Of course, using the print indessign demands a full version of Acrobat is installed on your system. Ignore the flattener preset on an individual spread. Important settings are outlined in red. Sign up using Email and Password. Layers are like sheets of paper stacked on top of the digital document, which appear to be on the same level.

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Flattening divides transparent artwork into vector-based areas and rasterized areas. As artwork becomes more complex mixing images, vectors, type, spot colors, overprinting, and so on , so does the flattening and its results.

You can specify flattening settings and then save and apply them as transparency flattener presets. Transparent objects are flattened according to the settings in the selected flattener preset. Note: Transparency flattening cannot be undone after the file is saved.

Overlapping art is divided when flattened. About transparency flattener presets If you regularly print or export documents that contain transparency, you can automate the flattening process by saving flattening settings in a transparency flattener preset.

In addition, in Illustrator you can apply them when saving files to earlier versions of Illustrator or when copying to the clipboard; in Acrobat, you can also apply them when optimizing PDFs. You can choose a flattener preset in the Advanced panel of the Print dialog box or of the format-specific dialog box that appears after the initial Export or Save As dialog box. You can create your own flattener presets or choose from the default options provided with the software.

Medium Resolution is for desktop proofs and print-on-demand documents that will be printed on PostScript color printers. Low Resolution is for quick proofs that will be printed on black-and-white desktop printers and for documents that will be published on the web or exported to SVG.

Apply a flattener preset for output You can choose a flattener preset in the Print dialog box, or in the format-specific dialog box that appears after the initial Export dialog box. In the Advanced panel of the Print, Export EPS, or Export Adobe PDF dialog box, choose a custom preset or one of the following default presets: Low Resolution Use for quick proofs that will be printed on black-and-white desktop printers, and for documents that will be published on the web.

Medium Resolution Use for desktop proofs and print-on-demand documents that will be printed on Adobe PostScript color printers. High Resolution Use for final press output, and for high-quality proofs such as separations-based color proofs.

Note: The flattening settings are used only if the artwork contains transparency or if Simulate Overprint is selected in the Output area of the Export Adobe PDF dialog box. Create or edit a transparency flattener preset You can save transparency flattener presets in a separate file, making it easy to back them up or to make them available to your service providers, clients, or others in your workgroup.

In InDesign, transparency flattener preset files have an. Do one of the following: To create a new preset, click New. To base a preset on a predefined preset, select one in the list and click New. To edit an existing preset, select the preset and click Edit. Set flattening options.

Export and import a custom transparency flattener preset You can export and import transparency flattener presets in order to share them with your service providers, your clients, or others in your workgroup. Select a preset in the list. Do one of the following: To export a preset to a separate file, click Save InDesign or Export Illustrator , specify a name and location, and then click Save. Locate and select the file containing the preset you want to load, and then click Open. To delete a preset, click Delete, and then click OK to confirm the deletion.

Note: You cannot delete the default presets. This is useful for controlling the flattening quality in documents with a mix of high-resolution images with lots of transparency and low-resolution images. In this case, you can flatten the complex spread at a high quality, and use a faster and lower-quality flattener preset on the other spreads.

At print or export time, you can revert to the flattener settings for the document or book. Display the spread in the Document window. Choose Spread Flattening in the Pages panel menu. None Ignore Transparency Ignores transparency for the spread. This option is useful for troubleshooting by the service provider. Transparency Flattener options You can set Transparency Flattener options when creating, editing, or previewing flattener presets in Illustrator, InDesign, or Acrobat.

Highlight preview options Disables previewing. Keep in mind that the boundary of the highlight area has a higher probability of producing stitching problems depending on the print-driver settings and the rasterization resolution.

To minimize stitching problems, select Clip Complex Regions. Transparent Objects Highlights the objects that are sources of transparency, such as objects with partial opacity including images with alpha channels , objects with blending modes, and objects with opacity masks. In addition, note that styles and effects may contain transparency, and overprinted objects may be treated as sources of transparency if they are involved in transparency or if the overprint needs to be flattened.

All Affected Objects Highlights all objects that are involved in transparency, including transparent objects and objects that are overlapped by transparent objects. The highlighted objects will be affected by the flattening process—their strokes or patterns will be expanded, portions of them may get rasterized, and so on.

Affected Graphics InDesign only Highlights all placed content affected by transparency or transparency effects. This option is useful for service providers who need to see graphics that require attention to print properly. Expanded Patterns Illustrator and Acrobat Highlights all patterns that will be expanded if involved in transparency. Outlined Strokes Highlights all strokes that will be outlined if involved in transparency or because Convert All Strokes To Outlines is selected.

