Copy/Paste Simple Illustrator Vectors in InDesign

Written on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 in Tips & Tricks

Copy/paste, everyone knows it, everyone uses it. But did you know you can copy vectors from Illustrator and paste them straight in InDesign? The normal way to get a vector file in InDesign is to place it. Just like you would with an image file. So why copy/paste?

Let me start by saying that both approaches have their own pros and cons. Copy/pasting is great for simple vectors like logos and icons. Placing is fantastic for medium to heavy vectors or drawings that contain a lot of gradients.

The main reason you should copy/paste your simple vectors in InDesign, is that you have control over them, without having to leave InDesign. We can change colors and strokes weights or make minor changes to it. It simply gives you a lot more freedom.

But… There’s always a but. Beware, InDesign has a limit as to how much vector data it can handle. So if we have a large multi-page document and start pasting a lot of vector files in it, InDesign can get really slow. Secondly, if we try to paste a complicated vector we’ll get the following message.

Even though this works, try to avoid it. InDesign will embed the EPS into the InDesign file. It will look just like a placed vector but there won’t be a link to an external file, so if you need to make any changes to it, you won’t be able to open it again in Illustrator.

In short, pasting is perfect for small vectors, placing for medium to large vectors. Happy copy/pasting!


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2 Responses to “Copy/Paste Simple Illustrator Vectors in InDesign”
  1. Syone says:

    Thanks for a great tips! I have a question when I just copy paste the vector files into indesign my auto page page is cover up by the .eps vector, any idea how to put the auto page above .eps vector so its not disappear? thanks

  2. admin says:

    Hi Syone. What exactly do you mean by “auto page”? Cheers, Wim