5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2009 11:55 AM by [scott]

    Transparency flattening


      Im using illustrator cs2.


      As I read the manual about flattening, its say that only when exporting to older formats you should define the flattening options. So if I export to pdf 1.4 I don’t need to be worried about flattening at all? Even if my target is offset printing?




        • 1. Re: Transparency flattening
          [scott] Level 6

          I believe .....



          PDF 1.5 (Acrobat 6) format supports layers and transparency, so no flattening occurs.


          PDF 1.4 (Acrobat 5) format supports layers, but not transparency. So some flattening will occur.


          PDF 1.3 (Acrobat 4) format is a flat file format. Everything would be flattened.


          PDFX1a (preferred for press) uses PDF1.3.



          I could be wrong about PDF1.4... I know 1.4 supports either transparency or layers, but not both which causes some flattening but not complete flattening like 1.3.


          In general, Simply choosing a flat file format when saving will automatically flatten the file. Its then a good idea to reopen the file to check the flattening. If you see anything you do not like, then go back and manually flatten parts of the ai file so they are more in line with what you desire.


          I do a great deal of PDFx1a saving for press. I generally never need to worry about how a file is flattened.

          • 2. Re: Transparency flattening
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            Printers love "flat" files with everything backed into persistent data, so noone can blame them, when something goes wrong . However, since PDF is a tagged format, it is usually safe to export to any of its flavors and let the printer's RIP/ montage/ platesetter software figure out the specifics. As Scott said, if you check the file in Acrobat and don't get any specific oddities and Preflight warnings related to transparencies, it should be safe.



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            • 3. Re: Transparency flattening
              Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

              I concur but you do have to account for laziness on the part of the printer and some pretty stupid behavior so if it is correct to on your end you might have to fight it out with them on the first go around or move to a more responsive printer who cares about doing a good job and will make it work because they have developed a healthy workflow.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Transparency flattening
                Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Just for reference, PDF 1.4 (Acrobat 5) supports transparency, PDF 1.5 (Acrobat 6) supports both transparency and layers.

                • 5. Re: Transparency flattening
                  [scott] Level 6

                  Thanks Larry.. I knew it was one or the other, but not both. Just couldn't recall specifically which one it was.