As long as everything is properly created you should have no problem with
the PSDs or the AI files.
BTW, when you place an AI file you're actually placing the PDF portion of
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Here's what you need to remember. InDesign as well as Illustrator support placing graphics that contain transparency. That being said, the minute that you choose File > Print or save as eps or save to a PDF 1.3 or lower, you will flatten that transparency. During the flattening process, you need to be careful because InDesign will often overprint elements to simulate the correct appearance. One way to check this is using the Flattener Preview panel in InDesign. This shows you elements that will be affected by the flattening process.
Some rules of thumb:
Keep text above those transparent elemdnts in the document stacking order.
Stay away from transparent elements interacting with spot colors.
Do some testing.
Newer RIPs support Live Transparency which will deal with a lot of these issues automatically. But remember if your workflow requires that you choose File > Print, flattening will occur regardless.
Thank you for the reply Chad.
I just wanted to grab the opportunity of asking you some more advice:
This is exactly what I am doing with the files:
I build a vector graph in illustrator. The graph has a gradient baground white to transparent. This lays on the bottom layer. On another layer I have the line of the graph which hase a drop sadow effect to it.
On the top layer I have the Y & X axis lines and the text all in white.
Now I save as a PDF. Then I place this PDF into Indesign. It shows correctly.
The background color of the book is blue.
I ran the flattener preview on a few graphs, the type stays white and the rest becomes red.
I don't really know how to 'read' the flattener preview output.
Any more thoughts on this?
When you Save As a PDF out of Illustrator you get the same options as when you export a PDF out of InDesign. The [Illustrator Default] preset doesn't compress or resample images or bitmaps, doesn't convert any color, doesn't include any color profiles, and doesn't flatten transparency, so with the default you don't have to worry about flattening.
If you want to let all of the color conversions and flattening happen at print output you can also use the PDF/X-4 preset, which keeps transparency live and includes all color profiles. If you are placing RGB images in Illustrator you have to include their profiles to get the correct conversion to CMYK later.
It actually depends on the option you have chosen from the drop-down menu in the Flattener Preview panel. If you choose All rasterized regions, it will highlight in red the areas that will become rasterized. It is doing this to achieve the visual result that you want when you print or flatten the file. Bottom line, if all still looks good when you print and no text is getting highlighted, then you should be in good shape.
But what about in a professional digital print run?
Unless the printer is asking for flattened transparency you should leave it live.
And if they are asking for flattened art, you should be looking for a new printer.
Bingo! Bob's right on target. I'd ask your printer for what they prefer. I would expect them to tell you to provide something like a PDF/X-4 file which will contain Live Transparency and should alleviate a lot of the flattening issues you might be experiencing in other situations.