Note: In the final output, outlined strokes and text may appear slightly different from native ones, especially very thin strokes and very small text. The All Rasterized Regions option also shows raster graphics such as Photoshop files involved in transparency, and raster effects such as drop shadows and feathers. Note that this option takes longer to process than the others. Depending on the dialog box, you can type a name in the Name text box or accept the default.

You can enter the name of an existing preset to edit that preset. Higher settings preserve more vector objects, while lower settings rasterize more vector objects; intermediate settings preserve simple areas in vector form and rasterize complex ones. Select the lowest setting to rasterize all the artwork. Note: The amount of rasterization that occurs depends on the complexity of the page and the types of overlapping objects.

Line Art And Text Resolution Rasterizes all objects, including images, vector artwork, text, and gradients, to the specified resolution. Illustrator allows a maximum of ppi for both line art and gradient mesh.

The resolution affects the precision of intersections when flattened. Gradient and mesh resolution should generally be set between and ppi, because the quality of the gradients, drop shadows, and feathers do not improve with higher resolutions, but printing time and file size increase. Convert All Text To Outlines Converts all type objects point type, area type, and path type to outlines and discards all type glyph information on pages containing transparency.

This option ensures that the width of text stays consistent during flattening. Convert All Strokes To Outlines Converts all strokes to simple filled paths on pages containing transparency.

This option ensures that the width of strokes stays consistent during flattening. Note that enabling this option causes thin strokes to appear slightly thicker and may degrade flattening performance. Clip Complex Regions Ensures that the boundaries between vector artwork and rasterized artwork fall along object paths. This option reduces stitching artifacts that result when part of an object is rasterized while another part of the object remains in vector form.

However, selecting this option may result in paths that are too complex for the printer to handle. Note: Some print drivers process raster and vector art differently, sometimes resulting in color stitching.

You may be able to minimize stitching problems by disabling some print-driver specific color-management settings. These settings vary with each printer, so see the documentation that came with your printer for details.

Stitching, where rasters and vectors meet. Illustrator only Select Preserve Alpha Transparency Flatten Transparency dialog box only Preserves the overall opacity of flattened objects. With this option, blending modes and overprints are lost, but their appearance is retained within the processed artwork, along with the level of alpha transparency as when you rasterize artwork using a transparent background.

Select this option when printing separations if the document contains spot colors and overprinted objects. Deselect this option when saving files for use in page-layout applications.

With this option selected, overprinted areas that interact with transparency are flattened, while overprinting in other areas is preserved. The results are unpredictable when the file is output from a page-layout application. Preserve Overprint Acrobat only Blends the color of transparent artwork with the background color to create an overprint effect.

Preview which areas of artwork will be flattened Use the preview options in the Flattener Preview to highlight areas that are affected by flattening. You can use this color-coded information to adjust flattening options.

Note: The Flattener Preview is not intended for precise previewing of spot colors, overprints, and blending modes. Instead, use Overprint Preview mode for those purposes. From the Highlight menu, choose the kind of areas you want to highlight. The availability of options depends on the content of the artwork. Select the flattening settings you want to use: Either choose a preset or, if available, set specific options. If the artwork contains overprinted objects that interact with transparent objects, in Illustrator, select an option from the Overprints menu.

You can preserve, simulate, or discard overprints. In Acrobat, choose Preserve Overprint to blend the color of transparent artwork with the background color to create an overprint effect.

At any time, click Refresh to display a fresh preview version based on your settings. Depending on the complexity of the artwork, you may need to wait a few seconds for the preview image to appear. Note: In Illustrator and Acrobat, to magnify the preview, click in the preview area. To pan the preview, hold down the spacebar and drag in the preview area. Refresh the preview in the Flattener Preview panel To automatically update the display whenever it is out of date and idle, select Auto Refresh Highlight.

To manually update the display, click Refresh. In both cases, the display is updated in the document window according to the transparency flattening settings you chose. Best practices when creating transparency In most cases, flattening produces excellent results when you use an appropriate predefined flattener preset, or create a preset with settings appropriate for your final output.

Good communication between you and your service provider will help you achieve the results you expect.

Conversely, if you apply overprint simulation, the transparency flattener provides a simulation of what the overprints look like, and this simulation results in all opaque objects.



What is transparency in artwork? Common effects that apply transparency are any stylising effects like shadows, glows and feathering. What is flattening? Why is flattening necessary? Flattening of transparencies is vitally important. If different colour modes have been used, unpredictable results can occur.

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You can apply effects to objects using opacity and blends. Overlap objects, add transparency to objects, or knock out shapes behind objects. You can make the items transparent in a variety of ways. When you decrease opacity, the underlying artwork becomes visible through the surface of the object, stroke, fill, or text. You use the Effects panel to specify the opacity an object, its stroke, its fill, or its text, You can decide how the object itself, its stroke, fill, or text blend with objects beneath.


InDesign Tips: Printing Transparency



How do I flatten a transparency in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop?


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