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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict revlimiter's Avatar
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    Adobe InDesign & Illustrator - Referencing Images

    Hi everyone,
    I am using Adobe InDesign CS4 and Adobe Illustrator CS6 for Mac. Every now and then I will have some .png images that are being referenced into my designs. Unfortunately this becomes a pain when I want to organize my files and put them into different folders. After I organize my files and open up my .ai or .ind it sometimes will say "Please reference banner.png", etc and I need to re-locate that graphic file. It would be nice if I had all of my .ai files in an /_assets/ai/ folder with no .png files in there.. It just looks a lot cleaner in my opinion when it comes to organizing design files and I would rather not source .png's from an /_assets/png/ folder if I can help it.

    So with that being said, is it possible to embed .png files directly into my .ai and .ind files? This would mean that I can move these files around wherever I please and the images go with them. What do you think? Is something like this doable and if not, how come? Or should I just have my "png" folder inside of my /_assets/ai/ folder like so? "/_assets/ai/_png/". Again, I would rather have all of my .ai files as one file with the full design in it rather than having the multiple files that are sometimes being referenced. I figured I should ask first to see if this can be done.

    Any help and guidance is greatly appreciated.
    "To make an apple pie from scratch,
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  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Melbourne, AU
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    I don't think you can do this, but I'm happy to be proved wrong. What I do is work out where I want those image files stored in the first place, and then keep them there. So I guess it's a matter of working out a system of organization that suits you and sticking to is from the start.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy conradical's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Well the short answer is you can.
    If I understand you correctly you are currently "Placing" images in Illustrator (File>Place). This is a good practice since you can edit your image and your AI file will update as well.

    If you want to use an image, then just don't use the Place method. Drag from Photoshop into your Illustrator file. I cannot honestly see a situation where I would choose this method though.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Feb 2007
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    I believe InDesign allows you to "package" your file. That is, it will save all your assets in the same place with your file, no matter where the original assets were.
    Steve Husting

  5. #5
    Community Advisor silver trophybronze trophy
    dresden_phoenix's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Madison, WI
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    in CS6 , AI allows you to package associated files. This, however is NOT a feature of CS4. There may be plugins or helper apps that my do pre-flighting for CS4's AI but I know of none.

    It really makes perfect sense, AI s for vector drawings, not for layout and tho AI does allows for multiple ART BOARDS, it s not a true multi-page feature. Again Illustrator is for illustrating, so it probably wasn't a priority for Adobe to include "file packaging" as a native feature.

    Also, mixing vector art and illustration is a bit dangerous, not yon your part perhaps.. but in the long run it can lead to nightmarish scenarios. Many combined files have passed 4th or 5th hand by my desktop. Mixed vector/raster art intended for at most 8.5" X 11" at passable resolution.. the original designer's/source file's existence long forgotten and the client intends it for use on a billboard. :/ As Helen Lovejoy would have said .. "would someone please think of the children!!!"

    THAT BEGIN SAID, here as some tips that might solve your issue:
    1) using PLACE or dragging and dropping from the desk top do the same thing.
    2) You can EMBED ( WINDOW> LINKS :: EMBED IMAGE) your raster images in to the AI file and do a SAVE AS(!!!!)
    Note that:
    * Your final AI file will be larger, potentially MUCH larger.
    * You wont be able to simply Update Links, as the link to the file is broken by this procedure
    * You can select all images at one and embed them all with one click!
    * If you do need to make an alteration you can relink images back to their source files! But most time it easier just to keep the origial linked images file , and SAVE AS utilizing the procedure mentioned above.

    Hope that helps

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy Slackr's Avatar
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    I'd just point out that you seem like an organised person already. If you don't already have a consistent workflow then you are almost there by the sounds of it. If you are keeping multiple copies of the files and referencing different types of files my understanding is that Illustrator will reference where they are in relation to the original. So if you have subfolders of the other versions (png's etc) then be sure to link to these in that folder and don't rearrange your files once the job is completed. If you are keeping things tidy as you go or have a consistent folder structure you'll be saving generated PNG files into their own folder already so they won't be moving anywhere at completion of the job.

    As mentioned above by Dresden be careful with embeds, you can inadvertently change the format. I've played the same game and chasing original artwork is a royal PITA. Many time people supplying the files don't know anything about the formats and think they're doing you a favour but it can often be the exact opposite.


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