7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2011 6:40 PM by Stix Hart

    InDesign 5.5 transparency flattener not working

    McShaman Level 1

      The transparency flattener does not appear to be working at all for me at all when exporting PDFs. I have tried all sorts of extreme levels and turned on and off the convert text to outlines options but still with no luck.


      To test it I have created a flattener profile that converts all vector data to raster and converts text to outlines when on a page with transparency.I have put a block of transparency on the page (50%). Using the flattener preview and selecting the "Highlight All rasterised regions" I can see that it should be doing as expected… Rasterising everything. However when I go to export for PDF, select PDFX1a preset and then from advanced select my flattener profile, the outputted file has not been flattened or outlined at all!


      Can somebody help/confirm this issue?


      I used to use this trick all the time in CS4

        • 1. Re: InDesign 5.5 transparency flattener not working
          Stix Hart Level 5

          Have a look at this thread here.  Funnily enough it was on the list of related threads once you had made this post!  Short story: it's changed, and you have to have transparency applied to text, not an object.

          • 2. Re: InDesign 5.5 transparency flattener not working
            Silkrooster Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Interesting I did not know that. That would certainly explain one of my printing issues, I had awhile back.

            Thanks for the heads up...

            • 3. Re: InDesign 5.5 transparency flattener not working
              McShaman Level 1

              Thanks for pointing out that thread. It is not quite valid to my use. I am not too concerned with converting text to outlines but using the flattener to convert vector graphics to raster. Often when typesetting large publications that include a vast array of complex vector diagrams I am left with a PDF of a huge file size that just can't be conpressed down any further without converting the diagrams to raster. While I understand there is a loss in quality, I am often required to get the files down to an acceptable size for a web based version of the publication. Using the transparancy flattener hack gives me a way to be able to convert specific diagrams on output without having to manually rasterise each graphic and reinsert them into the document.


              Is there another way to do this?

              • 4. Re: InDesign 5.5 transparency flattener not working
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                Probably not. My presumption is the same logic is applied to your vector art as is applied to the type, so only if there is actual interraction that would require flattening will rasterization kick in. You could try putting a small frame over it with a 1% opacity.

                • 5. Re: InDesign 5.5 transparency flattener not working
                  McShaman Level 1

                  That's the point I am trying to make. It is not working at all. Even if I put a transparent block compleaty covering the diagram and enable transparency flattening it dose nothing. Crazy thing is that InDesigns built in flatener preview shows that it should be rasterising.

                  • 6. Re: InDesign 5.5 transparency flattener not working
                    Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                    The transparency flattener for Adobe applications was not designed as a hack to force either vectorization of text (i.e., “outlining text”) or rasterizing vector graphics. The purpose of transparency flattening is strictly for the purpose of creating opaque output from graphical content that has elements that are not opaque. The optimizations of the transparency flattener are designed to incur the least amount of overhead in the flattening process with the fewest possible conversions possible. The exception is for text where there is a option to outline all text on a page is any text on the page needs to be outlined. The reason for this exception is due to the way “hinting” works. Text that is flattened via outlining often has a bolder look to it and the possiblity of some blocking and the option to outline all text on a page is to avoid text with the same attributes otherwise looking very different on output, especially for smaller point sizes and decorative text.


                    If your goal is to force rasterization of vector graphics, we would strongly recommend that you rasterize the vector graphics (possibly in either Illustrator or Photoshop, depending upon the original format of the graphics) prior to placing the graphics into the InDesign document. Don't depend upon the flattener for this; that isn't its purpose!


                              - Dov

                    • 7. Re: InDesign 5.5 transparency flattener not working
                      Stix Hart Level 5

                      I should make clear to anyone else that reads this thread too that my response was not about what the OP was asking, I read it too fast...