35 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2013 7:03 AM by John Mensinger


    community help Newcomer

      This question was posted in response to the following article: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using/WSa285fff53dea4f8617383751001ea8cb3f-7038a.h tml

        • 1. Re:  Overprinting



          I wonder if you can help. I work at a publishing house. Some of our advertisers are supplying print-ready artwork in PDF format and when I take it into photoshop to flatten it, some of the elements from their PDF disappear.


          I've been told that this is because they leave the "Overprint preview" switched on while exporting their artwork to PDF in Indesign.


          Is this true? And what can I do to prevent disappearing elements on my side?


          Any feedback you can give me would be much appreciated.


          Regards, Nikki


          • 2. Re:  Overprinting
            Eugene Tyson Ninja

            Print ready pdfs shouldn't be opened in photoshop!


            Why do you need to "flatten" them?


            When you open a file in photoshop that is a print ready pdf it rasterises every component, including any text and vector information!



            What exactly is the workflow there? Why are rasterising perfectly good Print Ready PDFs?

            • 3. Re:  Overprinting
              John Mensinger Rockstar
              ...print-ready artwork in PDF... ...I take it into photoshop to flatten it..



              I've been told that this is because they leave the "Overprint preview" switched on while exporting their artwork to PDF in Indesign. Is this true?

              I doubt it. InDesign's view modes should have no bearing on the exported content. Items set to overprint will do so, and those not, won't, regardless of view mode at the time of export.

              • 4. Re:  Overprinting
                childmagnikki Newcomer

                Ok - let me explain... our clients are supplying artwork of their adverts which we have to place into the layouts of our magazine before we can pdf our pages... so I have to take their flattened adverts into Indesign (into our layouts) and put them in their placeholders with our page straps and footlines.

                • 5. Re:  Overprinting
                  Eugene Tyson Ninja

                  You can place the PDF directly into InDesign.


                  I think you should reconsider your workflow. Opening PDFs in photoshop is completely overkill.

                  • 6. Re:  Overprinting
                    childmagnikki Newcomer

                    I take the pdf into Photoshop first for the following reasons:


                    1. To crop the advert to the client's supplied crop marks

                    2. To ensure that the advert is the correct size in mm and resolution (we have over 500 advertisers per month - a lot of them get the sizes wrong)

                    3. To ensure that all the "blacks" on the advert are correct (all black text to be 100%K and all black backgrounds to be Rich Black) - we print on recycled newsprint so there are set specifics we have to work to with the blacks to ensure the best final outcome.

                    4. The size of the pdf's are usually quite large - saving them as flattened files makes them much smaller in file size - this helps when we are placing up to 32 adverts on one magazine spread in Indesign.


                    Apparently it may actually be the "Simulate Overprint" option in the export PDF dialog box... that may be causing the problem. Any insight on how I can work around this?

                    • 7. Re:  Overprinting
                      Eugene Tyson Ninja

                      A part from the dialog box that photoshop offers to open a PDF I don't know what else can be done.


                      You could try opening the PDF in Acrobat, from here you can File>Save As Optimised PDF and then choose Acrobat 4 (which might work).


                      But if someone has set a colour to overprint, there's not much you can do without seeing if you can manipulate it enough in Acrobat - or getting it resupplied.



                      As for the reasons -


                      1. You can place a PDF in InDesign without the crop marks by clicking "Show Options"

                      2. You can measure the size in InDesign and/or Acrobat - there's no need to open in photoshop and crop at all.

                      3. You can run a preflight check on PDFs and analyse and fix them in Acrobat without rasterising the entire content. You can also examine rich black areas, and convert all black text to 100% black.

                      4. Large files shouldn't be a problem in InDesign - I've placed far more than 32 pdfs in a spread with no issues and my computer was invented by the dinosaurs.




                      You could help your suppliers by providing them with a .joboptions file that will hold all the correct settings for making the PDF correct for placing in InDesign.

                      • 8. Re:  Overprinting
                        Peter Spier Legend

                        You can check the resolution of the individual images in the PDF in Acrobat Pro's Preflight. Rasterizing a file that contains low-res images at a higher resolution won't help, anyway. And you can crop the PDF to the crop box (if there is one) when you place, or crop in ID after if there is not just as easily as you can crop in Photoshop, and you can scale to size, too, so I don't see where opening in photoshop is beneficial.


                        If you open in Photoshop there's an incredibly high probabilty that you will convert all of the K-only type (and yes, that is set to overprint, as it should be) to rich black.


