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shaded box shows up when printing using drop shadow effects on text

Guest
Jun 02, 2008 Jun 02, 2008

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When we use drop shadows effects on text a background shows up on the printed copy.
We use Mac OS X (Tiger and Leopard), Indesign CS3.
Suppose you have a photo as a background and you want a drop shadow on the text that is on top of the photo, where the text box is there will be a screened color on top of the photo. This doesn't show on screen. It's like the drop shadow goes all over the place.

We print on a Xerox Docu5000 using Spire CPX-50, a digital press.

What can do that? I don't think it's the resolution of the raster effects, I'm pretty sure
I checked that.

Thank you.

Louis

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 02, 2008 Jun 02, 2008

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http://indesignsecrets.com/eliminating-ydb-yucky-discolored-box-syndrome.php

Bob

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New Here ,
Mar 31, 2010 Mar 31, 2010

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I found that post doesn't help. I use CS4 and export my work as PDFs. I don't have to see it printed -- the file shows all text with drop shadows has some weird crap in the background whether I export using 1.3 (Flattener leaves a white line around the text) or 1.4 (black box.) This is really frustrating and a bug that Adobe should've fixed years ago since it has existed for so long.

Shame on  Adobe. This is just plain shameful.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2010 Mar 31, 2010

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Hi Kevin,

Can you post some screen shots of what you're experiencing, both in InDesign and also a screenshot from Acrobat of the issue you're experiencing?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2010 Mar 31, 2010

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You just reopened a two year old post with a rant.

I hope you feel better but you should look up the meaning of a bug before you throw the term around. It's also proper protocol to give us some details if you actually want help. What operating system? How are you viewing the file? I'm going to guess that you're on a Mac and viewing it in preview.

If that's the case, take it up with Apple. Preview simply can't handle advanced PDFs. If it's not the case, then post the file somewhere for us to look at.

Bob

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New Here ,
Mar 31, 2010 Mar 31, 2010

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Yes, that was a rant because this is super frustrating!

I was going to post a sample but I opened the PDF in photoshop, saw the squares were gone, then saved it again as a PDF and now it pops up in Preview with out the squares. Great that I found a fix, but it's stupid I have to use a workaround when I have to meet deadlines.

I still feel justified in my rant -- Preview doesn't have any issues with any other PDFs, except for InDesign's, and since InDesign creates software for Apple, this is an issue they should handle. Again, shame on Adobe -- fix the problem, don't provide workarounds.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2010 Mar 31, 2010

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By opening and resaving the file in Photoshop you've rasterized it into one single bitmap image, losing any live tramsparency, spot colors or vector data that it might have contained. Not a good "fix."

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2010 Apr 05, 2010

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I'm seeing my discolored boxes behind type, tiffs and ai files. I'm not sure what else to try to fix this issue. I've gone through this thread and others, looked at the YDB discussion on InDesignSecrets. Any thoughts? (Using CS3 & Acrobat 8 on MacOS 10.4.11.)

The artist applied a drop shadow (75% black, multiplied) to items stacked on top of a 30% tint of process color (C48/M54/Y82/K3).

So far, to no success, I've:

• changed the drop shadow color to black plus a little, then a lot, of the background color and of individual plates.

• changed the background color to a solid instead of a tint.

• changed the items with the drop shadow to 99% opacity.

• eliminated ICC profiles and used generic CMYK profiles.

• created a separate InD layer for the background versus the drop shadowed items.

• changed the transparency blend space to RGB instead of CMYK

What's "worked"?

• changed the background color to one using only two inks instead of four. Worked, but not the desired color.

• used Claudia's YDB method of creating a transparency flattener mode that completely rasterizes the ad when creating the PDF from InD. I set the line art and text to 1200 ppi and gradient and mesh to 200 ppi. Worked, but on some of our products we're at 150 line screen printing, so 300 ppi would be more appropriate.

Aside from rasterizing through Photoshop at huge file sizes, are there any other suggestions? If it were just one file, we'd send it to press and go have a cup of coffee while we wait - but there are a lot customers who use drop shadows (on everything ) and I'd like to be able to give them what they design.

Thanks for any and all help!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2010 Apr 05, 2010

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Well, if you read the article at InDesign Secrets you know this is a RIP problem. Your choices are pretty limited, it seems to me. Use the custom flattener, or upgrade the RIP.

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New Here ,
Apr 15, 2010 Apr 15, 2010

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I've struggled with the same problem for a couple of years, and being self-taught assumed it was just my own ignorance that caused the problem.  HOWEVER--- I have found a consistently useful way to deal

with the problem:  Whenever I use a drop shadow effect over a colored background of any kind, I simply apply a frame around the entire work when I'm finished.  I leave the inside blank and can set the stroke to as little as .125 pt and this will still work.  After creating the frame, I apply a drop shadow effect to it, set at the least possible size and using white as the shadow color.  I have it offset on only one edge, again as little as possible.   I then use the "hard light" option to complete the effect.  The result is a barely visible frame and "light shadow" inside one edge that is almost unoticeable.  All the other drop shadows are then printed without the dreaded boundary box color shift that is so objectionable.

