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Image looks different in Acrobat after exporting to PDF

Jun 19, 2012 10:54 AM

Tags: #photoshop #line #acrobat #pdf #black #adobe #export #indesign #break #rich

I just created an image in InDesign. I exported it as a PDF and viewed it in Acrobat. There are two things going on here that I'm not sure about. First of all, there appears to be a broken edge on the right side of the image when viewed in Acrobat. I took a screen shot of each image. In the first image (Acrobat), you can see the line break. In Indesign, which is the second image placed into this thread, there is no line break. I checked Indesign for any shapes or images that I may have missed that might be hanging around obstructing the edge, but there was nothing there.


Another issue I'm having is that the black seems to be faded in the Acrobat image. See how it is that nice stark dark black in my screen shot from Indesign? Is this happening because the original image (created in Photoshop) doesn't use rich black? The black in the photoshop image is 76, 71, 65, 81 in CMYK. If this is the problem, could I convert it to rich black somehow in Photoshop or InDesign?




Screen shot 2012-06-19 at 10.46.59 AM.pngScreen shot 2012-06-19 at 10.47.15 AM.png

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 19, 2012 12:15 PM   in reply to sarahpeller

    It looks like there is a gray line on the lower right edge of the Acrobat capture. Is that really there, or is it a product of saving the screen shot?


    I can think of a few possibilities for why this is happening, The first is that the right edg of the frame is actually sloped very slightly and the display needs to render it as a series of stepped vertical lines. You can check that by selecting the frame in ID, then checking the x coordinate values for the upper right and lower right corners by selecting them with the Direct Select tool. They should be the same if there is no slope.


    The second is this is a compression artifact of some sort, in which case it ought to disappear if you re-export and either use zip compression or no compression. Uisng a higher quality jpeg compression might get rif of it, too, if that's what it is.


    Thirs is it's a display artifact in Acrobat caused by the Enhance Thin Lines feature. If you zoom way in at the point where it appears to step back, does the size of the step seem to zoom, or does it remain constant or even disappear?


    76, 71, 65, 81 is a rich black already. Is the image color mode CMYK? What about the export settings in ID? Are you converting everything to some profile, or leaving colors unchanged? How does the image comaper in ID if you turn on overprint preview?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 20, 2012 2:39 AM   in reply to sarahpeller

    I'm pretty sure the black issue is your settings for Appearance of Black in the preferences. The CMYK numbers you gave us earlier correspond to an RGB black in the range of the low 30s in all channels, which is a smewaht graysish balck, and would be a very good RGB approximation of 100% K.


    I'll bet if you look at the setting for Appearance of Black it's set to Display all Blacks as Rich Black which gives you a false impression of darkness for 100% K. Black ink alone looks faded, or gray, next to a rich black with a high K component. In the screen captures below, there are three overlapping squares. Upper left is filled with 100% K, middle with the RGB conversion of 100% K in my color settings (GRAcol and Adobe RGB), and the lower right is filled with your 76, 71, 65, 81 mix. The only differntence is that on the top the Prefs are set to display blacks accurately, and on the bottom they're set to display as rich black:


    Display Accurate Black.png

    Display Rich Black.png

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2012 2:44 AM   in reply to sarahpeller

    This is the InDesign Preferences, Appearance of Black, that needs to be changed. I use Display All Blacks Accurately and Output All Blacks As Rich Black, myself.


    Some people here would probably question my choice to output as rich black, but this setting only affects output to RGB or grayscale devices (non-Postscript printers, essentially) and printing or exporting (new in CS6) to composite Grayscale PDF, and it pevents 100% K objects, like type, from being renedered as a tint of K in the output. If you choose to output black accurately, under those particular circumstances just mentioned, 100% K in the output is reserved for rich black objects and everything else becomes a screened tint to preserve the relationships.

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  • Rob Day
    3,120 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2012 7:41 AM   in reply to sarahpeller

    The black in the photoshop image is 76, 71, 65, 81 in CMYK. If this is the problem, could I convert it to rich black somehow in Photoshop or InDesign?


    Your 76|71|65|81 black very likely is the result of converting from one CMYK space to another. 0|0|0|100 USSWOP Coated converts to the coated GraCOL CMYK profile to something like 74|70|64|78.


    Theimage would be easier to control from ID if it was left as a grayscale with the black point at 100%. When you place the grayscale in ID you could assign it a rich black swatch like 65|50|50|100 and it would both export and print as rich black.


    Message was edited by: rob day

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