                        Simulate overprint only comes into play when when exporting a flattened PDF that has some sort of transparency. It's required to get the blending right. I suspect that you may be receiving files with spot colors specified and that's the real problem. If you place the PDF you can use the ink manger at output time to convert any spot colors to process.


                        The short version of this is you are doing a lot of work for no particularly good reason, what you are doing is extremely detrimental to the quality of the output, and you really need to re-evaluate your workflow.

                        • 9. Re:  Overprinting
                          childmagnikki Newcomer

                          The advert in question had a teddy bear on it and when I took it into Photoshop, the teddy bears eyes disappeared off the advert.


                          If I open the original supplied PDF in acrobat - the bear's eyes are visible - but when I print from Acrobat, the bear's eyes disappear again. Making him creepy enough to scare the dinosaurs that invented your computer, into extinction.


                          Ok great - thanks - will give all that a go and see if it helps

                          • 10. Re:  Overprinting
                            BobLevine Legend

                            After opening it in Acrobat, enable overprint preview.



                            • 11. Re:  Overprinting
                              Peter Spier Legend

                              What color were the eyes? I bet they were white and the original art was set to overprint the white by mistake in Illustrator (common problem in Illy, near impossible to accomplish in ID).

                              • 12. Re:  Overprinting
                                childmagnikki Newcomer

                                Thanks Peter - I've been reading a fair amount on the Spot colour conversion as well so that may very well be part of the problem.


                                Another reason I'm taking it into Photoshop is to change the colour profile to the below.


                                Because of the paper we print on, we have huge issues with colour - so to get as close as possible to the correct colour we have to convert all images / ads to be the same as our printers.

                                Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 3.49.11 PM.png

                                • 13. Re:  Overprinting
                                  childmagnikki Newcomer

                                  The eyes were black... here is the guilty bear...


                                  Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 4.05.01 PM.png

                                  • 14. Re:  Overprinting
                                    Eugene Tyson Ninja

                                    InDesign can convert the colours on importation of your files. No  need to go near photoshop with print ready pdfs.

                                    • 15. Re:  Overprinting
                                      Eugene Tyson Ninja

                                      If that's all it is then use the Paintbrush to paint 2 black dots in their place.

                                      • 16. Re:  Overprinting
                                        Peter Spier Legend

                                        childmagnikki wrote:


                                        Another reason I'm taking it into Photoshop is to change the colour profile to the below.

                                        That gets taken care of during export, and if you set your color policies correctly it will actually happen on import with a profile mismatch (I'm NOT a fan of converting color on import however).

                                        • 17. Re:  Overprinting
                                          Peter Spier Legend

                                          childmagnikki wrote:


                                          The eyes were black...

                                          That's pretty odd. They ought to be set to overprint, and there's no reason I can think of for them to drop out. Is the yellow a spot?

                                          • 18. Re:  Overprinting
                                            childmagnikki Newcomer

                                            Ok - so for this said Teddy Bear.. I've taken the PDF directly into Indesign... below is a screenshot of my bear. Eyes still lost.


                                            Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 4.15.52 PM.png


                                            This is a past example and I ended up just drawing his eyes back on and all was fine... but that's not really the point. Going forward, it's a dangerous business when things start randomly disappearing off adverts regardless of how they are getting into Indesign. So, I'm trying to work out:


                                            a. how this is happening, and

                                            b. how can I prevent things from falling off ads.


                                            I have had 3 adverts in the past 2 months where we have picked up that something has disappeared off a client's PDF. Unfortunately they aren't all teddy bears where it's easy to see that's something wrong. In another instance it was a vertical red line between 2 words (as below). I'm afraid my hawk-like vision is going to fail me one day and I'll miss something...


                                            Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 4.22.38 PM.png

                                            • 19. Re:  Overprinting
                                              childmagnikki Newcomer

                                              Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 4.25.14 PM.png

                                              Peter - I didn't create the advert... How can I tell if the yellow is a spot colour on my side?

                                              • 20. Re:  Overprinting
                                                Eugene Tyson Ninja


                                                • 21. Re:  Overprinting
                                                  Eugene Tyson Ninja

                                                  childmagnikki wrote:



                                                  a. how this is happening, and

                                                  b. how can I prevent things from falling off ads.



                                                  a. because someone didn't set the artwork up correctly and made a right bags of making the print ready pdf

                                                  b. you can't - that's up to the designers to make sure they get it right.



                                                  What you should do is send the file back to the designers explaining what is happening.


                                                  Include your Spec sheet for adverts that are supplied and also include your .joboptions file so that they can make the PDF to the standards that you need for printing.



                                                  Recently I had an entire magazine on hold while I battled with the Marketing company that supplied the "print ready pdf".

                                                  • 22. Re:  Overprinting
                                                    childmagnikki Newcomer

                                                    Turns out the Yellow is a Pantone - what does that mean? (I mean I know what a Pantone colour is.. but what does it mean in context of this conversation that it is a pantone?)

                                                    • 23. Re:  Overprinting
                                                      Eugene Tyson Ninja

                                                      Can you share this PDF?


                                                      Don't post a link to it here if it's sensitive - but you can send me a link a PM just click on my name.

                                                      • 24. Re:  Overprinting
                                                        Peter Spier Legend

                                                        Do the eyes come back when you turn on Overrprint Preview (or Separations Preview) in ID?



                                                        childmagnikki wrote:


                                                        Turns out the Yellow is a Pantone - what does that mean? (I mean I know what a Pantone colour is.. but what does it mean in context of this conversation that it is a pantone?)


                                                        That means it's a spot color, and if the PDF was flattened without the Simulate Overprint active, there's a possibility that the eyes might not show properly.

                                                        • 25. Re:  Overprinting
                                                          MW Design Rockstar

                                                          I have been in high-volume situations where I have done the same work-flow. When I have had a recalitrant PDF to place and there wasn't time for hand-holding the client, I have exported the PDF to an image via Acrobat, opened in PS and did the crop, resave and got on with other placements. Sometimes it was the only way to speedily meet the deadlines.


                                                          Not the greatest work-flow, but it usually works out fine.



                                                          • 26. Re:  Overprinting
                                                            BobLevine Legend

                                                            There's a big difference in doing what you have to do to get something

                                                            working and doing it as a matter of course. I've done plenty that I

                                                            would never recommend but I've done it knowing that it was a last ditch

                                                            effort to make something useable.



                                                            • 27. Re:  Overprinting
                                                              Peter Spier Legend

                                                              And I'd try refrying the PDF by saving as EPS and redistilling before I'd open it in Photoshop and destroy the type. I can't recall a time when that didn't work.

                                                              • 28. Re:  Overprinting
                                                                MW Design Rockstar

                                                                Peter, we have different experiences. Often enough, and depending upon what is in the PDF, I have incomplete or simply poor results exporting EPS files out of PDFs originating from ID.


                                                                I usually have great results exporting an image from acrobat though...and then there are no font issues in PS. It is a poor work-around in general. But with a lot of ads to place, it is usually a quick one.



                                                                • 29. Re:  Overprinting
                                                                  Eugene Tyson Ninja

                                                                  I don't mind opening a PDF in Photoshop for a one off stickler that there is no other workaround and/or time is running out.


                                                                  The problem is if that is your workflow all the time it's not great. The odd time to get around something is fine - but not as a general workflow.

                                                                  • 30. Re:  Overprinting
                                                                    childmagnikki Newcomer

                                                                    Peter - Yes the eyes do come back when I turn the Overprint Preview / Separation Preview on. Interesting thing though... in the instance where the red line between words was disappearing,  the exact opposite happens when I take it into Indesign: i.e. when I turn the Overprint preview on, the line disappears.

                                                                    Everyone - our workflow goes as follows: Throughout the month we receive hundreds of adverts which we need to check specs / dimensions / colours / etc. We check each advert as it comes in. Once it's been cropped and converted to the right colour profile, etc it is saved into a "FINAL" folder. Then at the end of the month, just before we go to print with the magazines, we place every advert into the magazine layouts based on the flatplan - some layout may have one advert only (a full page advert) and some may have up to 32 adverts (a 1/32th of a page advert). It's a bit like tetrus. And we have 4 magazines which we do this process over.

                                                                    Let's say I didn't take it into Photoshop to do my checks.. and I took it into Indesign instead... I struggle to see how this would better our workflow. Either way, I'd have to take the advert into some programme to check everything... and I'd still have to save it over into our "FINAL" folder so that everything is ready for final placement before we go to print. What format would I save the advert as into my "FINAL" folder? An Indesign doc? That seems a bit silly doesn't it?

                                                                    I'm interested in your input, but at the end of the day it's not my workflow in question.... it's elements disappearing off PDF's.

