Importing pictures

PagePlus lets you insert pictures from a wide variety of file formats, including bitmaps, vector images, and metafiles, and in several different ways. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Bitmapped pictures, also known as bitmaps or raster pictures, are built from a matrix of dots (“pixels”), rather like the squares on a sheet of graph paper. They may originate as digital camera photos or scanned pictures, or be created (or enhanced) with a “paint” program or photo editor such as Serif PhotoPlus. Typical examples include .gif, .jpg, .png, and .wdp.

  • Draw graphics, also known as vector images, are resolution-independent and contain drawing commands such as “draw a line from A to B.” Compact draw images, produced with software like Serif DrawPlus, are often easier to edit than paint graphics and they also print out better.

  • Metafiles are the native graphics format for Windows and combine raster and vector information. Serif also has it own metafile format, Serif MetaFile Format (SMF), which is optimized for image sharing between Serif applications.

You can also acquire pictures directly from PhotoCDs or via TWAIN devices (scanners or digital cameras). If PagePlus cannot import your file directly, check your application to see if it can save the file in one of the supported formats.

Inserting pictures

To insert a picture into PagePlus you can copy and paste it, drag a file from an external Windows folder directly onto your page, drag a thumbnail from PagePlus’s Media bar, or import a picture as an embedded or linked image via a dialog… even place it into a picture frame.

Bordered and unbordered shaped picture frames are a great way to present pictures that can be positioned and cropped within the frame. Drag the former from the Gallery tab; add the latter from the Tools toolbar. You can crop unframed pictures too.

  • Detached pictures float freely on a page, while inline pictures are incorporated with the text flow in a text object.

To import a picture from a file:

  1. To place the picture:

  2. inline with the text – click for an insertion point in a text object.

  3. detached from the text – make sure all text objects are deselected.

  4. into a frame – create the frame (see above) and then select it.

  1. In the main window:

    Click the PagePlus tbr tools importpicture Importing pictures Import Picture… button on the Tools toolbar’s Picture flyout.
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    Picture… from the Insert menu and select From file….
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    In WritePlus:

    Choose Picture File… from the Insert menu.

    For frames:

    Click the PagePlus tbr contextpicture replacepicture Importing pictures Replace Picture button on the Picture Context toolbar.

  2. Use the dialog to select the picture to open.

  3. Select either Embed Picture or Link Picture to include or exclude the picture from the project, respectively. Use linked pictures to minimize project file size. (See Embedding vs. Linking).

  4. If you select the Place at native dpi option and the picture has a different internal setting, PagePlus will scale it accordingly; otherwise it applies a screen resolution setting of 96 dpi. Either way—or if you resize it downwards later on—the picture retains all its original picture data until it’s published. Check Place as raster if you want to permanently convert an imported eps, Windows Metafile or Serif Metafile to a bitmap.

  5. Click Open.

  6. If there’s a text insertion point in the current text frame story and the picture is too large for the frame, you’ll be prompted whether to shrink it down. Click Yes if you want to do this or click No to insert it at a default size.
    If there was no text insertion point, PagePlus cur pictureimport Importing pictures the mouse pointer changes to the Picture Paste. What you do next determines the initial size and placement of the detached picture.

  7. To insert the picture at a default size, simply click the mouse.
    – or -

  8. To set the size of the inserted picture, drag out a region and release the mouse button.

  • If you want to place multiple pictures on the page at the same time, you can select a range of pictures from within the Open dialog. After clicking the Open button, the Picture Paste cursor will appear and you can simply click or drag to place each picture. Once the final picture has been placed on your page, the mouse pointer will appear again.

To populate a template picture placeholder or replace a picture:

  • Click the PagePlus picture frame01 Importing pictures  button shown under the selected frame.
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  • Double-click the placeholder/picture.
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  • Select it and click the PagePlus tbr contextpicture replacepicture Importing pictures button on the Picture context toolbar.
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  • Right-click it and choose Replace Picture…
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  • You can also choose Picture>Replace Picture… from the Format menu.


  • The Picture context toolbar appears automatically when you select a picture on the page. You can use it to improve the appearance of any photo appearing in your publication by adjusting contrast, brightness, color, and size directly, or by applying filters in PhotoLab.

    PagePlus tbr contextpicture properties Importing pictures To view and edit a picture’s attributes (type, size, resolution, and native/placed dimensions), select the picture and click Resource Manager on the Picture context toolbar.

  • To set sizing and alignment properties of a picture within a picture frame, right-click the frame object and choose Properties>Frame Properties… (also available via the Format menu). You can specify whether the picture should be displayed at original size or Stretch to fit the frame, and whether to Maintain Aspect Ratio when stretching to fit. Vertical and Horizontal Alignment can be set independently.

  • You can anchor pictures relative to an anchor point positioned in relation to a character, indented text, text frame, column, page margin guide, or the page itself. When the anchor point moves the picture moves with it. A picture can also be positioned inline as a character in frame text also. For details, see Anchoring objects.

  • Make any unwanted color in your picture transparent—use PagePlus tbr contextpicture transparentcolour Importing pictures Transparent Color on the Picture context toolbar, place the dropper cursor over the color, and click.

