I have about 100 indesign files, each with a saved PDF for viewing.
Unfortunately when a PDF is clicked in wondows explorer, on the preview pane, for a fraction of a second, images underneath are shown. I used various images to make up the graphics, often only 10% of the image is visible and 90% hidden. But for a fraction of a second in the preview pane, all of the hidden object is shown. This looks unprofessional.
Help posts suggest showing only visible layers in the PDF export options. But this does not work, when i look at layers menu, I still only have 1 layer. There is no option for printing just visible OBJECTS.
I just want the PDF to be more like when I export to JPEG. That works fine.
It would take forever to go in to every file and try to remove all the parts of objects not being used. (Many contain a square image where the border is visible and everything in the middle hidden.
I need a solution that does not involve messing with dozens of overlapping objects.
Windows Explorer is neither a valid nor a reliable PDF viewer. The only program which meets all requirements for viewing a PDF is Adobe Acrobat.
But if an object is underneath another object, it can always be happen that it is visible when the data comes in and the viewer will build up the final appearance. If you do not want that it becomes visible, delete it or apply a color which makes those items invisible. For example, I need often a text behind an image like a map, so that cross references or toc entries can be done in an automatic way, so I apply a character or paragraph style with a text color “no color”.
You could also apply to those objects the attribute not to print.
You do not need to go to every object to repair this issue. Probably you have worked with pargraph, character and object styles. Change its property in the styles and it will change with a simple click. If you have not worked with styles, you will have to apply them and you will have a lot of work now, but you have learned for the future to do so.
But I suppose you have put these items in a own layer. Turn off the visibility to that layer. That is why layers are so important to use.
Actually it's not just preview in explorer. Even Acrobat reader flashes the hidden picture first, it's just a bit faster than the preview.
Would layers even work or assigning on object not to print, remember I want to see part of the picture underneath, the bit that has no other object on top of it. But I don't want users to see it when loading the PDF.
If an object is hidden it will always show up and can be revealed by the user. That is as it is. You cannot partial hinder to do it. How fast it disappears depends on the computer. If you do not want to show up ther, don't put it there.
You can assamble the pictures outside the document and place it there as a single image. You can make a single image in InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and place it in InDesign. What is the best? I don not know for your case, you have to try yourself.
Many PDF viewers ignore layers (and make everything visible) so that can't be a general solution. If this is really important to you, you may need to remove the unwanted parts of objects before compositing. Sounds a lot of work.