                                                                    If it is the fact that they have created artwork with spot colours and not activated the Simulate Overprint when exporting to PDF - why does the exact opposite happen with example number 2 with the red lines between words?

                                                                    • 31. Re:  Overprinting
                                                                      Willi Adelberger Ninja

                                                                      Would the eyes appear in InDesign, if you change in InDesign's ink manager (menu of the swath panel) to process?

                                                                      I see in you workflow a lot of non necessary steps. InDesign can convert to output profile as images should be in rgb and can be converted in the output process.

                                                                      I think you should also have some look into Acrobat Pro and the Preflight functionality. It would save you a lot of time.

                                                                      I would never recommend to open a pdf in Ps for printing purposes. If I would have to open a pdf for printing purposes, let's say someone gives me a pdf I have to place, which would come from Excel or PowerPoint, I would place it linked to Illustrator, flatten transparency with font outlining in the same step, changing color mode, creating a color group of all existing colors and make all swatches global in the same step and correct all swatches, here I would not run into rasterizing a less than perfect pdf in Photoshop to create a worse than less perfect file.

                                                                      • 32. Re:  Overprinting
                                                                        Eugene Tyson Ninja

                                                                        I've looked at the PDF.


                                                                        The Yellow is actually on top of the Eyes. And the Yellow is a spot colour set to overprint.


                                                                        So the Eyes are actually made up of 100% Pantone 117 and 100% Black.


                                                                        When you convert it to CMYK the yellow turns to a 4 colour build that is set to Knockout rather than overprint.


                                                                        Therefore the eyes appear behind the Yellow colour.



                                                                        That's what I gathered from the file but I haven't had time to look at it.

                                                                        • 33. Re:  Overprinting
                                                                          Peter Spier Legend

                                                                          The red line disappears beacause ti set to overprint, and it's on a black backgound. Overprinting on black makes the black a little darker. If your Appearance of Black preference is set to Display all Blacks accurately you might see a slight difference where the red line is, but it would depend on the mix of the rest of the black.


                                                                          The general principle here is that it's a good idea, most times, to overprint black against any background since all it does is make it darker and it eliminates a trap problem, but overprinting other colors will always result in a "mixed ink" color creating a third color from the combination. Useful for getting more than two colors out of a two-ink job, but not great if you want your colors to show pure. In the case of the bear, overprint is appropriate, for the red line it is not, and that's a design error.


                                                                          The change in your workflow would be essentially as follows:


                                                                          Open the ads as they come in in Acrobat Pro and use preflight to check for and correct any errors. Ads with errors that cannot be corrected should be flagged and sent back to the supplier with an expalnation of why they are not acceptable (but hold on to the bad copy, in case they don't get you a good one -- you can always go back to your old ways for taht one later). The PDF you received, if it passes preflight, can go straight into your final folder. You can fix the color profiles in Acrobat as well.


                                                                          When you place the ad, you can, as stated earlier, choose a crop option in the import options, or you can simply adjust the frame (or pre-draw your frames the correct size and place into them, centering the content) to crop off extraneous marks.


                                                                          Your color settings will determine what happens with a profile mismatch (if you still have any). Since you are converting to your profile in photoshop (and I suspect maybe you are really assigning the correct profile rather than converting in order to preserve 100% K type), you can specify that the same thing happen in ID on import, you can leave the color as-is and simply specify "convert to destination - preserve numbers" on export which will have the same effect as assigning the correct profile (no change to numbers, some color shift), or "convert to destination" which will have the same effect as converting to a new profile anywhere -- color appearance is maintained as much as possible, but you'll get rich blacks from 100% K.

                                                                          • 34. Re:  Overprinting
                                                                            Peter Spier Legend

                                                                            Eugene Tyson wrote:


                                                                            I've looked at the PDF.


                                                                            The Yellow is actually on top of the Eyes. And the Yellow is a spot colour set to overprint.


                                                                            OK, a bit backward, maybe, unless the ears and paws are also behind, but it would work on press. I'd stack the yellow body behind the eyes, ears and paws and not overprint the yellow to keep it from showing the other red and blue background banding combining with the yellow (or maybe there's a knockout group taking care of that), and overprint the eyes, and the ears and paws if appropriate.

                                                                            • 35. Re:  Overprinting
                                                                              John Mensinger Rockstar

                                                                              I struggle to see how this would better our workflow


                                                                              It would improve your workflow because there are ways to accomplish the same thing in fewer steps without rasterizing vector content.


                                                                              (And without the 'disappearance' problem you're experiencing.)