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Stroke and fill of same width print differently

New Here ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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I have a black, filled shape. If I apply a white stroke of a certain width on top of it, it will print differently than if I do any of the following:

  • convert the stroke to outline;
  • convert the stroke to outline then pathfinder > divide with the black fill;
  • do as above, but delete the white shapes, leaving only black shapes. 

Converting the stroke to outlines makes it print slightly thicker than the original stroke. Dividing and deleting the white shapes (leaving a gap the same width as the original stroke) prints much thinner. 

In the attached sample, there are two groups of four strokes (0.5 pt and 0.7 pt). From left to right, they are the original stroke, stroke converted to outline, outline divided from black background shape and dived and deleted. The top rectangle is how they appear on screen. The bottom rectangle shows how they appear when printed. I suspect (hope) it's just an issue with my cheap inkjet printer handling the file. Does anyone know wht's going on here?stroke_fill_print.png

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Community Expert ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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When you post a question you always need to tell the Adobe program you are using
There are MANY programs in a full subscription, plus other non-subscription programs
Please post the exact name of the Adobe program you use so a Moderator may move this message to that forum

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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You're absolutely right. I'm asking about Illustrator CC; I navigated here through an Illustrator forum, and mistakenly thought I was posting in an Illustrator-specific forum. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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It should not matter whether the stroke is outlined or not in printing. But the printer is probably not PostScript enabled and then it can matter. Rendering is different.

Can you perhaps try and open the file in Acrobat and print from there - does it make a difference?

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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Yes, I had that “aha” moment when I thought my printer was probably objecting to PostScript, but I got the same results printing from .EPS, .PDF and .AI. 

I saw your participation in a similar post and share your skepticism that opacity masks etc need to be applied: these are vector shapes, and logically should reproduce faithfully regardless of whether the white space is a shape or a gap between shapes. For good measure, I exported my EPS and a high-res PNG and the PNG printed accurately (which would seem to indicate the appropriate information is there within the original file). 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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Does it change when you zoom in?

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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The white space looks the same on screen at any magnification, regardless of whether it's a 0.5 pt stroke, 0.5 pt-wide shape, or 0.5 pt knocked-out gap.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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It changes when I zoom.

Can you share the file?

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2023 Jan 11, 2023

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I'm new here: i don't know if adding the image through drag and drop will work or if I will need to uplaod it somewhere and provide a link (I couldn't upload an .AI but this PDF should contain the same info). Keep in mind that in the attached sample, the bottom block represents what the top block looks like when printed. The lines in the bottom block are, in fact, different widths and are not what I'm having an issue with.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 12, 2023 Jan 12, 2023

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I cannot reproduce your problem, looks more like a problem caused by printing to a low resolution printer.

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2023 Jan 12, 2023

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That's my hope. Thanks for exploring the issue.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 25, 2023 Jan 25, 2023

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Hello @flagrant,

 

Thanks for reaching out. I hope the suggestions shared by Monika and Ton helped resolve the problem.

Feel free to reach out if you have more questions or need assistance. We'd be happy to help.

 

Thanks,

Anubhav

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