17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 29, 2016 10:33 AM by Laubender

    InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online

    LadyJemima Level 1

      When I save my image to Interactive PDF, the gradients display correctly in Acrobat Pro.

       

      Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 1.29.25 PM.png

       

      However, when uploaded to my website, the gradients are lost (using FF 49.0b8).

       

      Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 1.36.33 PM.png

       

      I found a similar but unsolved thread about this, although I admit I don't understand all of the intricacies of color profiles and settings. Any advice?

        • 1. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
          LadyJemima Level 1

          Forgot to mention that is DOES display correctly in Chrome and Safari. So is it possible that my version of FF is displaying incorrectly because it's (only) a few versions behind the current release? Does Firefox release an updated PDF viewer every time it updates?

          • 2. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            If it looks good in Acrobat or Reader that is all that Adobe is going to support. Browsers have limited support for previewing PDFs

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              LadyJemima wrote:

               

              Forgot to mention that is DOES display correctly in Chrome and Safari. So is it possible that my version of FF is displaying incorrectly because it's (only) a few versions behind the current release? Does Firefox release an updated PDF viewer every time it updates?

               

              Hi LadyJemima,

              Bob is right on this. "Browsers have a limited support for previewing PDFs".

              Firefox is using a different PDF viewing engine than Chrome or Safari. So it could well be, that Firefox is displaying something differently than other browsers. Not to speak of "displaying correctly", that's a different question altogether. And that goes for all PDF viewers in all browsers. (Btw. Also test your PDF with e.g. the Dropbox PDF viewer.)

               

              However, not all is lost… :-)

              But it needs additional work and testing time.

               

              I can vividly remember the thread you linked to.

              For me this thread was solved in February, but the OP never came back to report if my result worked or not.
              For me it worked.


              As I see the case your chance is to print to PostScript and distill to PDF using a Distiller setting that will convert all colors to sRGB or you can do an sRGB PostScript file from the start with InDesign's printing feature and distill with the colors untouched to PDF with Compatibility set to: Acrobat 4.0 (PDF 1.3). However you will miss all your interactive elements like hyperlinks or functional buttons. Don't know how much interactive features your PDF contains, but they could be redone in Acrobat Pro.

               

              Or you are using the method I outlined here:

              Re: indesign gradients not showing up on internet

               

              Regards,
              Uwe

              • 4. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Uwe, Firefox definitely has the weakest PDF support—it ignores color profiles and has problems with live transparency. This case seems to be more of a problem with it handling the Stroked Axial Shading object we get when we use a gradient on a stroke, rather than any color conversion problem.

                 

                If I export an interactive PDF with transparency applied to the page, and flatten with AcrobatPro's Flattener Preview set to all vectors, my gradient stroke gets converted into a Fill Path Axial Shading object and all is well with Firefox. I haven't checked to see if flattening in Acrobat affects the interactive objects.

                 

                Original ID with the stroke set to Multiply on the left, the flattened PDF in Firefox in the center, and PDF directly from ID on the right.

                Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 7.38.59 AM.png

                 

                Before flattening

                 

                Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 7.45.04 AM.png

                 

                After flattening

                 

                Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 7.45.24 AM.png

                • 5. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                  LadyJemima Level 1

                  As I see the case your chance is to print to PostScript and distill to PDF using a Distiller setting that will convert all colors to sRGB or you can do an sRGB PostScript file from the start with InDesign's printing feature and distill with the colors untouched to PDF with Compatibility set to: Acrobat 4.0 (PDF 1.3). However you will miss all your interactive elements like hyperlinks or functional buttons. Don't know how much interactive features your PDF contains, but they could be redone in Acrobat Pro.

                  I have never used Distiller but have been doing some reading this morning since your reply about how PS and Distiller work together. I did a test and it did not maintain transparency, but I suspect perhaps a setting is off, either in ID or Print to Postscript (maybe Disiller?)

                   

                  I have no interactive elements to worry about.

