Carleton College

This tutorial applies to any version of Adobe InDesign. Screenshots are taken from InDesign CS5.

InDesign stores file components differently from other Creative Suite programs. Instead of embedding the images within the files it instead creates links to them, for example if you had a magazine project the images in the magazine would actually be referred to by links and would not physically reside within the InDesign file. This has been known to cause problems such as: documents will look severely pixelated when they are sent to print; documents will not open properly; also because many design projects are saved in COLLAB and COURSES and used by multiple people the images may be stored locally or in a different part of these network volumes, causing the links between the document and the images to become broken.

Need to reconnect images in a document? See part 4 of the "The Critical Saving Procedure for InDesign" below.

Why is this the case?
  • InDesign is a professional design product and therefore when sending a document to the publishers/printers, original images are included in case resolution and typesetting adjustments need to be made;
  • InDesign files are large and by including only previews of the images this reduces loading times;
  • InDesign also packages fonts in a similar way, for example if you sent your document to a PC print shop and you had a Mac. If you used a font like Myriad Pro (Mac only) you would need to package that in the design to ensure typesetting consistency.
How can I tell if my file has this problem?
  • When you open a file a list of errors will come up in a warning box;
  • From within InDesign you will see a red stop sign symbol on the bottom-left of your project canvas;
  • Sometimes if these errors are severe the document will fail to open entirely.
How can one avoid this terrible state of affairs?

The Critical Saving Procedure for InDesign
– Once you have done this once, saving will become much easier from this point forth!

  1. With your document open in InDesign go to File>Save in the top menu bar.
  2. If you have not chosen a location for your document, InDesign will prompt you to pick one. I suggest the desktop as this will be a temporary copy of your document.
  3. Go back to File in the top menu bar and go down to the "Package..." option near the bottom of the menu.
  4. Within the packaging dialogue box you will first see a summary of your document and whether it has missing links, images or font issues.
  5. The "Fonts" and "Links and Images" tabs on the left can be used as a means of reconnecting unlinked images/fonts (if you know where the original items are located, it is best practice to move them all to a local location not on a network drive). The other tabs are useful more as summaries.


    Links and Images

  6. When you are finished click "Package..." on the bottom right. The next dialogue box is for you to add printing instructions text, you can skip this if it isn't needed for your project.
  7. The next dialogue box will ask you which parts of the project that you would like to package. At Carleton you generally will not need to package fonts is you are working on one operating system (Mac or PC). Also although printing and mailing work on PC they only accept documents in a flattened PDF format (so the fonts are embedded). You will only need to package the fonts if you are sending the project as an InDesign file to external printers and just to forewarn you, a slightly worrisome copyright notice will appear before you are allowed to save your package. If you have questions about whether you should package your fonts or not, contact your AT, PEPS or the ITS helpdesk .
    Select the following options: "Copy Linked Graphics" , "Update Graphic Links in Package". The following option is up to your discretion, if you have vital layers in your project which are invisible, but need to become visible in the future select this option: "Include Fonts and Links from Hidden and Non-Printing Content".
  8. When you are ready hit "Package" and then save it to a convenient location. A new copy of your project will be saved to a new folder which will contain all of your graphics and fonts (if you packaged fonts). You can discard the original copy, which we saved at the beginning of this tutorial. When you are working on this project, you need to work from this folder version in future, if you save your folder to COLLAB we suggest copying the entire folder to your local machine to work on the project and then copying it back to COLLAB when you are finished. If you open from the folder from this point forth and go to File>Save your project will stay intact within its folder.

    The new folder will look like, the example project which you should open from now on is in the red rectangle

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