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White type in text box that has fill with transparency

Dec 5, 2012 3:58 AM

Tags: #transparency #indesign #type #white #knockout #cs5+ #overprinting

This color page in my INDD document has a lot of transparency on it -- in the following stacking order:


1. At the bottom are two gradient boxes covering the entire page.

2. Next is a background photo that has a feathered edge.

3. Then comes my text box that floats over a portion of the background photo. The text box is filled with a purple gradient feather. The text box contains 8.5 pt. white type (Helvetica Neue Medium).

4. A transparent dingbat overlaps one corner of the text box.


Where the white type is over the background photo, some color shows through the type. I didn't notice it on the PDF, but sure enough, when the job returned from the printer, you can see it.


I thought all type except for black automatically knocked out?


I output the file using PDFX-3 (1.3) because my print service provider does't support 1.4. I underdstand this version flattens the transparency. I have scanned Adobe's "Print Production Guide for Transparency", and learned that areas of complex transparency can cause unintended results. Is that what happened here?


When I opened the Transparency Flattener and asked it to highlight objects with "Raster-Fill Text and Stroke" or "Outlined Text", this type box is highlighted. None of the other type boxes on this page were highlighted, even where it overlaps the background photo (which has feather applied).

Several other transparent dingbats (like the one overlapping the text box) are also highlighted as "Raster-Fill Text and Stroke". They are all on the top-most (type) layer.


This is not a disaster -- it's still readable -- but it's the publication's contact info that is affected, which is important. Maybe next time I won't be so lucky. What should I have done different?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 4:57 AM   in reply to Stormcloud492

    There is simply no way in the world I would have attempted using that amount of transparency in a document being sent to such a printer. Many printers still requiring flattened PDFs are just dropping into an old version of Quark and outputting from there.


    That said, without seeing the actual document it's nearly impossible to tell what's going on.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 6:02 AM   in reply to Stormcloud492

    It's possible in more current versions of ID to set transparency at the object, stroke, fill and content levels, and I suspect you've applied your effects at the object level. I was able to reproduce what you are seeing both by using the gradient feather tool and going to the Effects panel and applying the feather there to the entire object. Curiously, once the gradient feather tool was used I couln't access the options in the Effects panel or the Object menu.


    In any case, if you are able, select the text frame, open the Effects panel or the Object > Effects > Gradient Feather menu, remove the gradient feather and reapply it to just the fill.


    If you are not able to do that, copy the text, delete the text frame and create a new one and paste back the text, then select the frame and apply the gradient feather to the fill using the Effects panel or Object menu.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 2:21 PM   in reply to Stormcloud492

    I saw th3e same odd behavior with the object/fill checkboxes, but figured it was something weird I had done. Might be a bug...

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