#6. How to bring images into your figure and how to handle them once they are there
This post is part of a weekly series about image screening. All published posts can be found on this page.
Now that you have the document and resolution settings of your new figure file defined, it is time to add in images. When making a figure, there are multiple straightforward ways to insert an image (say, a micrograph or gel), and this is particularly relevant for users of the Adobe Creative Suite. However, we have found that some ways are better than others when it comes to preserving the full resolution of the image. We have noticed a number of “placement” issues into Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator that result in overall lower quality insufficient for figure-screening – even if the imported image was originally of sufficient resolution. To properly insert an image into a figure, we recommend using one of two ways:
- Open the figure file and the image data you would like to insert into the figure side-by-side and simply drag the image into the figure. See here for a quick video demonstrating these steps.
- Alternatively, you can open the figure file; click on the “Place” option from the “File” menu and select the image you would like to insert into the figure file. You will have the option to transform (scale, reposition, rotate, etc.) the file before committing to its placement. If you’re placing a PDF, EPS, or Adobe Illustrator file, we also recommend that you select the anti-alias option in the options bar. Here's a quick video summing up the steps involved in this process.
When inserting an image into a figure, beware of transformations: shrinking or enlarging adds or removes pixels and can significantly change the appearance of an image. We also recommend keeping the original aspect ratio – stretching or squishing an image will impact its rendering and affect its resolution.
And that’s it! With a couple of clicks (and tricks), your image data are now safely inserted into your figure. Next up: how much can you adjust image data when making the figure and which image manipulations are considered acceptable at JCB?