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PDF prints image as solid black box

New Here ,
Mar 06, 2018

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I have imported an ai file into an Indesign document. Then exported that document as a PDF. When printing the PDF document the image is just a solid black box. Any ideas how to fix this? The ai image prints fine from illustrator, and all the other images in the PDF print properly.

I don't know if this is an Indesign problem or a PDF problem so i have posted this question in both forums. Sorry if this is the wrong place for it.

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PDF prints image as solid black box

New Here ,
Mar 06, 2018

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I have imported an ai file into an Indesign document. Then exported that document as a PDF. When printing the PDF document the image is just a solid black box. Any ideas how to fix this? The ai image prints fine from illustrator, and all the other images in the PDF print properly.

I don't know if this is an Indesign problem or a PDF problem so i have posted this question in both forums. Sorry if this is the wrong place for it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2018

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For the time being it's the correct forum. If not then we can move it around.

Did you try with a different Ai file? Is there a black background and the foreground is set to overprint?

What does the Acrobat print preview show? The correct image?

Did you try to use the "Print as image" work around (advanced tab on the print dialogue)?

Could you share the PDF file? Be aware that this is a public forum, so everything you share will be viewable for the public.

Regards,
Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer

I'm not an Adobe employee. All advice constitutes my own opinion. Use at your risk! 🙂

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New Here ,
Mar 06, 2018

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The PDF file contains numerous ai files and they all print ok, apart from one.

The Acrobat print preview shows the correct image, the problem only occurs when it prints.

The "Print as image" option is greyed out in the adcanced tab, so i can't test this.

I can't share the PDF file i'm afraid.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2018

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The print as image is greyed out? I never saw that and I've tried now to provoke a setting that would grey that out.

Well sharing the file is an option that would give you a faster solution, but it is obviously not always possible.

But saying that other Illustrator files print well, I would concentrate on that file. Please save the file from Illustrator as a PDF/X file and import that one to Indesign. You may also try printing the Illustrator-PDF prior to placing in Indesign.

See the screen shot from the Illustrator Save-as dialogue:

You still need to check this: Is there a black background and the foreground is set to overprint?

Regards,
Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer

I'm not an Adobe employee. All advice constitutes my own opinion. Use at your risk! 🙂

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New Here ,
Mar 06, 2018

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What exactly do you mean by "Is there a black background and the foreground is set to overprint?". Do you mean on the ai file, or the indesign file? The ai file has a black box, with white images and text over the top, is that what you mean?

I've tried saving as a PDF/X file as you suggested, and then imported that into Indesign and exported the document as a PDF. I printed both the entire document PDF and the illustration PDF and both are still just black boxes.

(Thanks for the help so far, this has been driving me crazy!)

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New Here ,
Mar 06, 2018

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Annoyingly i've just sent the original PDF document to a colleague and he has printed it fine. We have the same versions of Acrobat and are using the same printer so now i'm even more confused.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2018

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On the ai file! Overprint settings may be nasty problems, if handled incorrectly. Overprint basically says that the background is not knocked out by the foreground. This is helpful in some cases.

Regards,
Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer

I'm not an Adobe employee. All advice constitutes my own opinion. Use at your risk! 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2018

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Well, somewhere needs to be a difference...

But the "print as image" option greyed out is also strange. I never saw that.

Regards,
Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer

I'm not an Adobe employee. All advice constitutes my own opinion. Use at your risk! 🙂

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New Here ,
Mar 08, 2018

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Where is this setting? In Document Setup "Discard White Overprint in Output" was selected, i've unselected this and still have the same problem.

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New Here ,
Mar 08, 2018

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The colleague who managed to print the file was actually using a Mac, and i'm on a PC. I've sent it to a different colleague to try who is also using a PC and he has the exact same problem i do. Does that help?

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New Here ,
Oct 09, 2019

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I am having this same issue, and do not see a working solution here.  Was a solution discovered and utilized?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 09, 2019

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Can't you open the image in Photoshop and just save this (maybe in a different file format such as PSD)?

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Hello Gina,

Not sure if this will help, but I was having same type trouble and figured out I had checked the "Print Color as Black" button for a previous PDF document print.  When I unchecked that box my pictures printed fine.

Hope it helps.

Chuck

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