                   

                  Indesign Settings

                  Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.38.33 AM.png

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.38.55 AM.png

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.39.26 AM.png

                   

                  PostScript Settings

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.41.31 AM.png

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.41.43 AM.png

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.41.48 AM.png

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.41.53 AM.png

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.42.02 AM.png

                   

                   

                   

                  Distiller Settings: DEFAULT

                  • 6. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I did a test and it did not maintain transparency, but I suspect perhaps a setting is off, either in ID or Print to Postscript (maybe Disiller?)

                    You can't have live transparency using a PS/Distiller workflow.

                     

                    It doesn't look like the art in your screen capture has any transparency, or at least it wouldn't need it, so the flattener preset is not relevant unless you include some transparent object.

                     

                    But I can fix the Firefox problem by including some kind of transparency and forcing flattening on Export—you don't need Distiller to do that, just set the Compatibility to Acrobat 4. So by setting the stroked gradient to include some kind of transparency and exporting with the Output and Advanced tab to this:

                     

                     

                    Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.56.04 AM.png

                    Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.08.44 AM.png

                    I get this in Firefox when the stroke is set to multiply. The flattener transforms the stroke into the filled path which Firefox can handle:

                     

                    Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.10.18 AM.png

                    But if there's no transparency on the page I get this:Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.11.37 AM.png

                     

                     

                     

                    http://www.zenodesign.com/forum/GradientNormalExport.pdf

                     

                    http://www.zenodesign.com/forum/GradientMultiplyExport.pdf

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                      Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Consider the use of Distiller as something like a "last resort".


                      PDFs cannot maintain transparency when distilled. Transparency will be flattened due to the used preset.

                       

                      "Overprinting" could be another case where a PDF viewer of a browser can fail. But "Overprinting" can be simulated if you check "Simulate Overprint" with your printing settings. And the "Device Independent" PPD (PostScript Printer Description file) should be avoided. Instead the Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD should be used best. You can get it here: Re: Device Independent Postscript file doesn't let me choose paper size or output options

                       

                      Put the PPD file into a new folder exactly named PPDs in your Presets folder of your InDesign's application folder. Then it will be available in your print menu.

                       

                      And if interactive elements are playing no role in your case, you should be good to go distilling a PDF from a PostScript file that can be viewed sufficiently with Firefox' PDF viewer.

                       

                      Good luck with that,

                      Uwe

                      • 8. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                        LadyJemima Level 1

                        If I export an interactive PDF with transparency applied to the page, and flatten with AcrobatPro's Flattener Preview set to all vectors, my gradient stroke gets converted into a Fill Path Axial Shading object and all is well with Firefox. I haven't checked to see if flattening in Acrobat affects the interactive objects.

                        Rob, what settings are you using? Should I choose the following?

                         

                        Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.24.59 AM.png

                        Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.25.06 AM.png

                         

                        I did a test with the above settings, and no go...hmmm...

                        • 9. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Did your gradient strokes have some kind of transparency applied before the export? The blend space isn't relevant, but without transparency there's nothing to flatten and convert. And you have to click Apply.

                           

                          Since you're not looking for interactivity, so you shouldn't need to do anything in AcrobatPro. Just include some transparency—it could be multiply or 99.9% opacity—and export with the settings in my #6.

                           

                          It looks like flattening in Acrobat would kill the interactivity anyway. But then you could make the shapes as filled rather than stroked objects.

                          • 10. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            It really does seem like Firefox doesn't like the Stroked Axial and is fine with a fill. Here is PDF/X-4 (live transparency) the bottom is a rectangle with corner options applied:

                             

                            Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.55.12 AM.png

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                              LadyJemima Level 1

                              But I can fix the Firefox problem by including some kind of transparency and forcing flattening on Export—you don't need Distiller to do that, just set the Compatibility to Acrobat 4. So by setting the stroked gradient to include some kind of transparency and exporting with the Output and Advanced tab to this:

                              Shut the front door. That actually worked.

