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denise_ryan
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Transparent items disappearing when exporting to PDF

Mar 14, 2011 8:46 AM

Hi,

I wonder if anyone could help with this problem in InDesign CS5.

Basically, transparent objects are disappearing when exporting to PDF. These are not 'non printing' objects. They are shapes drawn in InDesign.

 

It happens to some people in the office when creating shapes but not all. I wonder what differences there are in their settings to make this happen.

 

Can anyone suggest anything?

 

Many thanks!

Denise

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2011 8:52 AM   in reply to denise_ryan

    How are you viewing these PDFs? If you're using Mac Preview, switch to Adobe Reader or Acrobat.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2011 8:53 AM   in reply to denise_ryan

    What kind of transparency are you talking about—opacity, blending mode, or what? What PDF export setting is being used? (Personally, I've never seen this phenomenon.)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2011 9:08 AM   in reply to denise_ryan

    What is the PDF compatibility set to when exporting the PDF?

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2011 9:11 AM   in reply to denise_ryan

    It could be caused by corrupted InDesign files. You should take one of those InDesign files which don't export properly and export as IDML. Then reopen the new file and export again.

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/526991

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2011 9:27 AM   in reply to denise_ryan

    Hi,

     

    If you're using spot colors and the blending mode is set to multiply (regardless of the opacity), the transparency will not show up. Try changing the spot color to process and see if that makes a difference. You can view the results under View>Overprint Preview before you make the PDF.

     

    Hope this helps!

     

    Cheers,

    Mikey

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2011 9:35 AM   in reply to HeyMikey

    IME, that is only true with flattened PDFs.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2011 10:39 AM   in reply to denise_ryan

    Can you go back to the people that are reporting this issue and ask them how they're viewing the PDFs?

     

    Can you post one of the files so we can see it?

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 10:28 AM   in reply to denise_ryan

    I am having a similar problem, although it is not exactly the same.

     

    ID CS5, fully updated.

     

    I have a document that I've just built from scratch that uses an anchored frame to surround some text. The frame's opacity is set to 100% and blend mode is Overlay (to allow the text to show through, because an anchored object apparently won't go behind the text it's anchored to). The swatch is CMYK and not a Spot color.

     

    It only happens to me when exporting to PDF.

     

    The frame is there when I export to JPG or to EPS.

     

    It isn't there with any of the default preset PDF modes, or any PDF document version from 1.3 to 1.7.

     

    It doesn't appear in Acrobat Pro, in Preview, or if I pull it into Photoshop and rasterize.

     

    I've got a sample right here:

    http://db.tt/mWkmHcI

     

    The problem is the anchored box on the left-hand text frame. I am using an anchored frame like this so that InCopy users will stop breaking my frame locations.

     

    I can confirm that these print to an EFI CWS-powered print engine without any issues. It seems like PDFs are the only problem.

     

    I could export to EPS and distill them, I guess.

     

    But really, should I have to open Distiller? I don't even know if Distiller will fix the problem.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 10:55 AM   in reply to Ben Frey

    Exports just fine here using half a dozen different presets....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 11:01 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I see that I forgot to mention that I was running OS X in my post. 10.6.6

     

    I just wiped this machine last week, and reinstalled everything from discs, then did Adobe updater, due to an OS X error. Are you on a Mac or PC?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 11:25 AM   in reply to Ben Frey

    I have strange mixed results in Mac OS X 10.6.6 and InDesign CS5 7.0.3.

     

    It exports correctly when I choose PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-4 PDF presets. But the frame is missing when I choose High Quality Print. I can't remember seeing anything like this before.

     

    HQ Print and PDF/X-4 shouldn't flatten, but PDF/X-1a does flatten so I can't explain it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 11:29 AM   in reply to Steve Werner

    Worked OK here with HQ Print, too. I'm running XP.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 11:34 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Here's a screen capture of my HQP export.

