5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 12, 2017 11:09 AM by sarapia777

    Problems Exporting PDF

    sarapia777 Level 1

      HI. I've created a book in InDesign, a book primarily of photos, with some text, all on a black background. When I export it from InDesign as a PDF, the pages show as white. The photos show but the text (in white) of course, does not show. I have gone into Edit>preferences and changed the background color to black. Sometimes it works and the document shows up correctly, and sometimes I get a black overlay over the entire (136pp) document. I can see the shadow of the content through the black and when I scroll down, a little thumbnail with the correct version of the document will appear as I skim by every page, but I can't get rid of the black overlay.

      I thought I had one good version, uploaded it to the publisher, checked the preview, and it all came through white.

      I had the same problem with the cover and the dust jacket, but the problem was solved when I unchecked "change background color." In these smaller PDFs I was able to see what was going on - unchecking "change background color" gave me the original document - the exact black I chose for the InDesign document. Checking "change background color" (black background and white text) gave me a different black than was in the original document - or, sometimes I got that black overlay thing.

      Part of the problem is, I keep getting different results.


      I'm desperate at this point. This has been a huge project - finally finished - and I've spent hours trying to get it to the publisher.


      Please help.

        • 1. Re: Problems Exporting PDF
          Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

          I think you are changing the "paper colour" in InDesign. This is NOT part of the design. It's designed to show you what the page would look like if you so happened to print on a paper of that colour. If you want a black background on a page, you have to put it there (for example, with a black rectangle sent to the back).

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Problems Exporting PDF
            sarapia777 Level 1

            Hi. Thanks for your response. I understand what you're saying, but to the best of my knowledge, I did set my document up with black layer. On the master page, I created a rectangle and filled it with black (a specific black to match the canvas on my photos), and filled the rectangle. I then built my document, page by page on top of that layer. Did I do something wrong here?

            • 3. Re: Problems Exporting PDF
              sarapia777 Level 1

              Ha! Yes, I've gone back and made a test document and that's exactly what happened, apparently. Without knowing it, I applied black to the page (inside trim lines), not to the document. (I was concerned about the blank bleed area but was told it would be taken care of at export)

              Long-time PS user, first time InDesign user :-)

              I exported my test pdf and it was perfect.

              I was so confused - I didn't understand why I needed to select some random black background for my pdf after I had so carefully chosen my black background, according to the numbers, to match my photo canvases.

              In a strange, sick way, I'm glad I made this mistake - I learned a lot from it.

              Now, on to rebuilding my document  from the ground up. Correctly.


              • 4. Re: Problems Exporting PDF
                Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

                You should also liaise closely with your printer/publisher. White-on-black has very specific technical limitations. Some fonts won't work, the smallest usable font size is a lot larger for white-on-black. The "wrong kind of black" may give blurred text or even have paper fall apart. Get the technical specs and follow them exactly.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Problems Exporting PDF
                  sarapia777 Level 1

                  Thank you. I'm checking on that now.