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Library: Creative Design


Maintain transparency in placed images and add interest to layouts

Added on Sunday 4th of January 2009 09:23 am EST

Application > Adobe InDesign 2/CS/CS2
Operating Systems > Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

One of the best selling features of InDesign is its tight integration with other Adobe software. That includes transparency. It's great that you can place Adobe Photoshop files in InDesign documents and retain their transparency attributes, as shown in FIGURE A. What's greater yet are the numerous ways you can do this to remove unwanted backgrounds. Let's start with a short explanation about transparency and then create an example in InDesign.

Explore your transparency options
Because an image by design is opaque, it hides or covers whatever content is under it when you place it in a layout. But there are times when you want the underlying content to show through certain areas in your image. To do so, you must make these areas transparent. We'll show you how to do this in Photoshop using clipping paths and alpha channels, and we'll explain how you can also do this in InDesign using the Paste Into command.

Retain transparency in your images
When you create transparency in an image with Photoshop, your goal is to preserve the transparency attribute after you place it in an InDesign document. This is easy to do, since InDesign supports transparency created in TIF, EPS, and PSD files. Let's now open an example to see how to achieve this. To follow along using our example, download the file TRANSPARENCY.ZIP from the URL listed at the beginning of this article:
1. Launch InDesign and open the PICTURE.INDD file.
2. Choose File > Place ...