How to Insert a Photo Using Adobe InDesign

By Andrew Tennyson

Photos are an integral part of desktop publishing and graphic design, so it’s essential that you know how to insert them into your projects. Adobe InDesign CC has a dedicated Place tool you use to place photos into your documents.

Creating a Frame

Before you can place a photo in an InDesign document, you create a frame for it. Click “Window” on the main menu and select “Tools” to make sure the Tools palette is visible. Click the “Frame Tool” icon, which looks like a rectangle with an X through it. Select either the rectangle, ellipse or polygon frame tool depending on the shape of the frame you want to use for your photo. Click and drag the frame tool to create the frame in your InDesign document.

Placing a Photo

After you create a frame, it’s time to place the photo in it. Click the frame to select it, click “File” on the main menu and select “Place.” You can also launch the Place window by pressing “Ctrl-D” on your keyboard. Browse to the image you want to insert into the document, select it and click “Open” to place it in the frame.

Resizing the Photo

The photo is placed in the frame at 100 percent of its original size, so it may at first be much too large for the frame. To resize the photo so it fits into the frame, click “Object” on the main menu, select “Fitting” and select either “Fit Frame Proportionally” or “Fit Content Proportionally.” Filling the frame proportionally fits as much of the image inside the frame as possible, but if the frame and original photo are not the same size, some of the original may be cropped out if it lies outside the frame. If you select Fit Content Proportionally, the entire photo appears in the frame, but there may be some blank space between the edges of the photo and the edge of the frame if they are different dimensions.

Repositioning, Adjusting and Packaging

Drag and drop the image frame to reposition it on the page. To flip a photo, select it and click either the “Flip Horizontal” or “Flip Vertical” button on the application bar along the top of the InDesign workspace. You can resize a frame at any time using the squares on the corners of the frame. When you’re satisfied with the placement and appearance of the photo in the document, package the InDesign project so that the photo and other elements of the document are stored in a common folder. Putting all important files in the same folder simplifies the process of sharing and moving the InDesign project between devices. Click “File” on the main menu, select “Package” and then select “Package” again.