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AI images not printing correctly from InDesign

Aug 31, 2010 10:40 AM

(Reposting from Color Management Forum)

First off, please forgive me if this is  not the right forum or if I am not using the right terms.  I am the network admin for our company and I'm posting this on behalf of our designer.


We recently added PostScript drivers to our Sharp printers, and we have been seeing odd printing results when printing embedded .AI files.


We use CreativeSuite CS5, and our developer has hundreds of images with pure white and transparent backgrounds stored in .AI format.  When these images are embedded/linked to an Indesign document they print with a solid black background and what appears to be an inverted color pattern, almost like a photo negative.


All embedded EPS images print fine.  The affected .AI files print fine when printed directly from Illustrator.


The embedded images print fine using a PCL driver.  We are trying to implement the Postscript driver for better color quality.


Any ideas?


(We are using Windows XP SP3, x86

Server based network printing on Windows 2003 x86)

Thanks in advance


  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 31, 2010 10:47 AM   in reply to xrjj3322

    Try exporting as PDF/X-4 and printing from Acrobat. Any different results?


              - Dov

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    Sep 1, 2010 11:07 AM   in reply to xrjj3322

    In the process of creating PDF/X-4 via export from InDesign, I suspect that some the PostScript in those EPS images had some device-dependent functions that got filtered out.


    Generally speaking, I have personally found that the best printing from InDesign is via PDF export and subsequent printing from Acrobat.


              - Dov

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    Oct 18, 2010 8:26 AM   in reply to xrjj3322

    I've got multiple users having the exact same issue.  Using Windows XP, CS5, printing to a Ricoh 7200CL.  I'm surprised at how little information I've been able to find while researching this problem.  Three fresh installs of CS5, and all three are unable to print using the [updated] PS driver, but CAN with the PCL and CAN when converting to PDF.


    As you said, converting everything to PDF, when these users are printing 30+ pages at once sometimes and multiple marketing documents per day, is not a permanent solution.


    Have you made any progress on this?  Any hints at all would be eagerly accepted.

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    Oct 18, 2010 8:42 AM   in reply to xrjj3322

    You say converting to PDF is not a good solution, but I have to tell you that I do that on most files as a matter of course unless it's a single page. I find on my printer that PDFs RIP much faster and free up the machine for other work a lot sooner.

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    Oct 19, 2010 8:57 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Hi Peter, thanks a lot for your input.

    I'm not the end user, but a helpdesk tech who installed CS5 for a few employees.  The users have been adamantly against both converting to PDF, and using the PCL driver, (reasons of time and quality respectively, I assume).


    Converting a multi-page .INDD file to PDF for printing must take a while?  Otherwise I don't know why they'd be against it.

    Is anything lost during the conversion?

    Can the PDF be opened by InDesign for adjustments or would it require changing the orginal then re-converting each time they want to alter and print?


    I'm just trying to understand it better, because a few of us have been troubleshooting this, and it doesn't seem like we're going to resolve the issue any time soon.

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    Oct 19, 2010 9:21 AM   in reply to Super Hans

    The quality of the PDF depends on the settings (as to some degree does the quality of the print directly from ID). To get the best quailty print from ID one must set "Send Data" under Graphics to All instead of Optimized Subsampling, and I suspect this is a contibutor to longer RIP times. I honestly don't know why PDFs with the same image data seem to RIP faster, but they do in my experience.


    Yes, it does take some time to export the PDF, but I find this is usually less time than the printer is going to take to process the job if more than a single page (my printer is 8 or nione years old, however, so that may also be a factor). For multiple page files the time saved through export is actually quite significant for me, and with CS5 PDF export has become a background task so it shouldn't interfere with doing other work in ID.


    One other advantage, at least for me, is that even for one-offs, I often am printing a proof, and I'd rather proof the PDF that I'm sending out to the printer than think there are no problems based on the print from the raw ID file.

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