7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2015 6:44 AM by JWaguespack

    PDF Transparency Distortion When Printed

    JWaguespack Level 1



      So my brain is pretty much melting on this one.  I have a PDF that I've exported out using several different assortments of options to try and fix a serious problem.  FullSizeRender.jpg

      You can see from the image above that there is a dark blue section where the masked image ends.  This is the actual bounds of that image.  In the PDF and in the Design file (no matter how I export it) it looks fine.  However when printed, this occurs.  I've also tried many different print jobs and 3 different printers.  I can't seem to figure out what it is I'm missing here that is causing this.  Any ideas?

        • 2. Re: PDF Transparency Distortion When Printed
          JWaguespack Level 1

          This is certainly what the problem seems to be.  After making these adjustments it seems to have fixed the problem mostly.  The YDB is still a tad bit visible (but you really have to be looking at it hard to see it).  Thanks Peter! I appreciate the help.  Just in case anyone else stops by here with the same problem. I'll list the solution so they dont have to navitate away from the site.


          If you run into YDB (yucky discolored box) syndrome, do the following:


          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.


          The next part they print from InDesign but I have to export the document to a PDF first.  I will also try gradient/mesh at 150 as I left it at 300.

          Exporting to a PDF (High Quality Print) seems to do the trick with the settings above - I've not tried other export options.

          • 3. Re: PDF Transparency Distortion When Printed
            Danny Whitehead. Level 4

            Are you printing from the PDF or direct from InDesign? And what kind of printers/controllers/RIPs are you printing to? If they have Adobe PDF Print Engine, they should render transparency fine.


            Transparency Flattener Presets won't affect a PDF exported using the High Quality Print preset, as that preset doesn't flatten.

            • 4. Re: PDF Transparency Distortion When Printed
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              And keep in mind that this is a problem in the printer processing engine, not the file. Bi-level RIPS were quite common at one time, but have I think, gone out of favor with increased computer speed and power, and you should seek a proof from your submitted PDF from any commercial printer you use to see if there really is a problem. I haven't seen this myself for several years.

              • 5. Re: PDF Transparency Distortion When Printed
                JWaguespack Level 1

                Danny, Most of that is above my head.  I print from the PDF as that is how the file will be printed when others print it.  The printer is a Savin MP C6003.  I am unsure if it has an Adobe PDF Print Engine. I'll continue to look into this to try and get a better understanding.

                • 6. Re: PDF Transparency Distortion When Printed
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  You can force all transparency to be flattened when you export and that would solve the problem if the printer is not flattening correctly. The easiest way to do that is via the PDF/X-1a preset which will flatten and convert all color to CMYK.


                  If you don't want CMYK, (which might not be best color space for unknown color composite printers) then you could flatten and convert to a single RGB space. Like this with Acrobat 4(PDF 1.3) and an sRGB destination:


                  Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 5.20.56 PM.png

                  • 7. Re: PDF Transparency Distortion When Printed
                    JWaguespack Level 1

                    Thanks Rob.  I'll have to check this out.  What I've found out so far is that the printer near me is not capable of printing the desired results.  I sent the file to our service department.  They have a pretty large printer back there (takes up a quarter of the room).  That printer has no problem printing the file correctly.  I'll try using your export options as well to see if I can get both printers to print this file correctly.