Welcome Dialog

Welcome to the Community!

We have a brand new look! Take a tour with us and explore the latest updates on Adobe Support Community.


InDesign PDF Export: Drop Shadow Effects are 200 DPI Low-Res

New Here ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Using Adobe InDesign, I create a new document, draw a rectangle, and apply a drop shadow. Then I export the document as an Acrobat 6 PDF with "Create Acrobat Layers" enabled. The drop shadow effect is rasterized in the PDF as a 200 DPI graphic. My printer requires a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.

I realize that Acrobat 4 uses "Transparency Flattener Presets" to set the resolution of effects. We cannot use Acrobat 4, because our printer requires the "Create Acrobat Layers" feature which is only available starting in versions 5.

As a workaround, we have been adding drop shadows to images using Photoshop, but this is not ideal since the extended bounding boxes cause alignment issues and the drop shadows cannot be multiplied over the background in InDesign.

How can I use InDesign drop shadows and export them at 300 DPI?

Views

3.3K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Sep 20, 2018 Sep 20, 2018
See #24-30 in this thread:Transparency without Flattening The resolution of drop shadows when transparency is kept live is relative to the gradation of the shadow and doesn't follow the 300ppi image rule of thumb. With drop shadows there are no details or edges to resolve so 300ppi would never be needed to reproduce the gradation

Likes

Translate

Translate
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Drop Shadows are always in a lower resolution and if you have live transparency it is not problem as It is not visible in print.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 20, 2018 Sep 20, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

See #24-30 in this thread:

Transparency without Flattening

The resolution of drop shadows when transparency is kept live is relative to the gradation of the shadow and doesn't follow the 300ppi image rule of thumb. With drop shadows there are no details or edges to resolve so 300ppi would never be needed to reproduce the gradation

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 20, 2018 Sep 20, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

This is just what I needed. For anybody else who may find this thread, the solution is temporarily select acrobat 4, choose the high res flattener, then switch back to acrobat 6. The flattener is grayed out, but it's still sets the resolution of the effects.

This feels very hacky and unreliable. I wish they kept the setting in acrobat 6 and just renamed it to Transparency Preset or something, rather than hiding this functionality. I worry that this could be removed in future updates to InDesign.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 21, 2018 Sep 21, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I think the better approach would be for the Acrobat Preflight rules to allow lower resolution thresholds for shadow effects—300ppi is an arbitrary number and would be overkill for a shadow blend.

See my # 27 in the link I posted.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 21, 2018 Sep 21, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yes, it definitely boils down to the preflight warnings and yes, I was referring to Photoshop drop shadows set to multiply on a transparent background.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2018 Sep 22, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Why can't the printer ignore the effect res flags? Doesn't seem like you should have to add work in order to solve your printer's preflight problem.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 22, 2018 Sep 22, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

They might be able to to do that. The thing is, I have 3 designer co-workers. We use multiple printers for different projects. We also send our products to foreign partners for translation and production. There are a lot of people involved, and I don't expect all of them to understand what's going on under the hood. I don't mind adding a few extra megabytes if it avoids confusion and complications.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 21, 2018 Sep 21, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

As a workaround, we have been adding drop shadows to images using Photoshop, but this is not ideal since the extended bounding boxes cause alignment issues and the drop shadows cannot be multiplied over the background in InDesign.

Just for the record, placed images do respond to InDesign's Blend Modes; you can indeed set a drop shadow of Photoshop origin to Multiply.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 21, 2018 Sep 21, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi John, I think the OP might be referring to Photoshop drop shadows set to multiply on a transparent background. If you place a transparent Photoshop object set to Multiply in InDesign, ID will ignore the PS blend mode and set it to normal.

The lower res gradations are a feature not a bug. 300ppi shadows would simply bloat the PDF file size with no improvement in quality.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Feb 26, 2019 Feb 26, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The Output to pdf is affected by the Transparency Flattener Preset - If you are having issues with an effect ( Drop Shadow for example ) being of a lower resolution than required - lets say 300dpi for press supply reduce the Raster Vector Balance to 16 & select this Preset when exporting..
The values I use are
Raster Vector Balance 16
Line Art and Text Resolution 1200

Gradient and Mesh Resolution 305

this should resolve the issue.

Cheers Steve

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2019 Feb 26, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

There should be zero need for transparency flattening.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Feb 26, 2019 Feb 26, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The majority of Printers & newspaper press centres still want a Pdf/x-1a:2001 file which is 1.3 and doesn't support layers..

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2019 Feb 26, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

BobLevine  wrote

There should be zero need for transparency flattening.

Hi Bob,

right.

But a custom transparency flattening preset can also be used with an export to PDF/X-4 where no transparency will be flattened.

The settings in that flattening preset will influence the effective resolution of a drop shadow exported to a PDF/X-4.

And if Gradient and Mesh Resolution is set to a value, let's say, above 300 ppi, a PDF preflight will not throw an error for an object with a drop shadow. That's just a trick to fool a PDF preflight on an object that would also be ok with e.g. a resolution of 200 ppi effectively.

Regards,
Uwe

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2019 Feb 26, 2019

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

’s #15 post in this thread goes into more detail on the trick Uwe is describing.

Re: Transparency without Flattening

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines