Since CS4, InDesign has held the capability to import multiple graphics quickly and all at once. The feature allows the user to place a number of graphics on a document arranged within a grid. This can be particularly useful if you are designing a contact sheet, story board or similar structure. Learn more about importing multiple graphics into Indesign in the following Quick Tip.

Step 1

First, make sure that nothing is selected within your document and go to File > Place. Navigate to where your graphics are saved. Hold down Command and click to select the graphics you wish to use.

Step 2

Click the open button. InDesign will now populate your cursor with the graphics you just selected. The cursor will display a thumbnail of the graphics and will also display how many graphics have been selected for import.

Tip: Use the arrow up/down keys to preview a thumbnail of each individual graphic.

Step 3

To create the grid hold down Shift + Command, the cursor will immediately change to a thumbnail grid preview. Continue to hold Shift + Command, click your mouse and drag the cursor to your desired size. However, don’t release the mouse button just yet.

Step 4

Still holding down the mouse button use the up/down keys to set the number of rows. And left/right keys to set the number of columns. Again don’t release the mouse button.

Step 5

Now hold down the Command key only and use the up/down keys to set the space between the rows. Use left/right keys to adjust the space between the columns.

Step 6

Release the mouse button and InDesign will create a grid containing the graphics you selected earlier. From here you can now fit your graphics accordingly.

Step 7

Tip: Let’s say you select 10 graphics for import but you only set a 6 frame grid. After importing the first six graphics InDesign will present another loaded cursor to place the reminder of the graphics. From here you can start the process again (go to Step 3).


There you have it, how to easily place a selection of graphics into a neat and tidy grid. I hope you’ve enjoyed this Quick Tip.