     

    HQP.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 11:41 AM   in reply to Steve Werner

    I don't see anything missing in that screen shot....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 11:46 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Oh, wait, now I see it. It's the gray box. I didn't realize that was a separate frame and I overlooked it. Yeah, it's missing here, too.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 11:46 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    There should be a screened box behind "COMPANION TITLES, etc." at the bottom. It appears in InDesign, and the X1 and X4 versions. The frame was set to Overlay mode.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 11:52 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Here's the original. aside from the obvious font replacement issue, i think you'll see what's missing...

     

    http://i52.tinypic.com/j9acsx.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 12:12 PM   in reply to Ben Frey

    Right, I figured that out. Not that it will necessarily make a difference, but why aren't you putting the text into that frame and anchoring the frame with the text in it? I really don't see a need for the whole tranparency/blend mode thing here, and the simpler the file, the more likely it is to export successfully.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 12:27 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    If I didn't have to do something like that, believe me, I wouldn't.

     

    My sample file is 1 entry. The last book I did of this format, there were 300+ entries, and 4 different "template sizes" between those 300 entries. Some of the entries need this box, and some don't, and that isn't necessarily determined until after the initial build-out of the layout.

     

    Keep in mind, also that these are InCopy stories in the real version, and that 3-5 people are making edits to them, none of whom can be trusted with a copy of InDesign.

     

    If I did as you suggest, I would end up with another 100+ story files, linked INSIDE existing story files (is that even possible?) and I would have to go back and forth with editors becuse the text boxes cannot be modified in InCopy.

     

    The way it is now, I can do a GREP find/replace to add the anchored object at a "default" size that fits most of the entries, and then after the editors are done, I can go back and resize the boxes that need resizing to make it look like the text is inside the box, instead of under it.

     

    I tried free-floating boxes behind the frames last month, and the amount of extra work required for me was not pleasant, to say the least.

     

    None of that explains why visible, printable objects are disappearing when exported to PDF.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 12:54 PM   in reply to Ben Frey

    I'm back to doing edits for a project on deadline, but suppose you were to release the anchored frame after adjustment? Jongware wrote me a little script last year that will release all anchored objects in story. It could probably be edited to release all in the entire document.

     

    Not, as you say, that that answers why it isn't working now, but it might be a workaround.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 1:07 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Can you post that script? It might make my life easier until I figure out what's wrong.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 1:25 PM   in reply to Ben Frey
    //by jongware

    n = app.selection[0].textFrames.length;
    while (n >= 0)
    {
         try {
              app.selection[0].textFrames[n].anchoredObjectSettings.releaseAnchoredObject();
         } catch(_) {}
         n--;
    }
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 8, 2012 7:19 PM   in reply to denise_ryan

    Hi there, i have the same problem with this opacity problem~

     

    it's like sometimes when u set some colour shape not in 100% opacity

     

    and when u export to PDF, IT DISAPPEAR!!!

     

    I don't acutlly have the problem fixed~

     

    but i have solution~

     

    1 Step: set your tartget to 100% opacity first  (it's best u have more than 2 targets)

     

    2 Step: Group the target with something (best to group the targets together)

     

    3 Step: change the opacity of the group

     

    4 Setp: export it see how it works~

     

    hope this can fix your problem

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 9, 2012 4:01 AM   in reply to Jacky Huang

    Do you have simulate overprint enabled when you export, and Overprint Preview turned on in Acrobat?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2012 4:35 PM   in reply to denise_ryan

    Having the same problem - Indesign CS5 on mac OS 10.7.2. Have tried exporting as idml and re-opening, have tried with overprint preview turned on in Acrobat. Have tried cutting and pasting box with text into a new document and it still happens with the new document?! And yet when I draw a new box and apply same opacity settings it is fine?! Unfortunately I have hundreds of these boxes throughout my document.

