5 Methods to Insert Images in InDesign For You

Affiliate Disclaimer: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you!
Photo of author


Insert Images in InDesign

Adobe’s library of unique and professional programs is well-known for being so flexible and having a lot to offer. Photoshop is quite possibly the best graphic design application, while Adobe Maya offers just as much for animators.

Graphic design applications, in particular, are something that Adobe offers plenty of. There’s Photoshop, Illustrator, and our focus in this article, InDesign. Each of them is tweaked precisely for a specific type of environment.

Adobe InDesign is meant for designing flyers, leaflets, and similar graphical works. One thing that some users just can’t figure out, though, is how to insert images in InDesign.

Given that inserting images is useful when designing a flyer, poster, and especially a publication like a magazine, knowing how to do this is vital.

Fortunately for you, we have five ways that you can insert images in Adobe InDesign.

Method #1 – Inserting an Individual Image

Let’s start with the simplest way to insert images in InDesign. Using these steps will allow you to insert a single image onto your project.

Step #1 – Open the Adobe InDesign file if you want to add an image to.

Open the Adobe InDesign file

Step #2 – Click on the “File” tab at the top of the program and select “Place” from the menu.

Step #3 – Using the file explorer window that appears, locate the image file that you want to insert.

locate the image file to insert

Step #4 – After selecting the image, it will load onto your cursor. Insert it now by either left-clicking once or left-clicking and dragging your cursor so that it is the appropriate size.

This is the easiest way of adding a photo, and if you need to insert more than one, all you have to do is repeat these steps.

PS: here are the best InDesign Alternatives, as well as how to resize an image in InDesign for your reference.

Method #2 – Inserting Multiple Images

Alternatively, when you want to insert more than one image, there’s another method to consider.

For the method below, it’s important that all of the images you want to paste are in the same folder/directory. If not, this won’t work.

So, if you need to insert multiple images onto your canvas, follow these steps.

Step #1 – Launch Adobe InDesign and open the project if you want to add images to.

Step #2 – Like before, click on “File,” and from the drop-down menu, click on “Place.”

Step #3 – Direct yourself to the folder containing all your images.

Insert Multiple Images

Step #4 – Click on the first image, hold down your “Shift” key, and click on the final image. This selects all of the images in between.

Note: If the images are not next to each other in the folder, hold down the “Ctrl” (or if you’re a Mac user, Command) key and click on each image individually.

Step #5 – Once you select all of the images to add, click on “Open.”

Step #6 – Back on the canvas simply left-click, and this will add your images.

Using this method to insert images into InDesign can be messy if you’re adding more than just a few. However, it’ll save you a lot of time in comparison to adding every image singularly.

Also, click to read more about how to wrap text in InDesign and Optimizilla here.

Method #3 – Inserting Images in a Grid Layout

Depending on what type of graphic you’re designing, it might be appropriate to have your images in a grid style.

If you’re designing a leaflet that shows candidates for an election or some of the products that your business sells, a grid layout is very useful.

Here’s how you can insert images in InDesign in this format.

Step #1 – After opening the project to add images, click on “File” and “Place.”

Step #2 – Like before, click on the first image you want to insert, hold your shift key, and click on the final images. This selects all of the images in between those two as well.

Step #3 – Once you click “Open,” left-click and drag your cursor. It’s important that you don’t release your mouse button until afterward.

Insert Images in a Grid Layout

The next part of this gets a little bit complicated. There are a few things you can do before releasing your left click, and you do them with the arrow keys on your keyboard.

  • Up arrow key: increases the frames at the top
  • Down arrow key: decreases the frames at the top
  • Right arrow key: increases the frames at the bottom
  • Left arrow key: decreases the frames at the bottom

When you’re happy with the number of frames you have and the layout is exactly as you want it to be, you can stop holding your mouse button. Your images will now be shown in the grids.

To make sure the images are proportional to each other and there aren’t any which are too big for your canvas, click on the “Fill Frames Proportionally” option. You can locate this on the control bar.

By the way, let’s figure out how to convert INDD to PDF.

