No links stinks methinks

Recently, my colleagues and I have noticed several InDesign files supplied by clients that contain images that do not appear in the links palette. This creates issues because:

  • The image cannot be edited
  • Its details (resolution, colour space etc) cannot be determined through the links palette
  • Its high-res appearance or PDF output can change from how the image appears in standard preview in InDesign.

When I tried to replicate this fault (having an image with no link in the links palette), the consistent way to achieve this fault was to cut (or drag) content from one application and paste it into InDesign.

To demonstrate this, I have dragged an image from my Facebook page into InDesign. This is how the links palette looks in InDesign:

pic1

Note that the links palette shows no link, so I have no mechanical information about the link from the links palette. When I right click on the image I can’t edit the image from the contextual menu.

Now, if I place the original image from my hard drive using the File/Place command, I can now see the information about the link from the links palette and I can also edit the image from the contextual menu.

pic2

This is where cut and paste (or drag and drop) can become confusing. If I drag the image icon from any folder using Finder (on a Mac) or Explorer (Windows) the image appears in the links and is editable.

pic3

However, if I open Photoshop, select all with my marquee tool, copy and paste (or drag and drop) into InDesign, again no link/edit menu is the result. SO NO GOOD!

pic4

This example is using only one picture, but imagine a parts catalogue or any other picture-rich content that may have this issue.

Disturbingly, it doesn’t show up on the [Basic] preflight profile, nor does it show up as an issue in the package feature.

pic5

However, if use a decent preflight profile such as VIGC_v2.0_Prepare for Sheet CMYK_1v4, it does show up as an error, but only for its resolution and not its colour format.

pic6

Ultimately to avoid this situation, the best solution is to avoid drag/drop or cut and paste between applications.

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About colmin8r
A prepress operator since 1997 specialising in Adobe InDesign.

One Response to No links stinks methinks

  1. Pingback: Identifying bad links when InDesign doesn’t | Colecandoo!

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