     

    But I think exporting as IDML file might have something to do with it as I can retrace my steps: Did the original file on CS5; opened it on my home mac in CS5.5 and did some changes, exported as IDML to re-open on my work computer with CS5; did some more changes at work and this is when the problem happened. It's something about exporting as IDML and re-opening in CS5 as I can go back to my files on my home computer (with CS5.5), export as pdf and all the boxes are there in both the indesign AND the IDML file.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2012 5:04 PM   in reply to EarlyShirley

    Ok, I've just opened up the CS5 document on my home computer ( I have my home macbook sitting next to my work mac desktop) and exported it again and problem solved - looks like an update to CS5.5 is due.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2012 5:11 PM   in reply to EarlyShirley

    With CS6 out, I wouldn’t count on that.

     

     

     

    Bob

     
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  • Lucien Schilling
    166 posts
    Oct 2, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 12:09 AM   in reply to Jacky Huang

    Pretty nasty in CS5 are spot colours underneath a transparent (cut out) PhotoShop file. On screen the file is OK, but you cannot print the PDF files correctly. The resulting PDF files are X3, so basically I didn't expect problems...

     

    The workaround for this was to modify the colours from spot to process in InDesign, which caused other troubles, but did work!

     

    Transparency since ever was a trouble maker and I don't like those troubles, so I avoid transparencies where I have the possibility.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 5:15 AM   in reply to Lucien Schilling

    I disagree completely. There is nothing about transparency that being properly educated (especially with spot color useage) and using a modern print shop that should cause any trouble.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Lucien Schilling
    166 posts
    Oct 2, 2007
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    Aug 21, 2012 5:20 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Well Bob, when you have PDF files that don't print correctly, you may agree or not, you are in trouble! The trouble is the PDF file not the print shop.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 5:38 AM   in reply to Lucien Schilling

    Like I said, you need a full understanding of transparency and how it works, especially when spot colors are involved. While I admit that I do very little print work these days, even when I did, I didn’t have trouble with transparency.

     

     

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 6:59 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    I've never had a file with transparency fail to print, either, but I use only printers who have equipment (RIPs) capable of handling it. If your printer, who may do a very fine job of getting ink on the paper, doesn't have up to date technology then you might well have problems using transparency in your files.

     
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  • Lucien Schilling
    166 posts
    Oct 2, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 8:50 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    PDF X/3 is the standard required by my printers. X/3 does not handle transparency in-RIP as opposed to X/4. I suspect a PDF error, as the file displays correctly but does not print correctly. We have found that one systematic transparency fail with CS5 was using spot colours the way we use them. The transparency is created by a Photoshop image, not a pure InDesign transparency.

     

    Capture T1.PNG

     

    Images: Snapshot from the PDF screen view and the print result of the PDF.

     

    Using my Fiery or our built-in printer RIPs produces the same artefact as my professional external print service providers. Even the tinny print preview  in Acrobat shows the error.

     

    (Message was edited by: Lucien Schilling)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 8:53 AM   in reply to Lucien Schilling

    IIRC, the original X/3:2002  specification was based on PDF 1.3 and therefore has no transparency support.

     

     

     

    Bob

     
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  • Lucien Schilling
    166 posts
    Oct 2, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 8:55 AM   in reply to Lucien Schilling

    And the second image (...you are not allowed to edit this message... )

     

    Capture.PNG

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 8:56 AM   in reply to Lucien Schilling

    The smaller image is too small to really see anything, and I'm not sure what problem I'm supposed to be seeing in the larger image. Are we talking about a shaded aree in the spot color behind the raster in the print? That's known as YDB (Yucky Discolored Box) Syndrome, and is a dual-layer RIP problem. It happens because during processing rasters are treated differently from vectors. There's a good article about it at InDesignSecrets » Blog Archive » Eliminating YDB (Yucky Discolored Box) Syndrome

     
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  • Lucien Schilling
    166 posts
    Oct 2, 2007
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    Aug 21, 2012 8:58 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Yes, and PDF X/3 is a standard widely adopted by the RIP manufacturer/print service providers. The transparency effect is flattened before or during the PDF build.

     
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