Method #4 – Inserting Images in a Premade Frame

Like the last method to insert images in InDesign, this next method uses frames. In some situations, you may already have a frame on your screen.

If so, you might not want to add another one, as this could clutter up your canvas. This is where inserting images in a premade frame can be useful.

If you’re wondering, “Why would I create a frame before inserting images?” you’re not alone. It can be easier to create a frame and then add the images.

Maybe you want some of the frames to be at an angle or a different shape. If that’s the case, then planning out your frame before adding the images might be simpler.

After you create the frame, follow these steps.

Step #1 – Assuming you’ve made the frame on your canvas, click on “File” and select “Place.”

Step #2 – Locate the image folder and select the images you want to add. You can do this by holding either “Shift” or “Ctrl,” as described above.

Step #3 – After clicking the “Open” button, click on the frames where you want the images to be inserted.

Insert Images in a Premade Frame

This is useful if you’re designing something but don’t yet have the images. You can create the frame so that it is a part of your design, finish the project, and add the images afterward.

Method #5 – Inserting an Image with a Compound Path

Finally, you can add images to your Adobe InDesign using a Compound Path. These work almost the same as frames do. However, they give you more freedom over where to place the frames and are sometimes preferred over the latter.

Following the steps below, you can insert images in InDesign using this Compound Path feature.

Step #1 – After opening your graphics project, click on the “Window” menu from the top.

Object & Layout -> Pathfinder

Step #2 – From this menu, hover over “Object & Layout” and choose “Pathfinder.”

Step #3 – You can now create individual frames with specific dimensions as you need them.

Insert an Image with a Compound Path

Step #4 – Next, select all of the new frames you’ve made, and on the Pathfinder panel, hit the add button. This is the equivalent of grouping the frames together and creating the “Compound Path.”

Step #5 – Last of all, click on “File > Place,” and use the explorer window to select your images.

Think of this feature as a way of creating a freeform frame. It doesn’t limit you to a generic square layout, and you’re able to edit the positioning of the individual image slots too.

Reiterating what we said before: if you don’t have the images/photos you want to add to your project just yet, then creating your frame anyway will show you where they’ll be placed and makes designing around them easier.


  1. Can I crop an image within InDesign?
    • Yes, you can crop an image within InDesign using the “Crop Image” tool or by adjusting the image frame.
  2. How do I replace an image in InDesign?
    • To replace an image, select the image frame, right-click, and choose “Place” to insert a new image.
  3. Can I resize an image without distorting it?
    • Yes, you can resize an image proportionally by holding the Shift key while dragging the corner handles of the image frame.
  4. What image formats are supported in InDesign?
    • InDesign supports various image formats, including JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and EPS.
  5. How do I export an InDesign document with images?
    • To export an InDesign document with images, go to the “File” menu, select “Export,” and choose the desired format, such as PDF or print.

To Conclude

So, there you have it! You can now advance your skillset with Adobe InDesign and take your graphic design to the next level.

Knowing how to insert images in InDesign seems so straightforward, but given how professional of a tool Adobe InDesign is, it’s easy to get confused by all of the features.

If you follow any of the five methods above, though, you’ll have no problem pasting your images. All you need to do now is finish your design, and you’ll have a work of art that includes those images!


Skilled software testing specialist with expertise in comparisons and research, passionate about blogging, reviews, and creating video tutorials.

More Articles

Convert M2TS to MP4
Convert, Multimedia

How to Easily Convert M2TS to MP4 on Mac/Windows

You may face problems accessing AVCHD video files, usually recorded by camcorders like Sony HDR-SR1. These AVCHD videos are in ...
How To Transfer And View Heic Images On Android
Android, Convert, Multimedia

The Complete Guide to Transferring HEIC Photos from iPhone to Android

Apple’s switch to the HEIC (High Efficiency Image Format) for photos taken on iPhone has caused compatibility issues for Android ...
Old Film Effect

How to Add Old Film Effect on a Video Effortlessly

The old film effect is a pretty popular option among video editors across the globe. This effect can add uniqueness to ...