I don't know what it is, there is no gray line in the Ai file, it is unselectable, and it won't go away. The lines are very thin and are on the top and bottom of the map—see below. They are visible on both pdf and when printed (I am designing a new card game set to be released really soon and has over 400 cards). I can't change the shape of the content frame the graphic is placed in as it would be so tedious and I would have to change every card individually or re-place all graphics if I edit the master page, which will then rewrite all the cards and cost me precious time I don't have (the shape is the central, large, wavy, white oval)
I have tried EVERYTHING I could think of but nothing has seemed to work:
• I changed the Illustrator's color mode
• I added a stroke to the clipping mask in Illustrator
• I made the clipping mask smaller than its Illustrator artboard
• I made the clipping mask bigger than its Illustrator artboard
• I got rid of the clipping mask entirely
• I exported it as a pdf in every version of Acrobat
• I exported it as a png
• I exported it as a jpg
• I set the content frame with a fill color
• I set the content frame without a fill color
Does anyone else have this problem????
So you're creating the graphic in Illustrator, exporting to PDF, then dropping the PDF into InDesign? Do I have that correct?
I think what you're seeing is what Adobe used to refer to as an Atomic Region. This is generated when saving to a PDF 1.3 or lower which means it's flattening the file. I'd honestly place the .ai file into the InDesign document and I'm thinking that it will go away.
If it's important that you save as PDF, try changing the version of the PDF to 1.4 or higher. Now this isn't going to eliminate the core issue. If you're sending to a desktop printer, it's going to get flattened again. You can try to alleviate this by choosing "simulate overprint" in the print dialog box when printing.
I'd talk with your printer about these concerns to ensure that there are not problems. Commercial printers output to a higher resolution than your desktop printer so typically these lines will not be noticeable.
I'm placing the Ai graphic directly into InDesign.
And then you're making the PDF out of InDesign… Have you tried creating a PDF 1.4 or higher?
Yes, I've tried all pdf formats from 1.3 to 1.7 and the lines are still there.
The lines do seem to line up with the clipping mask bounds. If you click on the mask with your Direct Selection tool, you're sure there's no stroke applied? Happy to look at the file if you'd like me to.
Nope, no stroke. And I keep checking just in case I might be crazy. Lol.
How was this map generated? Did you draw it yourself or was it brought in from another program? I know that it appears to be all closed paths but sometimes when a drawing generated from another program is brought into Illustrator it only appears to be made up of closed paths but in actuality it is many segments that are overlapping. I often see this with die strikes generated through other drawing programs. Try option clicking on some of the segments to see if only those segments get selected rather then the whole shape. If that is the case then what I suggested in my first post might still explain the problem.
I created the illustrator map myself.
In that case have you tried extending the dimensions of the artboard so that it is well beyond the edges of the clipping mask. I'm wondering if the clipping path and the edge of the artboard being in the same exact place might cause this.
Yeah, I tried combinations of extended/shrinking both the artboard and the clipping mask, including not using a clipping mask at all. Didn't work.
Maybe there's a issue with the document itself. Release the Clipping Mask, then copy and paste the map into a new document. Then create a new Clipping Mask. See if that makes a difference.
Is there a reason you need the Clipping Mask?
I've tried that too, it didn't work.
I don't really need the clipping mask, it's more of a visual guide for me to see what region on the map I'm focusing on, but with or without the mask, the line is still there. Wherever the artwork or artboard ends is where the lines appear when placed.
The paths you've drawn in Illustrator for the coastline are they closed paths or open paths with a white fill? If they are open paths then I could see this happening as Illustrator is trying to, in effect, close the path and this line is being created. Try closing the paths in Illustrator for the coast lines and see if that helps.
Yes they are closed paths. This is what it looks like (in Illustrator) with the clipping mask released:
so it's the clipping mask that showing a stroke?
No that's just the artboard. The clipping mask is the same size as it, but there is no stroke.
You could make your artboard really big, (bigger than the card), while that should solve your issue, it would be good to get to the bottom of it. Did you try creating a new document and placing the .ai file? Are you selecting the transparent background option when placing your file?
I tried all placing options, with and without transparent backgrounds and tried all the crop to options. The lines appear when I place different Illustrator files too, not just the maps. I think maybe it's just the program itself.
At this point, we're all grasping at straws. So I'll ask again… Are you able to share the file with us?
Sure. What would be the best way to do that?
Probably a dropbox link or something similar? Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.
I downloaded it and I'm seeing what you're seeing. I want to say that it's just a display artifact. If you make the PDF, initially you'll see the line when you view it. We've seen this issue for a long time now. If you go to the Acrobat Preferences under Page Display, deselect the option "Smooth Line Art". I think you'll see the line disappear. Now I do recall you saying that it shows up in print as well but what output device are you using?
Well, I used a Mac mini, but I don't know what kind of printer is being used for the cards' production, other than it printed the lines.