If I paste/place a large image (72 ppi) into Indesign and want to scale it down to be equivalent to 300 ppi, is there a way to do that in just Indesign?

I know I could figure out the scaling math, or change the settings via Photoshop, but I'd prefer something automated if possible.


2 Answers 2


My experience is that inDesign will use the ppi flag in the file to set the initial print dimensions if you do not drag the box when placing the image.

For 72ppi-flagged images, you will always need to reduce the print size by 24% to arrive at 300ppi (effective). Since 72/300 will always be .24, you don't need to do the math more than once.

Place the image at 100% (place> then click without dragging), then immediately change the size to 24%.

Changing the dpi setting (without altering the pixel dimensions) in Photoshop is a formality.

  • 1
    Does anyone know a way to do this automatically? Have the images placed at 300 ppi instead of defaulting to 72?
    – Aaron
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 15:10
  • It is not defaulting to 72dpi, it is defaulting to inches. You have pixels (dots) and a dpi flag saying how big each pixel is, that is where it "automatically" gets the size from. Dots Per Inch means dots divided by inches. A 300 pixel high image is 1 inch when tagged as 300dpi. The exact same unaltered pixel data tagged at 72dpi would be about 3.5 inches. If you want to override this calculation, you drag the image to the appropriate size rather than simply clicking when you place the image.
    – Yorik
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 16:35

Select your image and open Link Panel or Info Panel To see the Effective PPI and Actual PPI (image original ppi). You can scale and see the change to the Effective PPI and get your result by try and error. But doing the math is way easier.

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