Ok - we all know what this questions is about - why is it than when I save an Illustrator file as a reduced size PDF, thin white lines block around text content, and sometimes in images.
Zooming in / out, moving, the line stays the same thickness, and comes in and out.
In my 10 years working in Illustrator / Acrobat, I have struggled with this problem.
Yes, I know they are artifacts; yes, I know turning off "Smooth Line" or whatever will sometimes fix it ON MY MACHINE; yes, I understand that this often has to do with flattening transparency (which is unfortunately critical to reducing file size to an acceptable level for e-mail / web sharing).
Can someone, preferably an Adobe employee, explain once and for all either:
A) A reliable way to avoid this when exporting AI to a small, easily shareable, digital PDF.
B) Tell us all when this will be fixed.
I'm tired of people saying: "Well, it won't show up in print" - this is for a digital file!
I find it unbelievable that we have had to struggle with this for so long - stop making useless features, and fix what actually wastes all of our time please.
Can you try to save the PDF, without Flattening, this can increase the filesize enormously and introduces these thin lines.
Also save the PDF without Illustrator Editing Capabilities checked. Leave the original .ai file untouched and save the PDF as a copy).
Thank you! It worked... this time
Good to hear it worked.
For viewing on a display (and for most printing purposes) there is no need to flatten the transparency, it makes the file unnessecary complex.
I compared an old Illustrator sample file between the original and flattened version, the difference (and filesize) is huge:
Compound Paths: 7
Clipping Masks: NONE
Transparent Objects: 340
File size: 2,9 MB
Compound Paths: 9941
Clipping Masks: 37022
Transparent Objects: NONE
File size: 17,1 MB
Interesting (maybe) sidenote on this ongoing drama.
I've had this problem numerous times. My workflow is to open an AI file (of a pattern) as grayscale from within PSD, convert to bitmap/threshold, and then tag with a color in INDD. Just tried your (Ton Frederiks) instructions which solved the problem in generating the pdf, but it still showed the lines in Photoshop. UNLESS, that is, I turned off anti-aliasing when opening from within PSD. Once I did that, the lines disappeared and the appearance was not harmed in any way. In part because of 1200dpi resolution, and also perhaps because it was a solid black-and-white file.
Thanks for the tip, and many hints about antialiasing being a culprit.
I've tried Tons way and it did not work all the time. DO THIS and it will work.
Open your .AI file and create a new layer.
Copy your entire image and paste it in the new layer. (so in effect you have your complete image paced on top of itself.
Save a copy of your AI as a PDF -
View digitally and there will be NO THIN LINES!
So basically you want to duplicate 40000 clipping masks and 70000 paths just to eliminate white lines in a preview? I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of such a mess of a file.
The overview layer could be removed immediately and restore the file size to normal - before handing off. It's insane that this is a problem with PDF generation. Unbelievable that it has not been addressed in updates. Happens with all Adobe products - especially considering they also make the software that creates the PDFs.
When you are flattening a PDF, the thin lines are inevitable because of what's happening technically.
I guess that you are talking about something completely different: handing off a flattened file for printing. This thread is about creating online PDFs. And it has a solution for creating smaller files: just don't flatten them.
I got here after searching about how to prevent lineweights from increasing for thin lines when saved as PDF, linked here. The workaround for that was to either flatten in illustrator before saving or open pdf in Photoshop and then save which worked, but is ridiculously tedious to do. Why cannot Illustrator do this?
So I tried saving my file as a JPEG from Illustrator > open saved JPEG on Illustrator and saved it as PDF. I got the dreaded WHITE LINES!
So as of now the only workable fix I see is opening each file in Photoshop and saving it there to get the desired lineweight look on PDF.
Is there a better way to solve this using JUST Illustrator? I have attached my file for anyone who can get the desired output. (Also couldn't attach the ai file to here's a compatible pdf)
Just created an account to say I had the same problem - bugging me for literally months and nothing worked - Just exported from illustrator to a .psd (photoshop) file and it worked!!! It's not a vector but in the options when exporting select resolution: Other - make it 800+, 1200+ why not, it looks great - write layers, untick editbility, art optimized, boom. Do select the right colour model and embed ICC profile or colour will change in photoshop.