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Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 16 of 34

Importing Shapes from Adobe® Illustrator®


Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 16 of 34

Importing Shapes from Adobe® Illustrator®


Lesson Info

Importing Shapes from Adobe® Illustrator®

So in this case, I have, I have this pie chart that's here and I have it as a placed image. Now I know that because it's in my links panel and we're gonna cover that in the next module. We're gonna look at images and how that works when you bring it in from somewhere else. So in this case, I've taken an Illustrator file and placed it in here. So I used all the tools in Illustrator to create this, maybe I used the graph tool, I didn't in this case, it's a pretty simple item but I could use the graph tool to create it and that's great and I can place it in here but I'm pretty much stuck with the image the way it is. For instance, it uses these colors which are great but they're not exactly the colors I wanted them to be. They're not the teal color that I wanted, there's this blue color and that I'm not using in this particular document. This document I'm using these colors and the thing I created in Illustrator has the wrong colors. So what I wanna do is be able to grab the shape from Il...

lustrator and bring that in and make changes to the color or to the shape or whatever it is I need to do. So I can actually do that from Illustrator. So I'm gonna open up Illustrator and I thought I had it open but I don't, I'm gonna open recent files and this is just my pie chart file so it's just an Illustrator file and in here, if you're used to working in Illustrator, you'll see that this is, let me actually zoom in a little bit. I can see that those are all individual items that are here. I've got different slices of the pie are all individual items. And like I said, you can actually select all those items, copy them and paste them into InDesign. This is a vector drawing program and InDesign understands vectors, that's what we've been doing when we've been playing with the points and the segments on paths is we've been changing those vectors so InDesign understands them and even has tools to manipulate them, it's just that Illustrator has better tools for actually creating them but InDesign can tap into them. There are a couple of preferences we wanna make sure that we have actually set up and they should be on by default. We wanna make sure that it's going to go ahead and create a PDF and I also wanna make sure that the paths, the paths are turned on, the AICB is turned on and please preserve paths is there. So I can say okay and that just says, it lets you hook into the vectors that are there when we put that into InDesign. So I just did a commander control A to select everything, commander control C to copy everything and now I'm gonna go back into InDesign. And before I do anything with that, I'm just gonna show you that because this is an image, like I said, basically the only thing I can do is I can move it, I can scale it but I can't get to the individual points. I use my direct selection tool, all I'm doing is getting to the image itself but I can't click on these individual pie wedges that are here and that's what I wanna do. So I'm gonna go back to this document, just that it's plain so we don't have anything distracting us. I still have the stuff from Illustrator in my clipboard and now I just wanna take that and I wanna paste that inside this document so commander control V to paste. And I'm gonna zoom in on that and if you notice, I have this dashed line around that and that's because it took everything I had and it was grouped so it remains grouped or it could be just that it grouped when I brought it into InDesign. I can't remember how that works exactly but it's a grouped item which is great which means when I paste it it's going to look how it looked in Illustrator because it kept them all grouped together nicely. So we haven't talked about grouping items. We can go up under the object menu and choose ungroup. So at anytime we want things to travel together or work together, we can group them and in this case, I saw the dashed line around it which tells me that somethings different, I'm gonna say ungroup. In fact, now that I have those selected, I don't have that dashed line so I could go ahead and group those items together if this was something that I hadn't already done but in this case now I can see that I have several items selected. I can see the individual points and segments that make up those pie pieces as well. So as if I drew them here and split them, maybe I drew a circle and then I kind of brought in this shape to make this pie wedge and then I create the triangles and made a round edge. Sounds like a lot of work, I just actually did it in Illustrator, it's a lot quicker but now I bring this in here and if I use the direct selection tool, I can select these items individually. So I can select each item on its own and I can make changes so that it matches the color that I was hoping. In fact, let's go to our annual report here and I'm going to go ahead and just select the one that was pasted in there or placed in there and hit delete, let's just get rid of that and I'm gonna go ahead and commander control V to delete or to paste what we selected from Illustrator and I'm going to size it up a little bit just to make it a little bit bigger and I'm gonna do the same thing, I'm gonna ungroup that so up under object and choose ungroup and now I wanna make sure that I know what everything looks like. So I want this quarter one, that's a pretty good match but it's not the exact same color. I'm gonna select this and then I can go over to the color panel or the swatches panel, excuse me and I have a few that are already here so again, color we're gonna do in just a little while but this is kind of a preview as well. We can look at it and say take the fill which is this strange color that came in again, we'll cover that in color but I do know that I'm gonna use the cinnamon and teal and tan ones that are here so I'm just gonna select that item and change that to cinnamon, I'm gonna change this one to the one that was orange up here, let's choose orange and I want this one to be that kind of yellow color and I know the ones I'm using are the ones that are labeled with names and this last one is gonna be teal. Now I couldn't have made changes to that in InDesign if I hadn't copied it out of Illustrator and brought in the vectors that are actually part of what makes up this shape in Illustrator. If I want to pull down each of these and hold down the shift key, you can see that each one is its own item and its own bounding box. I'm gonna hold down the shift key and I can group them again if I wanted to but before that, I wanna change this to a stroke so I wanna make sure I select the stroke and I'm gonna go to swatches and choose black and let's change the stroke and make it a little bit thicker as well. Again, if I wanted to do that in Illustrator, I could, I'd have to go and make the change in Illustrator and update the link in InDesign and make the change in Illustrator so everything I did, as I was tweaking it, I'd have to keep jumping back out to Illustrator so in this case because I have these items actually here in InDesign, they're now as if I drew them in InDesign. The drawback being, that if I decide if, that I wanna make a change to the Illustrator file and I go change it, any change I make here, is not going to change in any way, if I suddenly decide this color needs to change or this item needs to move somewhere or delete it all together, nothing is going to affect it here because I copied and pasted it, there's no link between the two. So just keep in mind, if you do that copy and paste from Illustrator and drop that in, there's no way to update. If you use this in five different documents, it's only changing it in the one place that you're making the changes to. So I hope that makes sense but I love doing that if I've got simple graphics that I needed tools to create that Illustrator has and then I might copy and paste them into my InDesign document. Alright I'm gonna go ahead and revert, here's a little trick if you've made some changes to a document and you wanna bring it back to the way it was when you first opened it, hit revert so everything that we just did is going to go away, it's going to revert it back to how it was when we started first thing and the other thing that I turned on so that when I look at pages, like I said everything we're creating today is simple one page but this one has a lot of pages. I turned off those section ones so that when I want to jump to page eight, I can just type in eight and to do that, that was under your preferences under the InDesign menu or edit on a PC, under preferences and come down to general and choose page numbering, absolute numbering and that way it'll show you exactly which page it is in the document, not what you've necessarily called it. So I turned that on so that I actually have that available to me now.

