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Learn how to place Adobe InDesign layouts into digital mockups

Digital mockups provide designers a great way of presenting work to clients or in a portfolio.

This process gives a sense of realism and displays just how a design will look prior to being printed or published online.

In recent months, I received several questions from people online about how to add page layouts to a digital mockup, much like you see in my YouTube thumbnails and tutorial post featured images.

In this tutorial, I will go over how to export layouts as single pages as JPEG files in Adobe InDesign. From there, we'll bring in the pages into a digital mockup in Adobe Photoshop.

Let's get started!

Exporting Layout

  1. In Adobe InDesign, go to File > Export and set the file type to .JPEG. Click Save.

  2. In the Export JPEG window, select Range to export specific page(s) or click All to export all pages in the document.

  3. Choose whether you want to export the layout as facing page spreads or single pages. (For this tutorial, I will be exporting as single pages).

  4. Select the Quality and Resolution for the exported files. As a rule of thumb, I generally export at Maximum quality with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (ppi).

For the next part, we'll use Photoshop to place our page layouts into a digital mockup. The one I am using is an Editorial design and stationery bundle from Creative Market. It has over 100 mockups to choose from and it's very useful when presenting work to clients.

Let me show you how it works.

Adding Artwork to Mockup

  1. Open the mockup in .PSD format. There should be many layers included in this mockup in order to place your page layouts or other designs.

  2. Open the JPEG layouts that you exported from your InDesign project.

  3. Working in the PSD mockup, open the Layers panel in Photoshop and locate where to place your artwork. If it's a spread, the mockup should have separate layers for left page and right page.

  4. Double-click the Smart Object Layer and go back to one of the JPEG layouts you want to add.

  5. Click on the artwork and drag it to the Smart Object Layer tab.

  6. Press Command (Mac)/CTRL (Windows) + T or got to Edit > Free Transform. Drag the handles and position the JPEG into the Smart Object Layer to fit. Press Enter.

  7. Save the Smart Object Layer then close.

You will notice that when you make your way back to the main digital mockup, your artwork will appear. It's important to note that not all digital mockups are the same. Often times it may take a little extra work to find the layer you're looking for.

Start there, and then explore altering the effects, such as lighting and shadows, which can also be done through the effect layer within the layer panel.

So try it out for yourself. Next time you want to send work to a client or if you want to update your portfolio, use mockups to bring your designs to life!

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