1. To place an image or photo on your Illustrator document, do NOT ever just COPY and PASTE on your Illustrator document. Use linking just like Indesign and Quark Xpress. First off go to WINDOW > LINKS to open up the links tab if its not open already. I usually like to have mine docked onto the interface so I can just toggle it without going through the menu.
Whats the difference? You can always copy and paste onto Illustrator through your OS clipboard. The reason why this is a bad practice is because it makes the Illustrator file to be much bigger than a simple vector file. It will take longer to print on your own (or at the printers), color profiling mismatch can happen (for instance if your image is RGB but your Illustrator document is CMYK), and again its just a bad design practice.
IMPORTANT: If you do this method, you HAVE TO supply the original image that you PLACE onto the document. If you have a Illustrator file (i.e brochure.ai) but you also use images in the project in other folders, you need to supply the images that you used when you send it off to a printer. Your project WILL NOT print the images if it’s not supplied. A good practice to do is to put all images and illustrator file into one folder and burn it on a CD/DVD and supply that to the printers.
2. To begin, go to FILE > PLACE.
3. And then a dialog box should appear. Just choose the image that you want to use from the window. And then click PLACE.
HINT: You can link not only just images but EPS, PDF, PSD, TIFF, AI, etc…
4. You get the processing window. Depending on the image size, it might take time. Now after that is complete, you should see the image in the links tab that you toggled open (if it wasn’t open).
5. Your image will appear on the Illustrator document.
6. The little buttons on the LINKS tabs do various things. The button on the far left lets you re-link the file if you want to choose another picture. The button next to that centers viewing focus onto that link. If you have a file with multiple images, you can just select your image on the LINKS tab and find where in the document it is used. The button 2nd to the right updates your image that you placed onto your Illustrator document. For example: if you place an PSD, and you go into photoshop and make changes to that PSD, you can go back to Illustrator and hit that button and it will update it to the latest version of that file automatically without doing the FILE > PLACE command. The button to the far right will open up the document in your image editing program which is most likely Photoshop.