  • You can also convert a line/shape graphic drawn in PagePlus (or any selection, for that matter) to a picture, with a range of picture format and transparency options. For details, see Converting an object to a picture.

  • For professional printing as PDF, you can import CMYK .jpg files without conversion to RGB.

  • For color management purposes, you can decide whether to automatically ignore or convert color management information in imported images. If you’re not sure, you can be prompted to decide on an image-by-image basis. See Managing screen and output colors.

Embedding vs. linking

Embedding means the picture in PagePlus is now distinct from the original file. Embedding results in a larger PagePlus file, and if you need to alter an embedded picture you’ll need to re-import it after editing. Still, it’s the best choice if file size isn’t an issue and graphics are final.

Linking inserts a copy of the picture file into the PagePlus publication, linked to the actual file so that any changes you later make to it in the native application will be automatically reflected in PagePlus. Linking is one way of avoiding “bloat” by limiting the size of the publication file.

If you’re distributing your PagePlus project, you can avoid losing track of linked files by using Save as Package… (File menu). This bundles linked files together so they don’t get lost. See Saving as packages.

By default, PagePlus will embed pictures that are smaller than 256 KB, by preselecting the “Embed Picture” option in the Insert Picture dialog (but you can always select “Link Picture” instead); pictures over 256 KB will always link by default. If you like, you can change the threshold file size between embedding and linking or even switch off the automatic selection.

For dragging pictures from the Media Bar, pictures <256 KB are embedded, while pictures >256 KB are linked. However, you can change embed or link status with the Shift key as you drag.

  • You can use the Resource Manager later on, to change an item’s status from linked to embedded, or vice versa.

To preselect embedding or linking based on file size:

  1. Choose Options… from the Tools menu, then select Options>General.

  2. To preselect the Import Picture dialog’s “Embed Picture” option for pictures under a certain size, select the threshold size in the “Suggest embed/link picture – embed if smaller than” list. (“Link Picture” will be pre-selected for pictures larger than the threshold.)
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    To choose whether to embed or link each picture, uncheck the “Suggest embed/link picture” option. You can still select either option in the import dialog; it will now remember and preselect the last setting you used.

More about draw pictures and metafiles

Draw-type pictures are typically created in a number ways, such as:

  • Exporting from an eps (Encapsulated PostScript) generating program.

  • Auto-tracing a paint-type picture using a draw-type program.

  • Drawing the picture yourself using a drawing program such as Serif DrawPlus.

PagePlus supports a wide variety of industry standard draw-type files including Encapsulated PostScript (.eps), Windows Metafile (.wmf) and Serif Metafile (.smf). Draw-type pictures can be enlarged, reduced or stretched and then printed out on any printer, at any resolution, without any loss of quality.

Encapsulated PostScript (.eps)

This format is a special case of a draw-type picture which contains the PostScript coding needed to produce output on a PostScript printer. In PagePlus, several approaches to placing eps files can be taken on import:

  • PagePlus interprets the eps file on import and makes a representation of the original eps file on the screen as a bitmap preview. This is advantageous as the potentially large eps file does not need to be rendered and redrawn; this doesn’t affect the ability to output to printer—the original eps is output. Previews can be switched off at any time and have their bitmap resolution altered.

  • You can permanently rasterize an eps file, by checking the Place as raster option on the Import Picture dialog. The picture can be placed at a chosen resolution and with an RGB, CMYK or Grayscale color space, but the eps will be lost.

  • Don’t confuse the internal Display Bitmap previews with the bitmap thumbnail embedded in some eps files. The embedded bitmap is always ignored in PagePlus.

To switch on/off eps display globally:

  • Navigate to Options on the Tools menu, and select Drawing Quality>EPS Display.

  • Check or uncheck Display Bitmap Preview to switch on or off, respectively. Any newly imported eps file will adopt the new setting.

  • (Optional) For a different resolution for bitmap preview, enter a new value or pick a pre-defined value from the Preview Resolution drop-down list.

  • Click OK.

To switch on/off eps display for an individual file:

  1. Select the imported eps file.

  2. Click/unclick Display Preview on the Picture Context toolbar.

These settings are saved on a per-document basis. If you update your defaults (Tools>Save Defaults; keep Document and object defaults checked), PagePlus will use the new settings in subsequent sessions.


In PagePlus, two type of metafiles can be placed—Windows Metafiles (.wmf) and Serif Metafiles (.smf).

  • Windows Metafiles are vector graphic files for use on Windows systems. If you’re not using PostScript and don’t intend to use vector graphics from other Serif applications, this is the recommended vector format.

  • Serif Metafiles are proprietary vector graphic files intended to be used between Serif applications (e.g., WebPlus to PagePlus) without loss of quality. They have better fidelity than Windows Metafiles, especially on printed output, and preserve text as text, curves as curves, colors as their native color model etc. On import, to permanently rasterize an smf file, check the Place as raster option on the Import Picture dialog. The image becomes a bitmap of chosen resolution.

    You can also export smf files as well as import them into your publication.

Importing pictures