I have a document with images. I need the best quality/size ratio. Now I use the "save for web" feature from photoshop because it allows exactly that.

When I place my images in indesign it looks great, and I sure know my images are small, but when I export I can't seem to choose "retain existing compression", so it wants to recode my already lossy png/jpg's to jpg again which really isn't helpful.

Any solutions?

3 Answers 3


You can use the standard File -> Export function in InDesign, where you have a selection of predefined export presets (it seems like you need something like High Quality Print), which can also be customized.

The best pre-defined presets are High Quality Print and Press Quality, although they also downsample standard images.


You might also want to uncheck the "Optimise for Fast Web View" box.

Furthermore, you can disable downsampling for images from the Compression tab.

enter image description here

For all the details, see: http://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/exporting-publishing-pdf.html

  • Could you be more specific, I find no option in there to choose "retain existing" compression. Hence the question. ID seems to always recode the images.
    – user16454
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 4:15
  • I edited my answer to be more specific. The export window may differ from newer versions (I am using CS5), but the differences are minimal. Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 20:46
  • Was this of any help? Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 6:49
  • 1
    @nus where it says 'compression' choose 'none'
    – DA01
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 21:41
  • @razvan.peter that is the first thing I tried, and it seems to do exactly what it says, create images that are not compressed, thus very big. Not the same as retain existing!
    – user16454
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 14:39

I don't think you can retain the image settings the way you want.
The pdf creation process basically repackages the document content.

Your best option is probably to figure out what settings work best for a majority of your images, and use the closest thing to those settings when you export your pdf.

If I remember right (don't have it in front of me), you can have your images saved with PNG settings if you use the Optimize PDF function in Acrobat Pro.
So you could Export a pdf from Indesign with no or lossless compression, then open it in Acrobat and save a new file with the optimized PNG settings from that program.

But no, you're still not 'retaining' your image settings.


A PDF is a compressed postscript file. It uses its own compression (or none at all as suggested above). You won't be able to import images to InDesign and expect a PDF to retain the compression from the original file.

Also, when you import an image to an InDesign layout, you are asking InDesign to interpret that file, uncompress it and display it in your layout. When you create a PDF you are telling InDesign to compress that information a certain way.

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