                               

                              So to clarify --because I have an incessant need to know WHY and HOW something works-- it is NOT possible to flatten a gradient object in InDesign through PDF export (print or interactive), but it IS possible to flatten an object with a transparency effect (e.g. Multiply). Thus, by applying a transparency effect to a gradient object, it becomes flattened "by default" through export.

                               

                              Just curious why export must be under Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) settings?

                              • 12. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                Because all later versions support transparency.

                                • 13. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  it is NOT possible to flatten a gradient object in InDesign through PDF export (print or interactive), but it IS possible to flatten an object with a transparency effect (e.g. Multiply).

                                   

                                  A Gradient Swatch color applied with the Gradient Swatch Tool is no transparency—it's just a blend of two process or spot colors—so there's nothing to flatten. If you were to use the Gradient Feather Tool there would be transparency on the page and the flattener preset might come into play.

                                   

                                  The older PDF 1.3 version has no support for keeping transparency live and the only time you need to use it is when the output device can't properly handle flattening or transparent objects at output.

                                  • 14. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                                    LadyJemima Level 1

                                    So it's basically a loophole. Interesting.

                                    • 15. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      So it's basically a loophole. Interesting

                                      It provides backward compatibility for older output devices.

                                       

                                      In the case of Firefox the problem doesn't have anything to do with transparency, color management, or blend spaces. The Firefox PDF reader simply doesn't know how to render the gradient stroked object. The flattening process is a way to transform the stroke into a fill or an image, which it apparently can render properly.

                                      1 person found this helpful
                                      • 16. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                                        LadyJemima Level 1

                                        Consider the use of Distiller as something like a "last resort".


                                        PDFs cannot maintain transparency when distilled. Transparency will be flattened due to the used preset.

                                         

                                        "Overprinting" could be another case where a PDF viewer of a browser can fail. But "Overprinting" can be simulated if you check "Simulate Overprint" with your printing settings. And the "Device Independent" PPD (PostScript Printer Description file) should be avoided. Instead the Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD should be used best. You can get it here: Re: Device Independent Postscript file doesn't let me choose paper size or output options

                                         

                                        Put the PPD file into a new folder exactly named PPDs in your Presets folder of your InDesign's application folder. Then it will be available in your print menu.

                                         

                                        And if interactive elements are playing no role in your case, you should be good to go distilling a PDF from a PostScript file that can be viewed sufficiently with Firefox' PDF viewer.

                                         

                                        Good luck with that,

                                        Uwe

                                         

                                        Successfully added the Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD to my presents. Thank you.

                                         

                                        I am still not getting the PS export / Distiller combo to work (some small settings error on my end, no doubt), but since Rob's solution solved my problem, I'm going to leave it at that. Thank you so much for your advice!

                                        • 17. Re: InDesign stroke gradients display in Reader but not online
                                          Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          Hi LadyJemima,

                                          maybe also an error on my side…

                                          In the light of what Rob found out about gradient stroked (not gradient filled) objects and Firefox' PDF viewer I have to go back to test some things. Could be that in my tests back in February transparency was into place with the sample PDF that was posted in this other thread and flattening transparency at one point of my workflow did the trick.

                                           

                                          Some minutes later:

                                          Just checked the old test files. Yes. The sample PDF from February 2016 contained transparency. So that case is much clearer now.

                                           

                                          Go with Rob's method then.


                                          FWIW: ( Not tested yet ) If you wanted to use Distiller to flatten your contents you had to introduce transparency to your InDesign pages. This could have been done by adding a rectangle with fill color "[Paper]" where an effect like blend mode "Normal" is set to value 0 . That rectangle should be stacked on top of all elements and would be best positioned on all of your masters and fully covers the pages.

                                           

                                          The used transparency reduction setting should convert strokes to filled paths. There is one option for this if you create a new set. I think, that would be the key to be successful. Then transparancy reduction could kick in the right way for gradients used with strokes while writing PostScript to disk.

                                           

                                          Regards,
                                          Uwe