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tobefirst
Dec 29, 2005, 10:02 AM
I'm having a problem with printing a PDF that was created in InDesign CS2. My issue is with printing objects with transparency throught Acrobat. The first and second page of this document have identical (i.e. I copied the object from page 2 to page 1) boxes which contain a 41% transparency. The second page prints perfectly, showing up just like it should. The first page, however, drops the transparency from the object, instead showing a solid white box (as the object was a white transparent box).

All looks fine in the PDF and in the preview panel inside the print dialog box. I have never had any trouble printing with transparencies before. Any idea what might be going on? Any way to fix this problem?

Will this be an issue once I send the document to be printed professionally?



Blue Velvet
Dec 29, 2005, 10:07 AM
Will this be an issue once I send the document to be printed professionally?

Quite possibly. Check the separations preview from within Acrobat. It should be under the Advanced menu.

Try saving the InDesign document as a temp copy and recreate that same box on the page again, not copying it, and try distilling or exporting that.

tobefirst
Dec 29, 2005, 10:10 AM
Regarding sending this job out to print, I should have mentioned that I'll be sending the InDesign file and not the PDF. (: That would have been smart of me.

Blue Velvet
Dec 29, 2005, 10:13 AM
Still, if time allows and you can't run out seps on a laser, then making a PDF of it can give you an idea if it'll rip properly.

You could try printing (saving) a level 3 postscript file instead and using Distiller to make the PDF of it.

emw
Dec 29, 2005, 10:14 AM
In addition to BV's suggestions, you can also try using Overprint Preview (from the Advanced menu) which should display what the transparency will look like.

A note on sending to a professional printer - sending a PDF with transparencies may not get you the results you want. Not all RIPs (depending on the printer) will deal with PDF transparencies very well, and there is a pretty good chance it won't render it as you see it on your screen or your printer.

It may be advisable to flatten the image (Tools > Print Production > Transparency Flattening) in Acrobat prior to sending it out to insure what you see is what the printer will print.

Edit: Started this before your second comment on sending the ID file instead of PDF. Why? Is the printer requesting the original file for some reason? Make sure they know how you want the transparency handled - that is, how you outputted it when creating your PDF file. I still think sending the PDF is the best bet unless the really need to edit the file for some reason.

tobefirst
Dec 29, 2005, 10:32 AM
Thank you guys for your help. Maybe you could explain why what I did worked.

I went into the transparency flattening dialogue box, and when I would apply the setting without changing anything, I would lose the transparency, just as I had been doing. However, when I deselected "Preserve Overprint," and applied the settings like that, page 1 printed properly.

Why would there have been a difference in the first place regarding two pages with identical transparencies? That, I don't understand.


Edit: Started this before your second comment on sending the ID file instead of PDF. Why? Is the printer requesting the original file for some reason? Make sure they know how you want the transparency handled - that is, how you outputted it when creating your PDF file. I still think sending the PDF is the best bet unless the really need to edit the file for some reason.

The printer is not requesting anything specific. I am just used to sending InDesign files. Is it better to be sending PDF files to be professionally printed? I'm not the most experienced designer in the world, so I'd like to know the advantages of this.

emw
Dec 29, 2005, 10:37 AM
Thank you guys for your help. Maybe you could explain why what I did worked.

I went into the transparency flattening dialogue box, and when I would apply the setting without changing anything, I would lose the transparency, just as I had been doing. However, when I deselected "Preserve Overprint," and applied the settings like that, page 1 printed properly.

Why would there have been a difference in the first place regarding two pages with identical transparencies? That, I don't understand.You likely had the white color set to overprint. In reality, white can't overprint (there is no "white" ink in printing), but InDesign/Acrobat may interpret that as meaning you want a whited out area where the box was, vs. honoring the transparency setting.

The printer is not requesting anything specific. I am just used to sending InDesign files. Is it better to be sending PDF files to be professionally printed? I'm not the most experienced designer in the world, so I'd like to know the advantages of this.
In my opinion, it's generally better to send a PDF file since the PDF (or more specifically, something along the lines of a PDF/X-1a file) gives them everything they need to print and nothing they don't. By sending them the InDesign file you risk them creating a final output that doesn't match what you printed at your site - perhaps even the transparency issue you were fighting. You also risk them moving something in the design on accident, which would also be bad.

As a printer, getting a PDF file reduces the risks involved in output and also improves customer satisfaction since a properly prepared PDF file is easy to output and reliable in terms of communicating the true intent of the designer.

tobefirst
Dec 29, 2005, 10:46 AM
You likely had the white color set to overprint. In reality, white can't overprint (there is no "white" ink in printing), but InDesign/Acrobat may interpret that as meaning you want a whited out area where the box was, vs. honoring the transparency setting.

That makes sense, thank you. Why would page 2 be any different from page 1, though?

In my opinion, it's generally better to send a PDF file since the PDF (or more specifically, something along the lines of a PDF/X-1a file) gives them everything they need to print and nothing they don't. By sending them the InDesign file you risk them creating a final output that doesn't match what you printed at your site - perhaps even the transparency issue you were fighting. You also risk them moving something in the design on accident, which would also be bad.

As a printer, getting a PDF file reduces the risks involved in output and also improves customer satisfaction since a properly prepared PDF file is easy to output and reliable in terms of communicating the true intent of the designer.

I can definitely see how it would reduce the clutter and possible confusion.

Is there an easy to understand document (maybe in the help section of either InDesign or Acrobat) or on the web somewhere that would help me to understand how to properly prepare a PDF for professional printing?

Thank you very much for your help.

Blue Velvet
Dec 29, 2005, 10:57 AM
Overprinting white may mean to InDesign that you want it knocking out... depends on the local trapping settings but I'm mostly a Quark person so I'm not sure how InDesign handles that.

Here's some resources:
http://www.planetpdf.com/creative/index.asp
http://www.prepressforums.com/
http://www.pass4press.com/cgi-bin/wms.pl/416

emw
Dec 29, 2005, 10:58 AM
That makes sense, thank you. Why would page 2 be any different from page 1, though?Probably due to the copying.

Is there an easy to understand document (maybe in the help section of either InDesign or Acrobat) or on the web somewhere that would help me to understand how to properly prepare a PDF for professional printing?

Thank you very much for your help.http://www.pdf-x.com/ddap_universal_ppd_intro.php

I'd go there for some reasonable information and links (including to Adobe's "Preparing PDF for High Resolution Printing" white paper).

tobefirst
Dec 29, 2005, 11:03 AM
Thank you guys both very much for your help. It is very much appreciated.