I am creating a large book in InDesign. Part of the book is composed of PDF ads that have been provided to me. Every time I place these PDF ads in InDesign they're blurry. I have tried saving them as JPGs and PNGs. But I am getting a similar product. I have tried adjusting the display settings in both preferences and view. I have tried printing the document to see if maybe it printed okay, but each time the file is extremely blurry. Why is this happening?

  • What is the resolution of these jpgs?
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 16:16
  • I too.k back that close vote. Turns out I didn't read the question properly
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 17:19
  • have you tried saving the PDFs as EPSs? Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 17:35
  • Are your display settings set to High Quality?
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 8:06

3 Answers 3


Usually this happens when the source is not accurate - Meaning - The file you placed from either doesn't exist anymore or it's location changed or your file's location changed so it's relation to the places file is different (which is the same as doesn't exist as far as Indesign is concerned)

Check you preflight and your links window and make sure all of the pages are linked to the right sources.

Now generally speaking - when you work on a large Indesign document that has a lot of links, create a folder, save in that folder your Indesign document and within that folder create and inner folder with all of the sources, and when you want to move the file's location move the entire folder, that way your sources are never unlinked.


And the pdf:s theme selves looks fine if you print them from acrobat? If you're dragging and dropping the files onto your document, try instead to use the place command (cmd+D) and tick the box that says "show import options". Play around with different settings there and see if that helps.

(I mostly use this if .ai logos have a white background when placed, even though there are no such object when opened in AI. then just tick the transparent background box)

Cheers, Rickard


You will experience this issue if the images have been resized within their document frames. When dragging the images out after placing (with cmd/ctl-D) or placing them into an already created frame, the image can get blown up larger than their original resolution.

One way to check the actual resolution of the images in comparison to your document is to place them with a single click instead of dragging the image to fit your space (or placing into a preexisting frame). If the newly placed image is smaller than the frame you had before, the image probably got blown up larger than it's original resolution, causing it to become blurry.

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