7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 25, 2014 1:21 AM by Jay_Fro

    Disappearing gradients?  Won't export to PDF.


      Hi there, I have searched around for answers to this and cannot find anything which is quite the same issue. To summarize briefly I have a file sent to me from our head office which was made in InDesign and it contains some gradients (just pointing out that the gradients are native to Indesign, it's not like it was something copied and pasted from Illustrator).  Everything looks fine, but when I export to a PDF (it's a brochure to give to customers) the gradient is simply replaced by a solid colour.

      I've tried playing with the export to PDF settings, I've tried changing the transparency colour space a a few other bits and bobs but to no avail.

      I don't know if this makes a difference but the affected square is in the Master page.  i.e. not normally selectable unless you edit the master page.  But that said, I copied the contents and pasted them into a regular layer and still had the same problem.

      Any ideas?

        • 1. Re: Disappearing gradients?  Won't export to PDF.
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          What are the colors used in the gradient?


          Waht do you see in ID if you turn on Overprint Preview?

          • 2. Re: Disappearing gradients?  Won't export to PDF.

            I had been having similar issues with a gradient line created in InDesign not showing up on prints. The .pdf file would have them but when it came to print from .pdf to printer the lines would not be there. This happened on multiple files. Any thoughts?

            • 3. Re: Disappearing gradients?  Won't export to PDF.
              Jay_Fro Level 1

              Hi there, sorry for the huge delay.  Work had me focusing on a few more urgent matters.

              The gradient is just using process colours.  Going from C80 M0 Y0 K0 to C80 M0 Y0 K30.

              When I look at it using separations preview it looks exactly the same.  Everything that I've thought to examine seems to be fine, though I'm not very advanced when it comes to InDesign, I'm much more of a photoshop/illustrator guy.

              This page has successfully been used in multiple brochures so they obviously didn't have a problem - but when I export a PDF the gradient is gone no matter what settings I use.


              Anything that I might be missing?

              • 4. Re: Disappearing gradients?  Won't export to PDF.
                Jay_Fro Level 1

                Just in case it was something in the file that I didn't know about (I am not the creator of the file) I created a new document, made a square and gave it a gradient fill (just the default white to black) as well as a stroke.  It looks fine in the separation preview etc, but then when I export the file to a pdf, I get a solid white square with a black stroke - no gradient.

                Is this just some weird bug?

                • 5. Re: Disappearing gradients?  Won't export to PDF.
                  Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                  What program do you use to check the gradient in the PDF? Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader or some other application?

                  Not every program supports all PDF properties properly, only Adobe ACROBAT and READER do.


                  What settings and what process do you use to export the PDF?

                  • 6. Re: Disappearing gradients?  Won't export to PDF.
                    Jay_Fro Level 1

                    I literally tired adjusting every single option when exporting.  Systematically going through to get every combination.


                    But you know what?... I just accidently found out how to get around this and as a result it really does appear that this is just some weird bug (and I updated my InDesign in case it had be rectified).


                    If the gradient angle is set at anything other than 0, the gradient exports.

                    But if it's at 0 it doesn't export and you will just get a solid colour (which is whatever the left most colour is in the gradient panel).

                    I tried fiddling around with it to recreate the problem with the gradient angle set at 1 degree and had no problems what-so-ever.

                    • 7. Re: Disappearing gradients?  Won't export to PDF.
                      Jay_Fro Level 1

                      it even works fine if you set the gradient to 0.1, which is not going to be noticeable in the design.


                      It's such a weird quirk.  Do others really not have this problem?  Because I've spent a lot of time googling it and couldn't find that answer anywhere.