This is certainly not an ideal fix, but it does work quite well.

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New Here ,
Apr 15, 2010 Apr 15, 2010

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Perfect!

This will work well - the color isn't important, just the consistency of the color across the ad.

Thanks for suggesting this workaround.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 10, 2021 Aug 10, 2021

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Saint, you are a literal saint. This is brilliant, and works like a charm. 

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 10, 2021 Aug 10, 2021

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The fact that I need this still in 2021 is... interesting. haha

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 10, 2021 Aug 10, 2021

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If you still need this, you're using archaic workflows with Luddite service providers.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 11, 2021 Aug 11, 2021

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LATEST

I don't know man, I'm just trying to learn enough about InDesign to make some flyers for my non-profit, and at first they came back from the printer with white backgrounds. We're not all fancy professionals. I'm trying to learn though!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2010 Apr 05, 2010

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Kev.jones30 wrote:

I still feel justified in my rant -- Preview doesn't have any issues with any other PDFs, except for InDesign's, and since InDesign creates software for Apple, this is an issue they should handle. Again, shame on Adobe -- fix the problem, don't provide workarounds.

Your rant is completely unjustified. Believe what you want but Adobe cannot fix noncompliant software put out by Apple or any other vendor.

Preview is quite simply not capable or high end use. Either switch to Acrobat/Reader or complain to Apple. Contrary to popular belief everything they do isn't perfect. Feel free to use preview for low end PDFs such as those out of Word.

Bob

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Apr 10, 2010 Apr 10, 2010

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On behalf of Adobe and in support of Bob Levine's response ...

Apple's "Preview" program has many failings in terms of its adherence to any recent-vintage PDF specifications, especially related to PDF in which any transparency effects and especially complex transparency effects are used. There is nothing that Adobe could do about these problems other than to dumb down its PDF generation to only support pre-flattened transparency as in the days of PDF 1.3.

The problem isn't only with PDF created via direct export from InDesign, but also from Illustrator, Photoshop, and Microsoft Office applications!

Apple is certainly aware of these problems.

May we most strongly suggest that you directly complain to Apple in Cupertino, CA about these problems with Preview and maybe the problems will get resolved in a future MacOS update release.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2010 Apr 11, 2010

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Thanks, Dov.

I had forgotten that the PDF generator for Office now bypasses postscript, too.

Bob

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Explorer ,
Feb 04, 2013 Feb 04, 2013

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I know this is an old thread, but I need help with this same issue as well. It has nothing to do with Preview - as I am not using preview at all.

I see an IndesignSecrets link that I guess had info on the topic, but it is no longer active.

I am using Indesign CS6. The issue is with an object in Indesign that I have a drop shadow on. When I send it to my color printer (Xerox Phaser 7500DN) wherever there is a drop shadow there is discolored box around it. I cannot show this comp to the client this way.

If there is an active link that says how to fix this, that would be appreciated.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 04, 2013 Feb 04, 2013

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Explorer ,
Feb 04, 2013 Feb 04, 2013

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Yes, you are correct. I had tried again after posting and the page loaded fine. The custom flattener worked perfectly too. It added a bit of time to the print process - both when it sends the doc. to the printer, then more time while the printer thinks about it, but much less time than doing some sort of PSD trick on the entire page - and much more convenient. The results are exactly what I was looking for. Thank you all.

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New Here ,
Feb 13, 2013 Feb 13, 2013

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Hi. I was having the described problem when printing a document that contained a line with a DropShadow created in InDesign. A dark box would appear when printing either from InDesign or from an exported PDF. I used the InDesignSecrets custom flattener workaround (minus the "change output to Composite CMYK" step as this was not an option in my Print Output settings) and the box disappeared. However, I noticed that the red in one area of my document (that the drop shadowed line runs partly across) had darkened considerably. I'm guessing this could be related to not being able to change output to Composite CMYK but any help/thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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New Here ,
Oct 21, 2014 Oct 21, 2014

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Solved an issue I was having. Great tip thanks.

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Guest
Jun 02, 2008 Jun 02, 2008

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I just realized that this happens with PMS colors, and not CMYK.

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New Here ,
Mar 22, 2013 Mar 22, 2013

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I've had this probelm while pritning to my large format printer (HP L25500) and when it screws it up it's an expensive mistake. I've found that rather than exporting or printing to a pdf if you save it as a JPEG out of InDesign it will flatten everything and keep the weird box from showing up.

Downsides:

1) You get a JPEG for every page in your document which is fine for large format pritning but could be more trouble than its worth if you're doing a many paged file.

2) If you're using bleed it won't come over in the JPEG. To fix that set your page to be slightly larger and manually add crop marks.

Note:

I tried saving it as a JPEG out of Acrobat Pro once I made the pdf (to keep my crops and bleeds), but the color went all kinds of crazy. This is why I say to export it as a JPEG directly out of InDesign

I'm using CS5.5 running on a PC with Windows 7. I don't have this problem while pritning to any of the other output devices in the building (Canon 8500, Canon 6000, Konica 1050, or my RipIt Speed Setter).

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