Outer Glow transparency lost when converted to PDF

New Here ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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Hi there,

I'm trying to place white text over a photo. To make it show up better, I've applied a dark colored outer glow set to be transparent (multiply). When I export it as a PDF, the glow shows up opaque. This is not apparent when viewing in Acrobat, but shows up in file previews, and arrived at the print business in the same condition. I used the same technique throughout the document, but the problem isn't happening on every page.

 

I've tried various combinations of solutions (changing the transparency blend space, transparency flattener, saving as an interactive PDF, changing CMYK process colors to spot colors, changing to RGB colors). I've seen suggestions that one should choose High Quality Print > Advanced > and select High Resolution in the Transparency Flattener - but it's grayed out for me. Nothing that I've tried has worked.

I have used this outer glow technique for years without issue, but it cropped up a few months ago when I was working on a similar assignment. I don't know what changed.

I'm using InDesign 17.1 on a Mac, Big Sur 11.4. I know there are compatibility issues between Adobe and the new Mac M1 processors, but this problem did not immediately pop up when I started using this computer - so maybe not the issue?

 

I've included two screenshots. The first one shows how it appears within Adobe InDesign and Acrobat (the way I want it, with dark transparency around the text), the second how it appears outside Adobe (with the opaque glow that I don't want).

I'm not a professional graphic designer but have used InDesign for many years - meaning that I don't know the finer details of InDesign, but have not had problems before. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

 

Amelia

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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quote
the second how it appears outside Adobe

Any PDF viewer other than Acrobat/Reader can and most likely will not render a PDF correctly.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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When you export as PDF, choose Standard > PDF/X-4.

CleanShot 2022-03-15 at 15.12.35@2x.png

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New Here ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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Thanks for the suggestion, Scott. I tried it but got the same outcome.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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Hi @petert87183787 Does it happen if you export to the PDF/X-1a preset?

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New Here ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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Hi Rob,
Thanks for your suggestion. Interesting . . . it did fix the problem BUT the text boxes are now showing up as very faint white lines in the PDF. I tried saving the InDesign document as an EPS and had the same effect. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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Those are flattening "stitching" artifacts caused by the PDF viewer’s anti-aliasing. They would not show in high resolution RIP’d output, but the live transparency problems you are seeing in the non-Acrobat viewer are not likely to be a problem either. The most accurate way to preview and preflight a print PDF is with AcrobatPro’s Output Preview.

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New Here ,
Mar 23, 2022 Mar 23, 2022

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Hi Rob,

 

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply but . . . you're absolutely right. Thank you! Though I still haven't seen the actual printed piece, the printing company came to the same conclusion as you: that the high resolution RIP'd output won't have the transparency issue that the viewers have had. Also, thank you for telling me about AcrobatPro's Output Preview . . . I'll be sure to check it in the future.

And to everyone who chipped in on finding a solution: thank you!

 

Amelia

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