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Strange InDesign bug when importing TIFF file with Alpha channel

Participant ,
Sep 28, 2021 Sep 28, 2021

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There is an application, Solid Works, that can export documents in TIFF and PSD file formats and preserve transparency. I can open the file using Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS Preview, Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer,  Pixelmator Pro and Illustrator. All of them shows a perfect transparent backgroud. 

 

BUT when placing the image into InDesign, it not only does not recognize transparency, BUT creates a shadow background that seems real.

 

Sure its a problem with the TIFF format created by Solid Works, because I can simply open the file with Photoshop and save it again, and then it works perfect. But my client has thousands of TIFF files that work in all the software EXCEPT InDesign.

 

I'm using latest version of InDesign CC2021 in different Macs, and all of them ignores the alpha channel.

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Bug , Import and export

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

You're making the mistake of thinking Photoshop and Illustrator work the same as InDesign.

 

They don't. That's not to say it's not a bug, but it's not going to get fixed any time soon even if it is. But the only way to start is to report it here: Adobe InDesign (uservoice.com)

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Community Expert ,
Sep 28, 2021 Sep 28, 2021

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Well, you could run a Photoshop action on them.

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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Thanks for you reply, Bob. That's what we are currently doing, but its a mess of file versions: the original and the "good one". My client do not understand why InDesign can't open a file that any other program can correctly open, so they state that "it's my problem if InDesign is broken". The ideal solution:

  1. InDesign can correctly import the file with its transparency
  2. or Solid Works can export a tif that InDesign understands (but Solid Works statates that their files are good, and can prove it with any software other than InDesign)

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Community Expert ,
Sep 28, 2021 Sep 28, 2021

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quote

BUT when placing the image into InDesign, it not only does not recognize transparency, BUT creates a shadow background that seems real.

 

Can you post a screenshot of that? 

 

When you Place, is Show Import Options enabled?

 

 

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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Attached the import options dialog box and the aspect of the image once placed in InDesign. Also screenshot of the same image placed in an Illustrator document. The Illustrator Screenshot also shows that the transparency is recognized because there is a red circle behind.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 28, 2021 Sep 28, 2021

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I don't think it's a bug - but rather that the SolidWorks the way it saves transparency is not compatible with InDesign.

You can make a feature request here

https://www.adobe.com/products/wishform.html

 

What I'd suggest also would be to see if the person supplying the images has any other options for exporting images as TIF. Perhaps changing compression setttings or something else. 

 

Running a batch as @BobLevine  suggests is a great option - and running a batch on thousands of images is something I used to do regularly - and it doesn't take long at all. 

 

Maybe also ask SolidWorks what is going on?

 

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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Thanks for your reply, Eugen, but I do think it's a bug because Adobe Pohotoshop and Adobe Illustrator can open the file with its transparent content (as do all the other non adobe image processing apps). Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop  pertain to the same suite, Creative Suite, and for me it makes no sense if there is no 100% file compatibility between these 3 apps. If the TIFF file is wrong/bad formatted or whatever the problem, then Illustrator and Photoshop would complain. But they do open the file as intended, and only InDesign is blind to the alpha channel.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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You're making the mistake of thinking Photoshop and Illustrator work the same as InDesign.

 

They don't. That's not to say it's not a bug, but it's not going to get fixed any time soon even if it is. But the only way to start is to report it here: Adobe InDesign (uservoice.com)

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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Reported as a bug and hoping Adobe listen (or at least, offer a proper solution). Thanks for the link.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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I don't know if I'd class it as a bug though. InDesign just can't read whatever transparency is involved in this.

It's more of a feature request for InDesign to allow a certain type of transparency. 

 

For now though - you'll have to resave through a batch action in photoshop.

Do you need help in setting this up?

 

@BobLevine has pointed to the UserVoice forum which is the best place to have your bug/feature request heard by Adobe.

 

Sorry I can't be of more help, I tried various methods with your file and no joy.

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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You write that the software can makes PSD as well. What happens if you use the PSD for InDesign?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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I agree with Willie and Bob. Also, is it necessary to have it saved as an alpha channel? Another thought, can it be saved without a shadow from Solidworks? Then you could drop the white in InDesign.

Lee- Graphic Designer, Print Specialist, Photographer

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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Hi Jumpenjax.

 

Of course I can always use the workaround they suggest (I'm already batch converting the images simply by opening and saving again with a simple Photoshop action), but the "problem" is that InDesign does not directly support the placement of TIFF images with alpha channel exported from Solid Works, when any other imaging software I've tried do (from Adobe and from third companies, Windows and Mac and Linux) and also all kind of applications that can place or import an image, as Microsoft Word or Apple Pages.

 

So, I'm sure its more a faulty application (InDesign) than a faulty file format.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

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There is something inherently different about the TIFF files coming out of that application. I would report to them as well.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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is it possible for you to get .png files in the future? indesign can use these files pulled directly out of solidworks and composer for me when tiff does not.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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There is an application, Solid Works, that can export documents in TIFF and PSD file formats and preserve transparency.

 

Hi Javier, Do PSDs saved out of Solid Works also have the transparency problem? One of the reasons I avoid saving TIFFs even out of Photoshop, is there is an explicit Transparency setting in the save options dialog—PSDs automatically include transparency:

 

Screen Shot 27.png

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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LATEST

Just realized this thread is from last year.

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