InDesign help needed - boxes around drop shadows

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by ktbubster, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    Ok, two things. I am not sure how i've managed to use indesign for as long as I have without running into this issue before - I suppose I just never exported much color/transparency from it.

    Anyway - 2 problems.

    1. when I export an indesign document to a PDF - if I have ANY text or image with a drop shadow - it will export so the PDF shows a box around the image. AKA a color (white on colors - or grey on a white background) will go up to the edge of the frame of that. It only happens on images or text with drop shadow so far. There is NO color in the frame at all in the indesign document and it only shows up when I export it to a pdf.

    2. transparencies aren't showing up when I export a PDF either. IE: when I have a document with a layered background with some transparent shapes (or 50% or whatever) they show up just fine in the document, but when exported the colors show up a lot darker and solid.

    does anyone know how to keep either of these from happening? I need PDFs that show as close to how they will print as possible.

    I'd love to find a step by step answer for this - is there settings I need to change when i export? I am using InDesign CS5 on a mac.

  2. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Option A:

    The PDF you exported could be fine, but the overprints are not showing correctly in Acrobat. Do you have Overprint Preview turned on in Acrobat? Also, the preview application in OSX can show the same problems at times when the PDF is really fine.

    Option B:

    The PDF your exporting is screwed. What settings are you using when you're exporting your PDF?

    I'm assuming you're doing a File/Export and then choosing Adobe PDF (Print). Is that correct?

    The settings you pick out of the Export dialog box can have a huge effect on the resulting PDF.

    The first decision is what PDF compatibility you're going to choose. PDF 1.3 is going to flatten your PDF when it's being created in InDesign. PDF 1.4 and above are going to allow the transparent objects to be export as is to the PDF. Which version you use depends on what your doing with the file.

    If your simply e-mailing a PDF Proof for viewing on unknown versions of Acrobat, it would be best to flatten when making your PDF.

    If your using this PDF for high quality print output, you're generally going to get best results letting the transparent objects stay transparent in the PDF (by choosing a higher PDF compatibility).

    One of the frustrations with InDesign PDFs has been type that is under transparent elements on the PDF. On older PDF compatibility, this type can raster instead of being a smooth vector. This can make the type appear fat or bold only under the transparent objects. This is, for some reason, generally frowned upon in the finished printed product.

    If you are going to flatten the PDF to 1.3, make sure the settings under Advanced/Transparency Flattener are set to your liking (ie: high resolution).
  3. Cutbot macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2013
    Export as an older version of PDF

    Implausible as this sounds, I find export as 2003 PDF works perfectly. Not sure why that should have gotten worse! :p

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