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Using Lightroom and InDesign

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Bruce J, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    Those of you with InDesign expertise: I have InDesign CC because I have a full CC subscription, so I thought I would attempt to use it to do a bit of layout work. Complete beginner with ID. I'd like to be able to drag an image from LR to ID and have it show up in ID within a frame. I'd also like it if changes to the image made in LR would show up in ID. Can't find a way to do this. Am I missing something, or do I really have to export the image from LR before I can place it in ID? Any hints on the best way to go about this? Thanks much,
     
  2. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    You can't use drag & drop. What you have to do to keep edits synched is setup a publishing service to your hard disk, and then import images from that publishing service into InDesign.
     
  3. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    Thanks Johan for confirming that. Do you know if there is any access to LR metadata, such as Caption, from within ID? At the moment, I am really struggling to do something that seems like it ought to be simple: create an image layout with caption underneath, image and caption coming from LR. I can set up the publish service w/i LR and include the metadata, but having trouble understanding the ID paradigm.
     
  4. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Sorry, I don't know that, but I doubt it's possible.
     
  5. johnbeardy

    johnbeardy Senior Member Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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  6. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    Option 1.
    InDesign has a feature which allows you to place metadata where you want on the layout page. I use it all the time.

    There is a very good video, if memory serves me correctly, which explains how it works. I am not near my PC right now, but will post here if I find the video later.

    Option 2.
    There is a second option. InDesign has a Mailmerge feature. You can use plugins such ListView or Lr/Transporter to create a text file or Excel file or similar to get your metadata from Lightroom and use this to Mailmerge with your Layout in InDesign.

    Option 3.
    If you use option 1 or 2 regularly, then you may be tempted to automate the process. I have written Javascript's so I can complete this process with just 2 clicks. Scripts can also be written in VisualBasic and in an Apple supported script. Scripts can be very powerful and there is full access to the InDesign object model.

    Option 4.
    Finally, do not forget Photoshop. The MailMerge feature that works in InDesign is also in Photoshop. InDesign has more bells and whistles, but very workable in Photoshop.




    Final Comment.

    I am seriously critical of Adobe's handling of this whole area. The Print and Book Module are seriously crippled in terms of ability to place metadata on the page in a professional manner. The Mailmerge feature I mention are not user friendly. Use of intermediate Excel files is painful in terms of Csv, tabbed delimited, etc.. I could go on. I have lost a lot of respect for Adobe as a software or service supplier based on how they have handled this in Lightroom and their apparent lack of understanding of real world, efficient, workflow, even between their own apps.

    Adobe should provide a seamless round trip option to InDesign so that the creation of intermediate files can be avoided. However, there are so many good suggestions made by real world Lr users that could be implemented with modest effort that have been totally ignored by Adobe that I very much doubt we will see improvements in this area anytime soon, but would love to be proved wrong.

    I am writing this on an IPad, so pls excuse any typos, etc..
     
  7. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    Thanks for the ideas, John and Grits. I did stumble on the Live Captions function and now have something that looks pretty good for one image. Don't know what will happen when I try to change the image. At the moment, I am struggling with the print function. Haven't figured out how to turn color management off on the printer and use a profile. Getting greenish tint, so probably have not found the right setup yet. Thanks for the links John; I'll check those out now.
     
  8. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    Colour Management.

    You can print from InDesign, but there is also a lot of options by Exporting as Pdf. When exporting as Pdf there is a Colour Management tab option.

    For example, you could have a pdf preset which gives you web friendly low rez srgb pdf or a full rez pdf file with a choice of profiles.

    No quick answer when it comes to Colour Management.
     
  9. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    While noodling around following one of John's links, I found the following description of the caption functions to be helpful: Create captions in InDesign
     
  10. Conrad Chavez

    Conrad Chavez Active Member

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    I drag and drop from Lightroom directly into InDesign layouts all the time. There are some restrictions, though.

    1. The image must be in a file format that InDesign recognizes. If the images are raw, they must be exported to PSD, TIFF, or JPEG before they can be dragged from Lightroom into InDesign.

    2. No other applications can read Lightroom image edits, so if you've made any Lightroom edits to a non-raw image you do have to export a copy to include the changes. But if you only cataloged the images with Lightroom and didn't edit them, it's OK to drag them directly to InDesign.

    I don't find 1 or 2 to be very limiting. I maintain the master images in Lightroom and have an export preset for InDesign that sends them to a different folder for InDesign. The export preset has "Add to this catalog" selected, so any exported image automatically shows up in the catalog for dragging to InDesign. If I saved the export destination folder or collection in my Favorite Sources (in the Filmstrip), I just have to switch to it and then drag the exported intermediate file to the InDesign layout.

