I scanned some sketches and changes some colours in photoshop,then I saved the image as a psd file on my desktop.The problem now is that I want to use them in inDesign and when I insert them they have huge pixels.In photoshop they were ok and I even changed the 'display performance' to high resolution.What is the problem? (sorry for my english :D)

  • 1
    Indesign reflects the ppi of the placed image. Unless you've intentionally scaled the image in Indesign. Indesign doesn't make "huge pixels"
    – Scott
    Jan 20, 2015 at 1:16

1 Answer 1


Are you sure you changed from 'Preview' to 'Overprint Preview' in the View menu? InDesign displays at low resolution preview while you're working, so artwork may appear pixilated.

You can check 'Overprint Preview' on and off at intervals while you're working to see a better representation of what will print, but I wouldn't leave it on all the time - especially if you're working with large files, it will slow the application down.

Another factor might be whether the profile of the document is set to print or web. You can check the image resolution in the Links panel, to see if you have the appropriate Actual & Effective resolution for your output device.

Increasing the dimensions of your image (width and height) may decrease your effective pixels per inch. For instance, if an image is 72ppi at actual size (100%), and you increase the dimensions of that image in InDesign (i.e. ask the same amount of pixels to cover more square inches), or if your device outputs/displays at a higher resolution than 72ppi, your actual ppi may be 72, but your effective ppi would be less than that. There's more information here: http://blog.rockymountaintraining.com/adobe-indesign-why-do-my-images-look-so-bad/

  • I think your link explains it well and that the terminology is what is used in inDesign, but there is no "actual ppi" in the sense that there is only pixel data stored and "ppi" is just a flag/suggestion of intent. In other words, there is always only "effective ppi" because images only store pixels, and ppi requires two units (pixels AND inches) the inches are outside the control of image manipulation programs and is set at output time.
    – Yorik
    May 19, 2015 at 15:33
  • @Yorik I agree with you. In a discipline like print, it's difficult to mediate between virtual and absolute units of measurement, without approaching a metaphysical debate. However, 'actual ppi' is a recognised term used by Adobe to indicate the image resolution when displayed at 100%. 'Effective ppi' is the term they coined to indicate the loss (or gain) in integrity of an image once it has been scaled in ID, or an approximation of the equivalent loss if the image is displayed on a hi-res device e.g. retina. A 100ppi image at 100% has an effective ppi of 50 if scaled up to 200%. May 19, 2015 at 16:05
  • I understand quite clearly. However, this is a problem that comes up again and again, and for novices it really is just a mess of information. "ppi" should never be used "in the wild." An image specification should be in "pixels" and the intended size should be in units such as cm or inches. PPI is variable and derived and has zero meaning without specific context. Note that this has little to do with your answer, but answers would be improved if they addressed this. If you deviate from the originally intended rendered size, the ppi changes.
    – Yorik
    May 19, 2015 at 16:47

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