Set Image Quality and Display InDesign CS5 Documents

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

You can select quality settings that determine how images are displayed when they’re part of an InDesign Creative Suite 5 layout. These quality and display settings may help speed up your work if your computer is older or slower, or if you have many images.

Displaying images at a higher resolution can give you a better idea of the finished print project and may avoid the need to print the project several times for proofing. These settings are applicable only to how you see the images while using InDesign to create a document —they don’t impact the final printed or exported product.

To change the image display quality, choose Edit→Preferences→Display Performance (Windows) or InDesign→Preferences→Display Performance (Mac). You can then select one of the following settings from the Default View drop-down list:

  • Fast: To optimize performance, the entire image or graphic is grayed out.

  • Typical (Default): This setting tends to make bitmaps look a little blocky, particularly if you zoom in. The speed of zooming in and out is increased if you select this option. InDesign uses a preview that it created (or that was already imported with the file) to display the image on the screen.

  • High Quality: The original image is used to display onscreen. You can preview an accurate depiction of the final layout, but you may find that InDesign runs slowly when you use this option.

    From left to right: Fast Display, Typical Display, and High Quality Display.
    From left to right: Fast Display, Typical Display, and High Quality Display.

To change the display for an individual image, select the graphic frame and choose View→Display Performance. Then choose one of the three options from the submenu.