jun 12, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2019

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Hi aaronw22990910 ,

thank you very much for this contribution.

Currently I cannot test this with CC 2019.

What's your exact version of InDesign CC 2019?

What's your operating system?

Thanks,
Uwe

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Jun 13, 2019 0
New Here ,
Jun 13, 2019

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Adobe indesign 14.0.2

Adobe illustrator 23.0.3

Windows 10 64 bit

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Jun 13, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 16, 2019

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Hi acew1981 ,

the bug is fixed with InDesign CC 2019 14.0.2.324.

Just tested with Illustrator 23.0.3 on Windows 10.

Paste or Paste in Place was no difference. The gradient I copied over from Illustrator worked as expected.

Also see the list of fixed bugs here:

Fixed issues in InDesign

BugFixed-CopyGradientFrom-AI-to-INDD.PNG

Regards,
Uwe

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Jun 16, 2019 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2019

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I can confirm on a Macintosh.

I successfully copied a gradient from Illustrator CC 2019 23.0.4 to InDesign CC 2019 14.0.2.324.

Illustrator gradient:

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 5.38.42 AM.png

Result copied into InDesign:

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 5.38.55 AM.png

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Jun 17, 2019 1
New Here ,
Jul 12, 2019

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If you have access to InDesign 2018 copy the art from your Illustrator file and paste it into a layout created in the 2018 version of InDesign and save the file. Then, you can copy the pasted art from the 2018 version of InDesign and paste it successfully into your 2019 version layout. It's a round-about way, but it worked for me.

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Jul 12, 2019 0