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Print problems

Jun 14, 2013 10:24 PM

I am setting up a book to print with Amazon's createsspace.


Try #1. I had changed the size of the book. It was cutting off part of the book.


Try #2. I fixed the size, which was now right. however, another problem was introduced. I was not aware I made any changes to create this problem, but maybe I did. The design has a green bar on top of part white, part black background. The green bar should be partially transparent. it was the first go around, but when I made the change in size, now the green bar is completely opaque. Odd thing is, it looks right on the screen.


Idea: would it help to print on my home printer before I send it off?


The document itself has multiple items on the same layer--it was really confusing to me to work with. (the document was provided to me by someone else.)



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    Jun 15, 2013 5:52 AM   in reply to guy from NM

    I think we're going to need a lot more information. Start with your version of ID, if it has the most recent patch, and your OS.


    We're also going to need to know your export settings for the PDF, and whether your colors are process or spot, and if there are any overprints set.


    And some screen shots would help. You can embed them in your post using the camera icon onthe web page, like this:


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    Jun 15, 2013 5:53 AM   in reply to guy from NM

    And there's no reason you can't create mor layers and move things yourself, but remember that for best results with transparency text should be at the top of the stack, and you cannot group objects across layers.

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    Jun 15, 2013 8:27 AM   in reply to guy from NM

    OK, you haven't included the output section of your modified export settings, but I can surmise what's going on, I think.


    If you go back and check with CreateSpace's guidlines ( you'll see they tell you that your transparency must be flattened. That isn't happening with anything higher than Acrobat 4 compatibility. You should be using the recommended PDF/X-1a preset.


    A further complication is the use of spot colors. First off, I doubt that they are using spot color inks, though their preflight profile doesn't flag anything to do with color at all. Transparency with spot colors is achieved by using overprint. I'm not sure if the problem you are citing is an actual print, or you are inspecting a PDF. If it's the PDF, you need to have Overprint Preview turned on in the Acrobat page display preferences.


    If you convert the spot to process (you can do that during export by clicking the Ink Manager button in the output section) and flatten transparency there is no overprint and your page display settings will not affect waht you see. I can't offer concrete advice on if this will be necessary since I can't locate anything in the spec's about the use of spot colors.

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    Jun 15, 2013 10:39 AM   in reply to guy from NM

    Look up their templates for the book size you are creating. You don't need to use it, but it'll make a good guide.



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    Jun 15, 2013 2:11 PM   in reply to guy from NM

    I believe the PDF/X-1a: 2003 standard is meant to output PDF 1.4 (Acrobat 5) files (live transparency is preserved, but apparently the satandard does not allow transparency in the file) rather than PDF 1.3 (Acrobat 4), and is not commonly used. Given CreateSpace's specifcation for flattened transparency I would say the 2003 choice is inappropriate, but at least from InDesign it doesn't appear to matter -- changing between the two makes no difference as far as I can see and PD 1.3 is always output.


    Mike's advice is dead on. In general, you want to set up at trim size and add a bleed allowance outide the page size. CreateSpace has a document looks like it probably adresses this question, too. In fact, there are quite a few resource documents. Have you gone through them?

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    Jun 15, 2013 6:16 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Actually, although PDF/X-1a:2003 supports PDF 1.4, it explicitly excludes support for live transparency. Very few practitioners in the industry ever used PDF/X-1a:2003 as opposed to the earlier PDF/X-1a:2001 variant.


    For what it is worth, I would stay clear of any print service provider that not only tells you that they don't support live transparency, but by the results prove that to be true.


    Any modern digital print system should be able to support PDF/X-4 files that provide full color management and live transparency feature support!


    That having been said, if your print service provider specifies PDF/X-1a only and that all transparency must be flattened (and you ascertained, perhaps via further query that this is absolute and that they absolutely do not support color management and live transparency), you had better heed their instructions or prepare to find a print service provider with 21st century workflow support!


              - Dov

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