Sometimes vector EPS files can appear pixellated when linked in an Adobe© InDesign document. Typically, there are three things that could cause this issue. Try following these easy steps to see if they resolve the issue. Please note these instructions are for Adobe Creative Cloud software versions but should still work in older software, though the names of each setting may be slightly different.

1) Display Performance Settings (InDesign)

  • By default, InDesign documents will display all linked file previews at a Typical display quality.
  • Depending on the file you’ve linked, the Typical display quality may not be high enough resolution and may cause the preview to look pixellated on-screen (though it will still print fine).
  • To change your display performance settings, go to Preferences > Display Performance (Mac) or Edit > Preferences > Display Performance (Windows).
  • In the pop-up window, you can switch the Default View from Typical to High Quality, and adjust your View settings to High Resolution. This will give you a higher resolution preview of the links within your document.

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2) Artboard Size (Illustrator)

  • Open the EPS into Illustrator.
  • Click on the Artboard Tool in the main tools palette (or hit Shift-O on your keyboard).
  • In the Control bar across the top of your screen, check the Artboard size.
  • If the Artboard is very small (less than 50 pixels), you’ll need to make it larger in order for the preview to generate correctly in InDesign.
  • Enter a larger Artboard dimension in the Control bar (at least 100 pixels).
  • Resize the objects in your file to fit the new Artboard size.
  • Resave your file and update the link in InDesign.

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If these two steps haven’t fixed the pixellated preview, there is one more thing you can try:

3) Document Raster Effects (Illustrator)

Sometimes, in order to create a smaller file size, illustrators will restrict a document’s raster outputs. While this makes the file size manageable, it can cause pixellation of previews in InDesign.

  • To check the raster settings of your file, open the vector in Illustrator.
  • Go to Effect > Document Raster Effects Settings, which will bring up a pop-up window.
  • If the Resolution setting is at Screen (72 ppi), this means the contributor has restricted the file to too low of a resolution to display properly in InDesign.
  • To fix this, simply change the Resolution setting from Screen (72 ppi) to High (300 ppi).
  • Resave your file and update the link in InDesign.

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