15 Replies Latest reply on Nov 6, 2018 4:03 PM by TOkamura

    Mysterious lines in PDF

    Level 1
      So any help would be useful.

      At our shop we use CS3. Usually when creating our artwork for print we use this work flow:

      1. Flatten transparency
      2. Save as .EPS
      3. Distillation (PDF/X-1a;2001)

      This creates small, strange, artifact looking lines throughout the document. These do not print and if you zoom in on them in acrobat they disappear which would lead one to assume that they do no exist. Recently we had a printer claiming that they printed out and I need to find a way to circumvent these 'mysterious lines'. They also cause a lot of problems with clients.

      So any help, info, input would be helpful because i cannot find any record of this particular thing occurring.

      IM: chifriedchicken@yahoo.com
        • 1. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
          Level 1
          We have this problem CONSTANTLY when transparencies are used in Illustrator and InDesign -- regardless of how we create the PDF. We've had to come up with standard verbage to reassure clients when they question their PDF proofs.

          If anyone has a fix to the Mysterious Line problem, I would love to hear it.
          • 2. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
            MichaelKazlow MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            Why the convoluted workflow? Why not export to pdf with your PDF/X-1a
            job options right out of ID or IL? Does the problem still persist?

            • 3. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
              Level 1
              THe problem still exists if we export directly form either AI or ID. We use the 'convoluted' workflow for document size. You can always trust Distiller to squeeze another couple of mb out of a document which is important for uploading large document.
              • 4. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                Level 1
                The troublesome lines I encounter in .pdfs are most often with the letters "l" & "I" (ex. lace & I am) no matter the typeface. Similar, small, vertical vector shapes are also affected. These specified letters appear as bold blocks; no additional lines are added.

                I prepare my AI files in CS3 and view in Acrobat 8.0 or Adobe Reader 9.0 as follows:
                1. flatten transparency
                2. convert to outlines
                3. save a copy as .pdf

                I have noticed the mysterious line issue is inconsistent. Only some vertical vector shapes or "l"s are affected even when prepared the same way in a document.

                Any new developments on the issue?
                • 5. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                  Level 1
                  I have a similar "mysterious line" issue. I created a file in InDesign which incorporates 3 images, all on their own layers and sit on a gradient base layer. They all contain transparency. When I export to PDF, part of the bounding boxes for 2 of the 3 images show as faint white lines. Stroke is NOT applied, believe me I've checked. If I zoom in on the PDF, the lines shift with each zoom increment. For example, in one increment the top and bottom bounding box lines for image 2 may be "ghosting". Zoom in one more increment and the top and right bounding box lines will "ghost". And so on. Which lines are visible changes with each increment of zoom.

                  Sound familiar to anyone out there?
                  • 6. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                    Level 1
                    Turn OFF the smooth line art option - double check artwork and I then
                    prefer to turn back ON

                    Acrobat / Preferences / Page Display /

                    • 7. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                      Level 1
                      I tried turning off the "Smooth line art" option and the lines went away in acrobat, but then my logo etc. looks awful.

                      I just received a final print of my document in a magazine and the lines did not print, but on my inkjet they print clearly.

                      Do the lines actually exist? Do I need to pay attention to them at all?

                      I am really surprised that no one has any answers to these questions. Adobe help! haha
                      • 8. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                        Level 1
                        I have found these lines too. When I zoom in with acrobat, they are still there but they don't enlarge with the PDF document. I spoke with a magazine designer and he says he sees them all the time but ignores them. They don't print when going through a professional print house.
                        • 9. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                          alcadon Level 1

                          I have the same issue, using Illustrator CS3 then creatind a PDF /X 1 a:2001, (spec wanted by my printer). Lines are there even in the proof of printing (on screen) they sent back. We've tried to print this proof document and lines are GONE. Let's see now when they print the magazine! I'll keep you posted.

                          • 10. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                            eja34 Level 1

                            Looks like this is an old post, but if you change the Acrobat version to anything above 4 when exporting from Indesign or Illustrator, the lines go away. I still don't know why the lines appear, but this is what I do for proofing to clients. The only downside is that it makes your document no longer 100% X1A compliant. But since the white lines don't seem to show up on a commercial press, it should only be an issue with proofing (having to explain the lines to clients).

                            • 11. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                              ashokbookmark Level 1

                              I agreed with eja34. if we have versio above 4 then there is no issue.


                              ISO FILE

                              • 12. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                                RenéG Level 3

                                (Brian_Allen) wrote:


                                3. Distillation (PDF/X-1a;2001)

                                A couple years ago, I was told by an Adobe employee, in a seminar that PDF/X-1a;2001 doesn't support transparency. Use a more recent set-up; anything that has the year 2004 or above, in it, should work.

                                • 13. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                                  joeh43058013 Level 1

                                  dotted lines in illustrator containing additional thin lines in pdf format. dotted line in illustrator contains body colour. leave body window clear and only use stoke colour.

                                  • 14. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                                    tjt263 Level 1

                                    Over 10 years on, the problem remains.


                                    I created a scalable vector (.svg) diagram {with Adobe Illustrator} for a technical report. It has an alpha (transparency) layer.


                                    Exported a copy in a raster (.png) image format (retaining transparency), for import into a word processor {Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) | Apple Pages (.pages) | similar} document. It goes off without a hitch, as any reasonable person would expect.


                                    The problem isn't evident until a document is converted to (or exported as) Adobe's Portable Document Format (.pdf).


                                    Which is weird because the whole point (and appeal) of a PDF is: Preservation of the original appearance of a document. Meaning you can rest assured that people will see it exactly as you intended.


                                    And generally speaking, it seems to do just that.

                                    Except for these God damned, thin grey lines.

                                    • 15. Re: Mysterious lines in PDF
                                      TOkamura Level 1

                                      That's right, and no one cares!

                                      if you zoom in and zoom out, you won't see them but somehow they show up and really are annoying!