3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 27, 2012 4:30 AM by Stormcloud492

    InDesign 5.5 - Type with drop shadow placed in front of gray box causes "shadow box". Ditto Graphics


      I exported this document from InDesign 5.5 using PDFX-4 and sent to the print service provider. The Printer's Proof showed problems in a couple of places:


      1. In InDesign, white type with a drop shadow is placed over a background box containing a placed greyscale Illustrator graphic . In the Proof, behind the type box appears a yellow-grayish shadow.


      2. In InDesign, a photo (placed greyscale Photoshop file), with a white border and drop shadow, is placed over a grey background box (CMYK). In the Proof, behind the graphic box and shadow appears a gray shadow box (lighter than the drop shadow).


      The printer informed me that he doesn't have PDFX-4. I resent the job using PDFX-3(1.3). Will that solve the problem, or is there some other problem?


      The printer needs to go to press, so don't have much time.

        • 2. Re: InDesign 5.5 - Type with drop shadow placed in front of gray box causes "shadow box". Ditto Graphics
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          And thi s might be only a problem in the proof, not withthe actual press output, but that depends on what the printer is using to make your proof. He should be using the RIPped data and checking the color there, if possible.

          • 3. Re: InDesign 5.5 - Type with drop shadow placed in front of gray box causes "shadow box". Ditto Graphics
            Stormcloud492 Level 1

            Hi Peter,


            I sent a new PDF to my print service provider using PDF-X3 (instead of PDF-X4) and inserted your comment that it could be a problem of seeting to "Postscript Overprint" at the RIP. After that, the printer said he had no problem. I should get a copy of the printed piece at the end of the week and am crowwing my fingers.  Maybe the conflict in PDF standards caused the problem, but I will never know because the printer is unwilling (or too busy) to share with me his thoughts about the cause of the problem.


            There seem to be multiple problems and multiple solutions discussed in this blog. I thought it would be useful to parse all the comments to arrive at a condensed set of prescriptions to solve these problems. Maybe someone could improve on it so one can more easily get to the solution relevant to their specific problem? I have added my own questions in brackets.


            Taken from the Blog Archive of InDesign Secrets.


            Subject: Eliminating YDB (Yucky Discolored Box) Syndrome and DWB (Dreaded White Box) Syndrome -- a problem that results in white boxes around shadows and other transparency effects interacting with spot color content [and otherwise].


            Steve Werner says:

            The discoloration problem is due to the printer’s RIP not correctly exercising overprint.

            The answer is to have InDesign act as a RIP.



            Create a Transparency Flattener Preset that completely rasterizes everything:

            1. Edit > Transparency Flattener Presets, click on “High” as a starting point, and then click “New.”
In the ensuing dialog box, yank the raster/vector slider all the way to the left. Set the linework resolution to the printer’s res (say, 600), and set the gradient/mesh resolution to, oh, 150. (I think you’ll find shadow appearance satisfactory at 150. If not, go to 300.)
Save as a new Flattener Preset.
            2. File > Print, and under Output, choose Composite CMYK, and CHECK the “Simulate Overprint” checkbox. Under Advanced, select your all-raster flattener.

            InDesign creates a conglomerate sheet o’pixels—vector and text will be rasterized at the linework resolution, and shadows and feathered edges are generated at the gradient/mesh resolution. There’s good news and bad news, of course. The good news is that your output will look correct—no YDB syndrome. The bad news is that an exceedingly complex page could take some time to process, and could generate a big honking print file to clog up your printer. [When an inexperienced designer flattens their file, doesn’t that limit adjustments that their print service provider may need to make?]


            Peter Hutchinson says:

            Disable your printer’s color management

            Your printer driver may be applying a different color management policy that contradicts InDesign’s settings. Also, use the correct ICC profile from InDesign.

            On the Color Management panel of the Print dialog box, to the right of the Let InDesign Determine color choice is a little blue “I” for Info. In the Warning section below InDesign warns, “Remember to disable color management in the printer driver dialog box.”


            Anne-Marie suggests:

            Convert all Spot Colors to CMYK.

            Use ID’s Ink Manager to convert all spots to process during the printing process.


            Claudia notes:

            But there are good reasons to send spot color files to printers like the Xerox machines: they have look-up tables that can accomplish better matches of the intended color if they receive spot info. A workaround might be for your print center to note the spot-to-CMYK conversion numbers in the lookup tables, and then modify the InDesign or Illustrator files to use those values. Then when they send the jobs as CMYK, all is well.  [My file has no spot colors, yet my printer’s proof still had YDB Syndrome and DWB Syndrome.]


            How to determine if you have unwanted spot colors on the page:

            Go the the Swatches panel menu and choose “Select all Unused.” Delete the selected swatches.

            Now to determine if spot colors are used: Go to Window > Output > Separations Preview. If you see any spots listed, turn off the eyeballs by CMYK to see the remaining objects: those are the spot objects.

            To fix any unwanted spots, either apply another (CMYK) swatch, or convert the spot color to CMYK.


            David Blatner says:

            What outputs to your desktop printer may not necessarily occur when you sent the job to press.

            Use Acrobat’s Output Preview feature to check the plates themselves. Or talk with your printer and ask them if you’re going to have a real problem. [What if you can’t talk to your printer?]


            Brian says:

            Use the correct ICC profile from InDesign

            The reason YDB happens is because the embedded color profile of the image with the transparency differs from the color profile of the object behind it. In order to make the transparency match perfectly, both the front and back object need to have the same ICC tag applied. [This gets into color management issues that I don’t fully understand.  When I don’t understand something, I don’t tinker with it. If this is the culprit, how can I inform myself?]


            Linda N says:

            Create a mixed ink of 100%black and 1%of the color underneath.

            [Is she saying to use a “Rich Black”? for gray background boxes? Not sure I understand her comment]


            Scott Sharon says:

            Don’t use both drop shadows and gradients on an object.

            We produce only CMYK output (no spot) and this problem only appears if we write a pdf from InDesign that has both drop shadows and gradients present. If it only has either a drop shadow or a gradient, it appears fine. [Note: but that’s a little limiting, isn’t it?]


            Derek says:

            It may be a RIP issue

            we finally got the Fiery RIP updated, and lo and behold, no more YDB. I had a feeling there was a Postscript translation problem going on. [Aha! So it’s not always the designer’s problem?]


            Frustrated Printer says:

            Find a new print shop.

            This is a simple and very common problem, for those of you who are sending jobs to commercial printers that don’t know how to work around transparency and spot colours – find a new print shop.

            When sending to a print shop: convert to CMYK, disable Spot Color Matching, enable Composite Overprint.

            When printing in-house: always send just cmyk and you’ll avoid the hassle (All spot to process in ink manager).


            Stuart Beatty says:

            Check Composite Overprint under Fiery features of Print Dialogue Box.

            Add a second color to the background color.

            What DID work, finally, was, in the print dialogue box in InDesign, clicking “Printer”. clicking the drop-down to “Fiery features”, clicking the “Full properties” button, selecting the “Colour” tab, and checking the “Composite overprint” check box. Adding a second colour to the background colour fixes the problem about 95%. [Is this last sentence what Linda N. was talking about? Could someone give me a real-life example of the problem and solution?]