Class Description

Learn Basic Design Skills.

Adobe® InDesign CC® is the industry's go-to tool making for layouts that combine images and text. Learn the most efficient way to work with this indispensable software in Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet.

In this beginner-friendly class you’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the Adobe InDesign CC workspace
  • Work with text, images, and color
  • Export and Print

Erica will show you how to execute layouts that include text, graphic elements, and images. You’ll learn basic design skills you can use to create professional-looking magazine layouts, newsletters, flyers and more.

If you want to take charge of your graphic design, Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet will get you started.

Level: Beginner, No prior Adobe InDesign experience required.

Don't have Adobe Creative Cloud yet? Get it now and save 20% so you can follow along with the course!


Adobe InDesign CC 2018



Fantastic course. I have used Illustrator and photoshop, but learned when under tight deadlines. We are going to begin using inDesign to publish a more extensive multipage newsletter, and I wanted to build a better knowledge foundation of this tool, rather than just diving in. The course was comprehensive and I feel that I'll be able to make a better product after taking the course.


Have loved Erica since I was a baby designer. She is a great educator, and even though I have been using ID for about 8 years, I just changed from CS6 to CC. This was a great refresher as well as a mental upgrade to new options and effects.

Gilbert Beltran

I enjoyed these classes. Learned the Indesign toolbox and picked up a few smart tricks. Erica is great at keeping up the pace and being very clear and easy to follow.