Review: Slendro PictureLinks for InDesign
Useful plug-in provides link palette that's better than the InD Links palette on steroids
The InDesign Links palette does a fair, basic job of categorizing your linked pictures and graphics. The information on it is, however, well … skimpy, and one has to know what one’s files contain to avoid making mistakes. If you have non-descriptive file names, you’ll need to click the “Go To Link” button to see what you’re relinking.
What if you could add all the information you’d want to see about these files into the links palette? You’d perhaps want a thumbnail for quick identification, a list of file attributes for quick reference, an informative file listâ€“maybe with thumbnails available, and buttons up front for the most used functions. Now, we don’t know what your version of such a thing might look like, but we’d bet it would look something like Slendro’s PictureLink palette, a plug-in for InDesign.
Everything Up Front And Personal
Slendro’s PictureLinks plug-in installs just by copying into the InDesign plug-ins folder, and when InDesign is next launched, the palette is accessed by the Slendro PictureLinks item that now appears on the Window pull-down.
Opening the palette reveals a wealth of information: indulgently large thumnail and complete file information in the top panels, an easily-readable file list with luxuriously-large thumbnails of its own, and a rank of iconic buttons across the bottom which bring functions not found on the InDesign links palette up front, such as Copy to new folder and relink, and Edit Original. The flyout menu controls what information you see in the description column of the list: size, resolution, and color space, amongst others.
Recently we had the chance to use Slendro PictureLinks in the production of a tabloid-size newsletter, and the picture shown above was captured in the process. We found PictureLinks to be a production enhancer, eliminating a good deal of identification guesswork and telling us as much and more about the files than we actually had to know. This plug-in would be ideal for designers laying out a publication with a large number of illustrations, and will spoil any other designer with its generous detail.
The only drawback is the size of the palette itselfâ€“it has to be pretty large to include all the stuff it does, which will claim precious screen real-estate on users with single monitors of 17- or 19-inch measurement. The size is adjustable downwards, though, and users with smaller screens can just open the palette when they want to actually view link information, so as flaws go, it’s rather a minor one.
For those who want a list, a report can be generated as a text file. Another nifty feature, the dropdown between the info panel and file list, provides a complete path to the linked file.
If you like having a lot of important information at your fingertips about your file links in InDesign, or if you don’t want to bother with the Bridge, Slendro’s PictureLinks is definitely the way to go.
Price and Availablilty
Slendro’s PictureLinks plugin can be had very easily: it’s available at Slendro’s page via this link, which also has a link to the order page.. Price is USD $99.95 for any version and is downloadable. PictureLinks comes in three versions: Mac (CS and CS2) and Windows (currently CS2 only).