Integrating InDesign with Illustrator

Integrating InDesign with Illustrator

Illustrator (which we discuss at great length in Book III) is a tremendous drawing program that enables you to create complex drawings. Therefore, it is a great tool to use for creating illustrations bound for InDesign page layouts. Luckily, you have several ways to control your Illustrator artwork directly in InDesign, which we discuss in this section. You can import Illustrator 5.5 files and greater into InDesign and maintain the editability of the objects from the AI (Illustrator) file within InDesign. This means that you can edit the objects further after they are imported. Also, any transparency in the AI file is preserved when you import it, meaning that you can wrap text around the drawings you create.


You can also copy and paste graphics from Illustrator to InDesign, and then edit them directly in InDesign.

You can directly edit a gradient if it has been pasted from Illustrator into InDesign. (See Book III, Chapter 16 to find out how to create a gradient in Illustrator.) Make sure that you have documents open in both Illustrator and InDesign before getting started. In Illustrator, open the Preferences dialog box by choosing Edit®Preferences (Windows) or Illustrator®Preferences (Mac). Select the File Handling & Clipboard drop-down list option. In this dialog box, make sure that the AICB (Adobe Illustrator Clipboard) check box is selected. Then, in InDesign, open the Preferences dialog box by choosing Edit®Preferences (Windows) or InDesign CS®Preferences (Mac); select General in the list on the left to see the General options. Make sure that the Prefer PDF when Pasting check box is not selected.

To edit an Illustrator gradient in InDesign, follow these steps:

  1. Select an object in Illustrator cs that has a gradient fill.

    The object appears with a bounding box with handles.

  2. Press Ctrl+C (Windows) or z+C (Mac) to copy the object to the Clipboard.

    The information is saved on the Clipboard in your computer.

  3. Open InDesign cs and make sure that the document’s page is selected. Press Ctrl+V (Windows) or z+V (Mac).

    The contents on the Clipboard are pasted into the InDesign document.

  4. Select the Direct Selection tool in InDesign, and then click the gradient.

    Using this tool, you can select the gradient originally created in Illustrator in InDesign, as shown in Figure.

    Click To expand
    Figure: Editing an Illustrator gradient in InDesign.

  5. Ungroup the drawing so that you can work with the individual elements (such as a gradient fill) by selecting the drawing and choosing Object®Ungroup.

  6. Edit the gradient as necessary using the Gradient palette.

    Now you can edit the gradient in InDesign using the Gradient palette in the same way that we show you in Chapter 10 of this minibook.

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