Copy and pasting vectors directly from Illustrator to InDesign


New Member
We have recently hired a new designer. He is a little older than the rest of the team and has mainly been doing freelance. He has experience with lots of agencies and focuses on art working.

One of the reasons we hired him was due to his experience with other agencies but has lately been using this past experience to insist that we work his way - “the correct way”.

I take onboard everything he says but now I’m not sure if these methods are “the correct way” or if it’s just how he likes to work.

As designers we all like to work a little differently and he is starting to make things difficult with no real reason on why he like to work the way he does.

So I ask this forum, should I create links for every vector I copy and paste into InDesign (FB, Twitter icons, simple company logo’s etc). Or does it make no difference if I continue to copy and paste directly from illustrator.

I am aware anything too complex from illustrator will potentially have issues but I am talking about very simple icons and logo’s.



Staff member
There's no harm in simple items being copy and pasted, but as you say the more complex the image the worse the issues are down the line.

Technically, they are correct, it's best to make the files and link them. You may have a 1000 page catalogue and pasting a facebook icon in a 1000 would have untold file size challenges - but placing it from a linked file it would behave differently.

This is also due to PDF structuring - with linked files it would be referenced once in the PDF hierarchy and then the image is referenced throughout for placement. Whereas if you copy and paste it then it's referenced wherever it is, in this scenario, 1000 times throughout the document.

There is a smart way to work - but I would very rarely copy and paste from Illustrator or InDesign - although made by Adobe, a vector in Illustrator is very different to a vector in InDesign - and this is due to the programming challenges between both Adobe's teams, and the fact that they don't consult each other, in essence, Adobe Illustrator team does things their way, and creates vectors to their standard, and the Adobe INDesign team effectively do things their own way, and neither are right or wrong, but they are inheritently different in their coding.

So yes - linking to files is preferred - but for simple one off objects, no harm in copy and paste.