8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 25, 2016 5:09 AM by rob day

    pixalated drop shadow


      Hi! I'm attempting to create a very tight black black shadow around text. I'd mocked this up is OS X Pages, and now I'm trying to recreate it in InDesign.


      However, the drop shadow is horribly pixalated both within InDesign and when exporting as a PDF.


      I tried tinkering with the various Effects settings to no avail.

      I tried going to Edit > Transparency Flattener Settings and setting that to High Resolution, but InDesign seemed to not register that and reset back to Low Resolution.

      I tried playing with the Export to Interactive PDF Options, and no luck.


      Surely it isn't supposed to look this bad! Can anyone point me in the right direction?







      InDesign view

      Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 2.03.28 AM.png

      PDF view

      Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 2.03.21 AM.png

        • 1. Re: pixalated drop shadow
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          What PDF export settings? What PDF reader are you viewing in?

          • 2. Re: pixalated drop shadow
            Danny Whitehead. Level 4

            To see your drop shadow at full resolution in InDesign, try changing View > Display Performance to 'High Quality Display', or set it at object-level using Object > Display Performance. But that won't have an effect on your PDF, if that's the final format. And Transparency Flattener Settings won't have any effect unless you're actually flattening the effects, which you won't be doing unless you're creating a PDF version 1.3.


            Is Interactive PDF the final delivery format? If so, the highest resolution you can render the effects at is 300ppi.

            • 3. Re: pixalated drop shadow
              AaronIL Level 1

              Hi Danny. The Display Performance setting was helpful for viewing within InDesign. But, as you stated, that didn't affect the quality of the PDF, where the shadow effect still is terribly pixelated.


              Yes, Interactive PDF is the final format.


              I am using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC 2015.


              If it's the case that I can't get a non-pixelated word shadow to export from InDesign into PDF (one of the most commonly used file formats these days)... when I can do that easily from Pages... I don't know what to say!

              • 4. Re: pixalated drop shadow
                AaronIL Level 1

                Hi Steve. I've been trying to export as an Interactive PDF, assuming I needed those features.


                However, I did a bit of reading about Interactive vs. Print PDFs, and it seems (I'm hesitant to say that, cause I don't fully know yet), but it seems like I can create a Print PDF with the interactive features I need like:


                -- PDF bookmarks

                -- hyperlinks within the document to other parts of the document

                -- hyperlinks within the document to websites

                • 5. Re: pixalated drop shadow
                  Danny Whitehead. Level 4

                  What resolution setting have you used in the Interactive PDF export? Have you tried 300ppi? I can't imagine needing more in a document that will be viewed on-screen only.

                  • 6. Re: pixalated drop shadow
                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Interactive exports rasterize effects like dropshadows. As Danny mentions you can set the resolution higher than the default 72. You also have the PDF zoomed in to around 400% in your capture. Are you expecting viewers to view at a high zoom percentage? For interactive PDFs viewed in a browser you might reasonably expect the view to be at 100%.


                    Print exports with live transparency (PDF/X-4) won't rasterize effects.

                    • 7. Re: pixalated drop shadow
                      AaronIL Level 1

                      I was misled by the title "Interactive PDF" vs "Print", when it turns out the functions I need in my finished PDF (bookmarked table of contents & internal hyperlinking) are covered in a Print export, which can handle the resolution I desire.

                      • 8. Re: pixalated drop shadow
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        If you keep the transparency live the drop shadows won't be rasterized and resolution won't be an issue.