How to Insert Clip Art With Adobe InDesign

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Adobe InDesign can be used to produce documents like flyers, posters, catalogs or books.
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There is more than one way to insert clip art images into an Adobe InDesign CC document. You can paste an image from an application like your Web browser or image viewer directly into your documents. You can also use InDesign's Place command to insert images into your layout without a frame, into an empty frame you created or into an existing text frame.

Place Clip Art Without Frame

Step 1

Click the "Selection Tool" within the Tools panel. The Selection Tool grabs the image and the container holding it so that you can move them as one unit. The Direct Selection tool, on the other hand, selects the image only within a frame or image container.

Step 2

Click "File" and "Place." Select the clip art image you want and then click "Open." You can also use the Place keyboard shortcut "Ctrl-D."

Step 3

Move the image to the desired location with the Selection tool. If the Hand tool appears, however, regain the Selection tool by clicking anywhere outside the document. Open the Text Wrap panel to change the object wrap options if you place the image within a block of text.

Place Within a Frame

Step 1

Select the "Rectangular Frame Tool" and draw a frame large enough to hold the clip art image. After the image is added, you can resize the frame.

Step 2

Press "Ctrl-D," select the clip art image and click "Open" to place the image within the frame you created.

Step 3

Click the "Selection Tool" and move the frame to the desired location within the document.

Paste Clip Art From Another Application

Step 1

Open the image you want with an application like your browser, word processor, image viewer or Paint.

Step 2

Select the image and copy it to your clipboard. For example, right-click an image on a Web page and then select the option to copy it. If you are using Paint, press "Ctrl-A" and then "Ctrl-C" to copy the image to the clipboard.

Step 3

Switch to the InDesign application window and press "Ctrl-V" to paste the image into your document.

Step 4

Click the "Selection Tool" and move the image to the place you need it in the document.


Resize a clip art image by first locking the "Constrain proportions for width & height" tool on the Control panel and then adjusting the image's height or width. Another way to resize an image is to double-click it until the borders surrounding it and all resizing handles turn brown. Grab a resizing handle and then drag it in or out to the desired image size.


Information in this article applies to Adobe InDesign CC 2014 version. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions of InDesign.