What are the pros and cons of embedding images in InDesign?

I used to be against embedding but realized recently that it’s possible to disembed and retain the original data (layers, etc.). Here are the pros and cons I already came up with. I’m interested to hear what this community has to say.


  • Easier to transfer (reworded from “less files to transfer”)
  • No broken links


  • Heavier InDesign file
  • Cannot see all the information in the links panel (resolution, etc.) without disembedding
  • If one image is corrupt, may corrupt the whole InDesign file

What else could be added to this list?


Regarding Cons: embed files and save as imdl.
Also it’s hard to count this as a con as you still would need to send the links to the final file (be it zip or indd) are similar in weight.

For me Pros:

  • Easy file sharing among different contributors. Sometimes I get
    packages that lack some files. Happened to me, created a package and
    50% of the files were missing.
  • Save final file from external changes. Say your file contains a linked Excel file. After a certain amount of time you can shut the links off from the source so any change won’t affect your work. Helpful where there are many contributors (sometimes machines that create data dumps at 23:59) to source files and someone quack up.
  • Helpful in marking stages. Let’s say the deadline is Friday at 5PM. At 4:59 you create a pdf and embed all the files. On Wednesday somebody has an issue with an outdated photo, wrong diagram or something. You can easily track where was the mistake or lift the blame off you.
  • Easily created master files. Just create the master, embed files and voila: a fully functioning single file for later use.


  • Takes a lot of time to find and copy and relink files that cannot be embedded.

  • People will embed EVERY file they ever linked. And you end up with 500 instances of the same 25MB logo on your already cluttered disc.

Source : Link , Question Author : curious , Answer Author : Laurel

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