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White box showing up behind .ai file in InDesign. There should not be a white box. It should be transparent.

Explorer ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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I have a vector logo that I downloaded from Brands of the World. Dropped it into InDesign on top of an image and there is a white box. So I opened it in Illustrator and made sure there was no white background on the image. I couldn't see one, so I copied the logo and dropped it into a new AI file to make sure there weren't any background layers or something from the original. Saved that and dropped into InDesign. Same deal. So I went back into AI and put a box behind the logo and colored it to make sure there was nothing weird going on with the logo. Sure enough, it's transparent. But I can't get it to be transparent in InDesign. And yes, I do have Display Performance set to High Quality Display. Any ideas why it would show transparent in AI and not in ID? Both programs are up to date CC.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017
Place the file and make sure to activate the import options: there you can turn on  the Tranparent background option.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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Is the frame itself filled with white?

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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Nope....

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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Instead of copy and paste, try File > Place to place the logo into InDesign.

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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I wasn't copy and pasting. I was dragging from the finder into the ID window (same as file/place as far as I know)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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Place the file and make sure to activate the import options: there you can turn on  the Tranparent background option.

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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THERE WE GO. That works. So odd. I've never had to do that before when dragging an image with a transparent background from the finder into an InDesign window. But now I know about that option. Thank you!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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You're actually placing a PDF when it's coming in as an AI file. That choice is sticky so you shouldn't need to change it again unless you need the white background.

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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PDF, AI, whats' the difference as long as it's all vector and has a transparent background? I guess I don't understand why something with a transparent background would have an option to NOT be transparent.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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It does have that option. You have to choose it.

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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Not when dragging from a file folder (in Finder) directly into an open ID window. Only when using the Place command. When dragging straight from a file folder into ID, because there are no options, it should respect the transparency. Again, not sure why it would want to put a white box behind a transparent image wether dragging a file into ID or using the Place command. Whats the point of that?

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May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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Quite frankly, dragon-drop of content into InDesign documents is really not best workflow practice. I am sure that we would get complaints if when doing dragon-drop from either the Finder (MacOS) or Explorer (Windows), we suddenly shoved an option-filled dialog box in front of you.

That having been said, providing a white background for placed PDF content avoids some serious overhead for placed content with transparency when transparency really isn't required. There is an argument both ways, for better or worse.

In the general case, use the Place command and you can choose whatever options you want including, for image file formats, overrides on rendering intents, ICC profiles, etc.

          - Dov

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

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017

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I hear ya. Drag-and-drop is just much quicker workflow (for me at least) in general. I've just never encountered a file that had transparency (whether a PNG or Photoshop or AI/PDF vector file) throw a white background on it when dragging and dropping into an open ID window. Thats why it threw me for a loop on this.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 27, 2018 Mar 27, 2018

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What's Dragon Drop? Sounds cool

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New Here ,
May 23, 2019 May 23, 2019

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Sure does!

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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Thank you for this. I must have accidentally hit a keyboard command to uncheck this. It has been driving me crazy!

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Explorer ,
Nov 02, 2019 Nov 02, 2019

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Thank you! Waw driving me nuts. Shouldn't there be a global setting to allow transparent imports at all times?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 02, 2019 Nov 02, 2019

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It's a sticky setting.

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New Here ,
Feb 15, 2020 Feb 15, 2020

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That doesn't work for me. My Creative Cloud .png and .ai graphics load with a white background. I tried placing into InDesign directly (with transparency selected, same problem. 

 

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2020 Apr 05, 2020

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Worked like a charm. Thanks! 

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New Here ,
Feb 22, 2021 Feb 22, 2021

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This same problem happens when placing an AI image using CC Libraries. There are no import options showing up when I place the CC Library item. Is there a preference setting or workaround?  BTW this didn't use to happen with AI files placed from CC Libraries and it's really causing me excess work to update old files.

 

Thank you,

 

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New Here ,
Apr 16, 2021 Apr 16, 2021

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Is there a default option that can be changed?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 16, 2021 Apr 16, 2021

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Hi Alison5CB4 and amoinette,

yes, there is a default option. It's in the Import Options if you use the Place command for an AI, a PDF or an InDesign Page. So if you want to change the background from opaque to transparent when using CC Libraries with PDF like graphics, first import a PDF file from your file system and change the Import Options to your desire.

 

Only then drag that item out of a CC Library.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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New Here ,
Apr 16, 2021 Apr 16, 2021

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Thank you, but I am asking if there is a default setting, so that this will be the same for every ai, pdf, etc image that is placed in IND and I don't need to use import options everytime...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 16, 2021 Apr 16, 2021

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The answer is "no" if you think of a preference in the Preferences dialogs.

AI and PDF share the same import dialog. Let's see, there are PNG import options, that are a bit different, but I think, that's it. EPS, JPEG, TIFF or PSD have no option in that direction…

 

And it is also "yes", because checking this settings once in the Import Options defines it as default value.

( Until you have to trash InDesign preferences folder and files. )

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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