Fix image display performance

Fixing low-resolution images

Graphics you place in your document may appear pixelated or fuzzy or grainy. In most cases, it’s because InDesign displays images in low-resolution by default to improve performance.

Check the display settings

To display high-resolution graphics, select View > Display Performance > High Quality Display. If you're working on InCopy, learn how to control graphics display performance.

Use Place instead of Paste

The image may still be of low resolution even though you changed the display performance settings. For these images, make sure that you use the Place command to insert the image into InDesign. In some instances, pasting an image from another application may result in the preview image being inserted instead of the original file.

Check your print settings

If your image appears in low resolution in print, check your print settings to make sure that graphics are printing properly. In the Graphics section of the Print dialog box, choose Send Data > All.

Avoid transformations in images of borderline quality

In addition, scaling or rotating an image could reduce its quality. You may want to choose Clear Transformations from the Control panel menu.

Improve the image resolution

In some cases, such as with an image copied from a web page, you may need to replace a low-resolution image with a high-resolution image.

Change a document’s display performance

You can control the resolution of graphics placed in your document. You can change the display settings for the entire document or for individual graphics. You can also change a setting that either allows or overrides the display settings for individual documents.

A document always opens using the default Display Performance preferences. You can change the display performance of a document while it is open, but the setting is not saved with the document.

If you’ve set the display performance of any images separately, you can override the settings so all objects use the same settings.

  1. Select View > Display Performance, and select an option from the submenu.

  2. To force objects you've set individually to display using the document setting, deselect View > Display Performance > Allow Object-Level Display Settings. (A check mark indicates that it's selected.)

Change an object’s display performance

  1. To preserve the display performance for individual objects when the document is closed and reopened, ensure that Preserve Object-Level Display Settings option is selected in Display Performance preferences.

  2. Select View > Display Performance, and ensure that Allow Object-Level Display Settings is selected.

  3. With the Selection    tool or Direct Selection   tool, select an imported graphic.

  4. Follow any of these options:

    • Select Object > Display Performance, and select a display setting.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (macOS) the image and select a display setting from the Display Performance submenu.

  • Select Use View Setting in the Display Performance submenu to remove an object's local display setting.
  • Select Clear Object-Level Display Settings in the View > Display Performance submenu to remove local display settings for all graphics in the document.

Display performance options

These options control how graphics are displayed on the screen, but they do not affect the print quality or exported output.

Use Display Performance preferences to set the default option used to open all documents, and customize the settings that define those options. Each display option has separate settings for displaying raster images, vector graphics, and transparencies.


Draws a raster image or vector graphic as a gray box (default). Use this option when you want to quickly page through spreads that have lots of images or transparency effects.


Draws a low-resolution proxy image (default) appropriate for identifying and positioning an image or vector graphic. Typical is the default option and is the fastest way to display an identifiable image.

High Quality

Draws a raster image or vector graphic at High Resolution (default). This option provides the highest quality but the slowest performance. Use this option when you want to fine-tune an image.


Image display options don’t affect output resolution when exporting or printing images within a document. When printing to a PostScript device, exporting to XHTML, or exporting to EPS or PDF, the final image resolution depends on the output options you choose when you print or export the file.

Set default display performance

You can set the default display option with the Display Performance preferences. You can change a document’s display performance with the View menu or the setting for individual objects with the Object menu.

For example, if you work on projects that contain numerous high-resolution photos, you may prefer to have all your documents open quickly. You can set the default display option to Fast. When you want to view the images in more detail, you can switch the document view to Typical or High Quality.

You can also view or override display settings applied to individual objects. Select Preserve Object-Level Display Settings to save any settings applied to objects along with the document.

  1. Select Edit > Preferences > Display Performance (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > Display Performance (macOS).

  2. Select Typical, Fast, or High Quality for Default View. The display option you choose applies to all documents you open or create.

  3. Follow any of these options:

    • To save display settings applied to individual objects, check Preserve Object-Level Display Settings.

    • To display all graphics using the default display option, uncheck Preserve Object-Level Display Settings.

  4. Select the display option for Adjust View Settings, and move the slider for Raster Images, Vector Graphics, and Transparency. You can also check or uncheck Enable Anti-aliasing.

  5. Select OK.

Each display option has separate settings for raster (bitmap) images, vector graphics, and transparency effects.

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