Using Adobe Stock with Adobe Muse

Adobe Muse simplifies the task of creating websites, especially for those of us used to working in the design apps like InDesign and Illustrator. The user interface is familiar and, best of all, no coding is necessary on our part. Coming from a design-centric background, many Muse newbies have a certain workflow in mind when it comes to incorporating graphics into our layouts. We like to create or obtain assets and deploy them everywhere, and our new web plaything should be up to that task. That’s where Adobe Stock comes into play. Launched in mid-2015, Stock is the easiest way to search, browse, comp, buy, and share stock imagery from within the Creative Cloud apps. So let’s take a look at how to incorporate Adobe Stock into a Muse workflow.

See also: Using Adobe Stock at InDesignSecrets

Searching for Images

Getting Adobe Stock images into Muse is made possible through Creative Cloud Libraries, which were integrated into Muse with the February 2016 release. To access your existing CC libraries—or create new ones—you’ll need to open the CC Libraries panel (Window > CC Libraries) from within Muse. If you’ve been using CC libraries, the panel will look completely familiar. If you’re new to using Adobe’s cloud asset manager, then be sure to poke around the panel a bit.

A search for cowboy vector images in Muse's CC Libraries panel

A search for cowboy vector images in Muse’s CC Libraries panel

The part we will be focusing on is the Search field at the top of the panel. More specifically, we need to be searching Adobe Stock, so we need to choose that option by clicking the down arrow at the far right side of the search field.

Next, just enter a general topic or specific item you’re looking for and the search results will fill the bottom section of the CC Libraries panel. I like to add file type descriptors such as “vector” or “photo” to limit my search to just those types of images. I may end up with fewer returns as a result, but it keeps me from being overwhelmed by the sheer number of images found. Seriously, there are a ton of images on Adobe Stock—Adobe boasts 50 million assets in its library.

Another technique I use when searching for Stock images is to make the CC Libraries panel as big as possible to get a good overview of the results. Only a small selection (relatively speaking) of assets are displayed in the panel, with a button inviting you to check out more results on the Adobe Stock website.

Going out to the web might seem inconvenient, but I find the browsing experience there is much more rewarding. First off, the web search lets you limit your search to specific file types and select multiple images without having to constantly re-run the search (which you have to when using the panel). There is also more information displayed about each asset and you can search similar items or see others in the same series. In the CC Libraries panel, hovering over an image will give you a couple of informational tidbits, including which app was used to create it and its current license status.

Searching Adobe Stock on the web gives you more information on the assets.

Searching Adobe Stock on the web gives you more information on the assets.

Previewing and Saving

Regardless of where you’ve done your searching, when you’ve found the assets you want to incorporate into your Muse project, you are ready to save them to your library. On the website, rolling over an image gives you the option to license and save the actual image or download a preview to either a CC Library or directly to you computer. Back in Muse’s CC Libraries panel, you have the same options for saving to any of your libraries.

If you’re ready to jump right in and purchase, clicking on the buy button will display information regarding your Adobe Stock account, with regards to how many licenses you have remaining on your account. If you’re more of the cautious type, you’ll probably want to save a preview first. Click the cloud icon to save a watermarked preview to your currently selected library. Now you can work with that image and make sure it’s the right one for your project before committing to it. And since the image is synced via the magical mystery Cloud, it’s available to all the apps that can access CC Libraries. That means you can download the comp while working in Muse, then manipulate it in Photoshop, and come back to Muse to incorporate it into your layout.

Roll over an image to see file information, and to purchase or download a preview.

Roll over an image to see file information, and to purchase or download a preview.

Putting the Assets to Work

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves; let’s get the asset into our Muse layout first. When you’re ready to add an asset to your document, it’s as easy as drag-and-drop.

Were you expecting a Step 2? Sorry to disappoint, but it really is that easy. When you place a library item this way—whether it’s an Adobe Stock image or not—you create a linked asset. This means that changes made on that trip out to Photoshop get updated and will show up in the placed image back in Muse.

Using linked images allows you to edit in one app and have all the appearances of that asset updated in the other apps you’ve used it in, as well as updating the library item itself.

Of course, there will be times where that’s not really what you want. In that case, hold down the Option or Alt key while dragging an image from the panel, or right-click and choose Place Copy to place as an embedded image.

A watermarked preview image

A watermarked preview image

Choose Place Copy to place an unlinked asset in Muse.

Choose Place Copy to place an unlinked asset in Muse.

Use Muse’s Assets panel (Window > Assets) to check the link status of an image. If, for instance, you’ve made changes to a logo element in Illustrator, the Assets panel will alert you that the file needs to be updated.

Select the image in the Assets panel, right-click (hopefully we’ll get a panel menu in a future release), and choose Update Asset. When you’re ready to upgrade a preview image to a licensed one, the Assets panel is a great place to start. Instead of wading through an entire library’s pool of assets, select the image in your Muse layout, it gets highlighted in the Assets panel, then right-click on the asset name and choose Reveal in CC Libraries. The asset is highlighted in the CC Libraries panel, and all you need to do is right-click and choose Buy Image from the contextual menu. The watermarked image is replaced in your Muse layout and throughout your Creative Cloud apps with the licensed one.

Embedded, linked, and missing graphics in the Asset panel

Embedded, linked, and missing graphics in the Asset panel

Adobe Stock images can be purchased as single images, or by monthly subscription. Single images will cost you $10 and a monthly subscription currently costs $30. Access the site via a CC Libraries search, from the Adobe Stock or your Adobe Creative Cloud page, or from the Creative Cloud app itself. The tight integration between the Creative Cloud apps and the ease of sharing assets is what makes the Creative Cloud so worth it.

Posted on: April 11, 2016

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet has been involved in the graphics industry for over 25 years. She is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other print- and production-related topics. She is a regular contributor to InDesign Magazine, tech edited How To Do Everything with Adobe InDesign CS4, and served as leader of the Denver InDesign User Group. After living as a nomad for almost a year, she recently put down roots in El Paso, Texas, where she hikes and bikes every chance she gets. Check out to see all of Erica's upcoming events, tips and tricks, and workbooks.

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