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Hi Graphic Design People,

I am trying to put together a comic book to print, whose pages I have saved as flattened tif (of course I have the layered files too in case I need to modify anything).

It's very long, close to 300 pages. I looked at many vids and tuts about how to place images, but the best suggestion I seemed to find was to Click and Drag with the Load Gun.

Clicking and Dragging with the Load Gun hundreds of times is not only time consuming, I am also concerned about the slight differences of where each page gets Loaded onto the InDesign document when you do it manually like that.

It seems like there must be a simple way to do this generic task, but I have not discovered it. Any advice?

Thank you so much, Angie

  • Hi Angie, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. You might want to look into 'Master pages' for InDesign. If you Google that term, you'll find lots of instructions and tutorials that'll help you. – Vincent Aug 26 '14 at 11:24
  • There's the MultiPageImporter script by Scott Zanelli. – Joonas Aug 26 '14 at 11:45
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Master pages, as suggested by Vincent, will help you not need to lay out each spread every time you create a page.

The simplest way to do this is to lay out one page, place the first image, then duplicate that page. Note that you can multiselect within the Pages tool, then select Duplicate, so you don't have to do this 300 times.

Fit the image within the frame to your liking before you Duplicate. When replacing a linked image, Indesign keeps the placement settings. So if all your TIFFs are of identical dimensions, if the first one fits, the rest should fit the same way. You do want to confirm visually, though, for each placement, because you never know what odd thing may have happened with an image export or whatever.

Once you have 300 identical pages, I think the fastest native-Indesign way (meaning without using a script) to link the correct file to each page is to select the frame on the page, then [Ctrl+D / Cmd+D], and select the image to replace with.

However, the smartest thing to do would be to set up your frame on a Master Page, then use an Object Style on that frame. That way, you'll be able to edit the placement of the frame in one place (by moving it around on the Master Page), and the image import settings in one place (in the Object Style dialog).

You'll still need to manually link each TIFF to each frame, and that's a bit time-consuming. But you will be able to adjust the frame placement and image placement after you've linked the images.

Why Master Pages? Let's say you've set the whole document up, and you realize you need to move the frame an eighth of an inch, throughout the document. If you've used a Master Page as the basis for each page, you just go to the Master Page and move the frames there. The change is immediately made on all pages. Note that Indesign deals in Spreads by default, which makes it possible to place the frames differently on opposite pages to create a gutter in the middle. If you don't want this, change it in File > Document Setup.

Also note that if you've set up a frame on a Master Page, you won't be able to select it the regular way. Indesign protects the objects on the Master Pages from edits; you have to [Shift+Ctrl Select / Shift+Cmd Select] to override this protection.

Why Object Styles? Let's say you've set the whole document up, and you realize you need to change the image Fitting Options for each frame. If you've created an Object Style for the frame (let's say you named it Comic Page Frame), you can open the Object Styles toolbar, right-click Comic Page Frame from the list, and Edit it. This gives you a dialog that allows you to edit tons of properties of the frame. Image inset, fitting options, even stroke and fill.

So I think linking each individual TIFF, though it may take time, is actually not so bad, since it allows you to spot-check each import. Save yourself some aggravation by setting the document up properly, though, and you won't have to repeat all that work when you want to fine-tune the layouts.

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