How do I remove the white box around my clip art in Adobe® InDesign®?

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Sometimes when clip art is placed on top of another element on a page, a white box shows up around the art. Creating a clipping path will remove the white background. InDesign can be used to create the clipping path if the image or photo has a hard edge or a white background and is a TIFF or EPS file. For complicated images, it may be easier to use Photoshop® to create the clipping path.

Layout with photos

Create a clipping path

  • Place the art on your layout
  • Go to File > Place
    • Double-click on the file name
    • Click on the layout to place the art
  • Click on either the Selection tool or the Direct Selection tool
  • Click on the art containing the white background
  • Go to Object > Clipping Path

Clipping path dialog box

  • Select Detect Edges from the Type drop-down menu
    • Use this option unless you have created a clipping path in a program such as Photoshop
  • Select Preview to see the changes take place
  • Threshold field - This value determines which pixels will beome transparent
    • Try different values>
    • Sometimes the default value works
    • If you use 0, only white pixels become transparent
    • Less of the graphic stays visible with higher values
  • Tolerance field
    • Try different values
    • Higher values make a smoother path
    • Lower values create a more complicated but more exact path
  • Include Inside Edges
    • Check this if the graphic has light areas inside it you want to include in the path
  • Clipping path finishedRestrict to Frame
    • Check this if you cropped the frame and only want the visible portion of the graphic included
  • Use High Resolution Image
    • Keep this checked
    • The high-res image info is used instead of the low-res proxy image
    • You get a better clipping path
  • Click OK when you are finished