Could someone explain the difference between "Paper" and white in Indesign? I'm printing posters and continually use "paper" for my text and other shapes as the color white. Is this correct?

1 Answer 1


Paper color is not always white, if you click twice on the paper color you can change it to simulate printing on a colored paper.

In that case, if you create an object with Paper as a fill color:

  • it will be the color of the paper if it's over an object with another color filling
  • or transparent if it's over the paper

On the other side, white is 0% ink on CMYK files.

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Paper color is just a simulation, is not an ink. See the ink separation on the sample image, leaving visible the cyan ink, the light-blue paper is not seen in the separation, but the cyan square is black.


This means that the paper color will never print. Exporting a PDF to print from an Indesign file with colored Paper, the paper will be transparent, because is not an ink.

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