    If I'm iterating between InDesign and Lightroom, each time I notice that an InDesign image needs an edit I switch to Lightroom, make the edit, and hit the Export with Previous (Preset) keyboard shortcut. That updates the exported image, and when I switch back to InDesign, the image is automatically marked as modified in the Links panel. Not too much work involved there. (If you use Johan's tip about using a Publishing Service, it will re-export for you.)

    3. I do this on a Mac, and I understand that drag-and-drop does not work as well in Windows. But on the Mac, Lightroom appears to be fully compliant with OS drag and drop, so I have no problem dragging directly from the Lightroom Grid to InDesign, Premiere, or any other application that receives drag and drop imports from other applications.
     
  11. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Yes, drag and drop copies and pastes the original, not an edited copy. So if you have original tiffs and jpegs in your catalog that have not been edited in Lightroom, it will work. But if you work with raw files or have made edits to jpeg/tiff files (which is what people tend to use Lightroom for...), it won't work correctly. That's why I said you can't use it.
     
  12. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    I am critical of Adobe that they do not provide a seamless round trip from Lr to InDesign to avoid creating intermediate files and to avoid having to sharpen specifically for the size of image you want to place on an InDesign page.

    Logically, you will prepare the images you want to include in an InDesign book or document and then export these to a folder with the export and sharpening settings of your choice.

    From that folder the easiest method is to create placeholders on the page for your images and use the InDesign "Place" command / feature ... which makes it easy to place multiple images on your InDesign page or pages.

    Subsequently, you may wish to re-edit your image. In that case you will need to apply the edits and re-export the image, overwriting the previously exported images.

    Now within InDesign there is an option to re-link to the modified image .... using the Links panel.

    upload_2016-10-30_11-33-6.png

    This works ..... but shame on you Adobe for making this such a labour intensive process.

    The real 'gottcha', if sharpening is important to you and you re-size the position of your image on a page then you will have to repeat this process having first re-exported the image to the new desired size and sharpening settings. Painful, and the reason I am so upset that Adobe have crippled their book module in Lr.
     
  13. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Intermediate files are inevitable if you use a parametric editor like Lightroom. Adobe has made publishing services in Lightroom. I know you don't use it, but you can't blame Adobe for having to re-export edited files in that case. You chose not to use the option they created for that.
     
  14. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    Fair point .... but ...

    The most common scenario within InDesign is that the author may wish to change the size (and maybe the crop or crop ratio) of an image to best fit the page. Lr will not know this. I will have to carefully write down and maybe re-calculate the revised sizing in terms of pixels or mm (using my preferred ppi) and the go to Lr to re-export .... using a different set of Export (or Publish) settings so that my Exported / Published image is correct. Extremely painful.

    Again, if I am sensitive to sharpening (which I am), I have to be even more careful. All of this pain could be avoided. This is two Adobe products. They deserve to be able to interoperate in a better way.

    I have not produced a book using InDesign for quite a while, but the next time I do I will re-evaluate the Publish option from Lr.


    Ps. If I was not worried about getting the precise pixels per inch on a page to preserve sharpening, then this would be less of an issue. I could let InDesign just take any re-Published images and rehash them into the frame on the InDesign page. This is not good enough for me when printing large high quality images, or if I am handling hundreds of images of multiple different sizes in a book.
     
  15. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    I believe you worry too much about size, resolution and sharpening. Have you ever done some serious testing on images with less than precise pixels per inch or sharpened for a slightly different size, or is it just that you worry about it? I sincerely doubt you will see a significant difference. I've often sent 3000 pixels wide images to magazines, telling them that if they wanted to use the picture for a two page spread I could send a larger file. They never asked for that larger file, but still used the images for full page spreads sometimes. I now send 4500 pixels wide images just to make sure, but if I'm honest I don't really see that this is really an improvement.

    Anyway, that isn't even the point here, because you don't have to upsize. I think that resizing images in InDesign is fine as long as you only downsize, not upsize. So if you create a publishing service that exports images at full page size and 300 ppi, you should never have to recalculate or re-export them simply because you want to use them at another (smaller) size in the InDesign document. And Lightroom will handle a change in crop as well in a publishing service. Just change the crop and let it re-publish.
     
  16. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    Some useful info re Data Merge.

    I am putting this info here in the hope it avoids a lot of frustration for people who wish to use the InDesign Data Merge feature and avoid some of the pain I experienced on my journey thro InDesign Data merge.

    The InDesign Data Merge feature is seriously useful. The effort to learn how to use it will be repaid many times. Also, much of this ecperience will help if you want to try Data Merge with Photoshop.



    There are a few big "Gottchas" that are not clearly documented (as far as I could see) .

