Transparency issues with Illustrator and InDesign.

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Bengt77, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Bengt77 macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    Hi all, I've got this annoying problem that I want solved.

    Every time I print an Illustrator or InDesign document that contains a transparent image, the print shows discoloration where the transparent part of the image is. It doesn't matter if the image is an RGB PNG in a CMYK document, a transparent TIFF or a Photoshop file with a transparency path. With either of these images, the discoloration occurs. And it's not just when printing directly from within Illustrator or Indesign. It also happens when printing a PDF file (either saved from Illustrator or exported from InDesign).

    The weird thing is, though, that when such a file is being put through a press, the result doesn't show any discoloration. Therefore my question is, is this problem common? Is it printer-specific? Has everyone seen this happen? Is it a problem with the Adobe applications (can't imagine, but might be possible)? Of course, when the PDF file is imported in Photoshop and flattened, the problem goes away. As does a lot of the sharpness and detail of the original file, so that's not really an option.

    The thing is, most of the time my work isn't meant for pressing, but merely just for printing. And for all these instances, I would LOVE to get rid of this discoloration problem.

    Edit: FYI, the printer we use here at work is a Canon CLC1180, coupled with a Canon Fiery Server MXP-02e.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    RGB PNG in a CMYK document? :eek:

    Without knowing too much of the detail the whole thing sounds like a RIP problem with Postscript Level 3; see if Canon have got a RIP update on their website before going on to other issues.

    Transparency: trouble in the wrong hands. :p

    Also, we have a Design & Graphics forum here where your thread may have received better attention than the Community Forum of all places.
  3. hotboiled macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2006
    if you import an RGB file in illustrator it wil be converted to cmyk by illustrator
    also for placed images !!!

    so try not to place the document but to link it
    file -> place -> choose file and check link

    i hope that helps
  4. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    this happens in CS right? It used to happen to me and I can't remember for the life of me what I did to stop it. You might have better results if the post this query in the software/graphics part of the forum.
  5. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    I see my question has been moved. Didn't know about this part of the forums until now. Thanks for moving, whoever did it.

    As for RGB files being translated to CMYK when embedding them instead of just linking to them, that's new to me. But I do always link to them (I believe), so that should not be the problem. And yeah, forgive me for ever trying to place an RGB image in a CMYK document :(. That's bad, I know. But the thing is, that transparent TIFF files (CMYK, of course) often don't seem to work very well. Also, yes this is a CS2 problem. Happened in CS, too. And in all the previous packages (e.g. PS7, AI10 and ID2) as well, by the way.

    I really, really don't know how to overcome this annoying problem. I'll try the RIP suggestion and see if Canon indeed offers such a thing. Thanks for the tip.
  6. funwithstuff macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2003
    It's a RIP issue with poor PostScript emulation or older PostScript interpreters. Poor print drivers or printers will do this. One fix that should work everywhere is to save as an older format PDF which doesn't support transparency, then print that. You can also try rasterizing in Photoshop (ick) and then printing that.

    Upgrading your printer is the best option. As the press has no problem, they have a better RIP.
  7. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Between a rock and a midget
    dig through your printer settings. At my old job we had a Canon CLC1100 and it had the same problem. I had to go into the printer features and change the rendering style to photographic, and a couple of other things. Try everything you can. Also make sure that when printing from Indesign you have the "transparancy flattener" set to high resolution. Hope that helps some.


    PS. Indesign handles RGB and Greyscale images really bad. if you want to use transparancy, i highly recommend using a clipping path or an alpha channel, or try a transparent PSD (works better than a tiff). Just some things to consider.
  8. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    Ah, so that confirms that it's most likely a RIP/PostScript problem. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Wow, thanks! That sounds like helpful information. I'll have to look into that. Don't know if I have the rights to change anything on the printer, but if not, I'll just ask the admin to do it for me. Thanks for the tip!

    Ah, good. I found transparent TIFFs not to work very well myself too, indeed. Last week I found out about the transparency/paths trick. Really cool. But alas, it doesn't remove the transparency problem. But then again, if your tip regarding printer settings works, then it shouldn't be a problem anymore.

    Thanks for the help, guys!

Share This Page