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How do you export a "flat image" pdf?  So confused.

May 3, 2012 10:56 AM

Tags: #pdf #cs5.5 #indesign #exporting

Hello,

 

When I export from indesign, I typically choose the "Press Quality" job option to send my files to the printer.  However, I've run into a situation where a printer I'm intersted is having a problem with my pdf files.

 

I design with lots of drop shadows, transparency and other effects.  When I open the exported pdf in Acrobat, I see the file layer itself open.  The background appears first then all the graphics in front of it appear. 

 

This is what's causing issues with the printer.  If I would import and open in Photoshop, I could simply choose "flatten image" and resave as whatever file type i wanted.  However, I am wondering if there is anything in Indesign already that would help me eliminate that step?

 

Thanks for your help, I would love to clairfy if I left any details out.

 

Thanks,

Steve

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 11:00 AM   in reply to busyadvertising

    Press Quality PDF preset does not flatten transparency. That's probably what the printer is having problems with.

     

    Choose PDF/X-1a instead. On the Advanced panel be sure to choose a High Quality Flattener Preset. That preset will flatten transpraency.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 11:16 AM   in reply to busyadvertising

    What version of Acrobat are you using? I'll tell you how you can check the flattening in the PDF file. (It's different from Acrobat 9 and Acrobat X).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 11:51 AM   in reply to busyadvertising

    In Acrobat X, you need to open the Print Production panel under the Tools on the right. It's not showing by default so you need to choose Print Production from the menu at the upper right.

     

    In the Print Production panel, click on Flattener Preview, and you'll see a dialog box like this. Click on the Highlight menu at the top. If there is no transparency, it will show gray as below.

     

    NoTransparency.jpg

     

    When you open the Highlight menu, if there is transparency, it will look like this:

     

    Transparency.jpg

     

    When you select Transparent Objects, they will show highlighted in red like this:

     

    TransparentObjects.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 4:03 PM   in reply to busyadvertising

    Something is wrong. What does it look like in ID with Overprint Preview turned on?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 5:31 AM   in reply to busyadvertising

    I can't replicate the problem here. Is overprint preview turned on in Acrobat?

     

    You might also want to try exporting the transparency live, then using the PDF Optimizer to flatten it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 5:38 AM   in reply to busyadvertising

    Exporting transparency live means not flattening the transparency. You can do this by selecting a PDF preset that doesn't flatten. These include Press Quality, High Quality Print, PDF/X-4.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 5:44 AM   in reply to busyadvertising

    Any setting that uses Acrobat 5 or higher compatibility leaves transparency live, any setting using Acrobat 4 compatibility or lower flattens it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 6:04 AM   in reply to busyadvertising

    If you run the PDF Optimzer and just change the compatibility to Acrobat 4 it will flatten the transparency and remove any layers in the PDF becasue they are not supported at that level.

     

    Acrobat 5 supports transparency, but not layers, and Acrobat 6 or later supports both. I have no idea where your layers are coming from without knowing precisely what you are doing.

     

    I will ask you again, is overprint preview eanbled in Acrobat? Check your Acrobat preferences.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 6:56 AM   in reply to busyadvertising

    What you really should be wishing is that your printer would join the 21st century and upgrade his RIP to support live transparency, or find a new printer.

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,119 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 1:32 PM   in reply to busyadvertising

    Is the logo placed or is it built in ID? What's your Transparancy Blend Space set to? Are all of the logo colors CMYK?

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,119 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 2:17 PM   in reply to busyadvertising

    You could be getting a conversion into a different CMYK color space which would explain the shift in colors. Open the logo and resave and make sure to uncheck Embed Profiles.

     
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