    If you want to create a document which for example contains an Image, Title and Caption.

    Set up your InDesign document with the layout (position of Image, Title and Caption) using a Master page layout. Following the merge of your InDesign temlate, InDesign will have created a multi page document, with a page per record in your metadata csv file.

    Gottcha No 1.
    The text file used for the merge must contain the url address of the image. It is super super super super critical that the field name for the file url starts with an @. This tells InDesign this column of data refers to an image rather than a piece of metadata text.

    Gottcha No 2.
    If you are trying to use an Excel file to create your csv text file .... then Excel will object to you putting an @ at the start of a field. Really frustrating. The work around (in Excel ) is to put in an apostrophe in front of the @ .... eg '@

    Gottcha No 3. Depending on platform you may need to use forward slash or backward slash symbols in the file url.

    Gottcha No 4. The last time I tried this manually I had a difficulty using either comma separated or tabbed separated text fields. Sorry, I cannot remember which now.

    This video was a life saver.

    My complements to Lynda.Com for doing such a good job of explaining the critical steps. This is a free Lynda tutorial and only 6 mins long.
     
  17. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    Maybe so ..... but I regularly come first in printed photographic competitions and regularly praised for the quality of my printing... so I do not plan to change my methodology anytime soon.

    The next book I plan to produce will be on Hahnemuhle matte paper and will be traditionally handbound where I believe getting the sharpening right will make a difference. However, we are drifting off topic.

    The key message here is that InDesign is extremely useful for creating images with metadata using templates to a professional standard, where the metadata is maintained with the original raw file in Lr. Lots of CC members may not have InDesign (or may not want to go through the learning curve) and many are not aware that there is also a DataMerge option in Photoshop. I am migrating many of my scripts from InDesign to Photoshop because of better interoperability between Lr and Ps and because of the Actions feature in Ps... which can minimise the number of mouse clicks to achieve the final result.
     
  18. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    Wow. Thanks guys for all the ideas and things to think about. I seem to have the connection from LR to ID working as well as it can, through publish service in LR and 'Place' in ID. Fortunately, all of the images I'm using with one layout in ID are being printed at the same size, so I can set up the publish service with a fixed output size, sharpening, etc.

    However, I'm still stuck on the printing from ID issue. I can't seem to find any way to turn off color management by the printer. In LR and PS, I can get to the printer driver dialog and set color management to 'off'. Haven't been able to figure out how to do that in ID. Because the whole idea for this process is to try to print directly from ID, I'm stuck at this point. Any detailed help would be greatly appreciated at this point. Anyone know of a 'Color Management in InDesign' tutorial? Oh, printing to an Epson R2000, if that matters. Thanks again,
     
  19. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    Super. Just be aware of resizing and the relevance of sharpening to your workflow.

    Colour Management.

    Have you found this screen. I see you are on Windows, so it should be similar to the example here.

    upload_2016-10-30_13-28-2.png
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    Thanks Gnits, I did get to that screen, and set it up as your example. But, I'm still getting a slight green tint to a photo that has been converted to B&W. Sounds like double color management to me. A bit later today, I'll try some other images and different papers (and profiles). Perhaps it is working as intended. I too find that I am very sensitive to print sharpness and slightly off colors. More later,
     
  21. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    What are your Colour Management settings under Edit / Colour Settings ...

    I have my Working space for Photoshop and InDesign set to ProPhotoRGB.

    upload_2016-10-30_13-56-33.png
     
  22. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    Yep, mine are the same.
     
  23. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    Got it! On the print dialog in ID, under the General tab, Click on the 'Setup...' button. That takes you to the dialog from the print driver which only has a single 'General' tab where you can select a printer and not much else. There is a 'Print to file' option box which can be ignored, but next to it is a 'Preferences' button. From its placement, it looks like it's for Print-to-file preferences. It's not; it's the general printer preferences, from which, one can select 'Off (No Color Adjustment)' for the mode. Clicking OK to close the preferences takes you back to the 'General' printer select dialog. At this point, you have to click on the 'Print' button to save the settings! It doesn't actually print anything, just saves the settings. Now, you're back to the ID print dialog and you can select the rest of the settings you need, including the printer/paper profile. At least, that's how it works for my Epson R2000 and Win7. Have no idea how it would work for other printers. Now, on to the next challenge. Thanks for all the help,
     
  24. Gnits

    Gnits Active Member

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    I had eliminated the Printer side of the issue. You said further up that you had this setting sorted.

    However, complements to your perseverance and best wishes for your ongoing InDesign projects.
     
  25. Bruce J

    Bruce J Photographer

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    Thanks, and thanks for hanging with me. Cheers,
     

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