An Adobe support care person who shared my screen today was as dismayed as I am by a very strange anomaly that we tried over and over to fix and it still isn't right. One of the spreads in a 280-page book layout is turning the font a darker color. There are no style changes, font colors applied besides black at 100%K, or extra elements on in the layers. Nothing is interfering that we can see. It's just these two pages no matter where they are placed in the document.

We tried deleting and replacing the pages, inserting fresh pages, re-typing the text, stripping all format out of the text in Notepad, played around with different view settings for the document, everything we could think of, but it remains the same. We even reinstalled the font. And I completed rebooted my system, twice!

The font is Garamond from the Monotype foundry (Claude Garamond 2.40). The darker text is also visible in PDF export, which is why I am concerned before press. The text looks extremely light on every page but this spread.

Has any one else ever experienced a similar issue and found what the cause is to apply a fix? Thank you for any help on this!

This screenshot is the dark text:

This is the normal text throughout the rest

  • Share indd file and pdf file. No need for all pages, just 2 pages one with ok font and one with not ok font.
    – mrserge
    Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 7:38

4 Answers 4


Some ideas:

-Is the problem with the text? The boxes? or the spread? (If you rearrange the text to flow to different pages, what happens? If you copy/paste the text into different boxes, what happens? If you move the text boxes to another spread, what happens?)

-Does it use the same Master Page as the rest? Make sure.

-Does it use the same Style Sheets as the rest? Make sure.

-Are the text boxes on the same layer as the rest? Make sure.

Besides "font color", here are other ways text can appear differently:

-% of the color -opacity of the text box -opacity of the layer -"Overprint Black" set or not set

There could also a file corruption.

Copy the text/pages into a new file. I had to do this recently. The stylesheets just broke in the file, but when I copied and pasted them into a new doc, it all reset perfectly.

Good luck.

  • 1
    Thank you so much for all of this, Lazarus. The problem is with the text, not the boxes. It is a problem with this particular spread only. When trying a reflow, it stays dark, same with copy/pasted into different spreads, and copying into another new document.
    – Jain Lemos
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 19:31
  • Sorry, continued: Master Page is the same for sure. Exact same style sheet. All on the same layer, only one layer and placed in order of appearance to be sure. I'm going to try a copy into a new file again! I'm wondering if this had to do with a problem on the Garamond font in the Word document I received?
    – Jain Lemos
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 19:33
  • Just to be clear, you copied the offending text into a different box on a different page and it stayed the wrong color? Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 19:45
  • Probably not the font. Probably a tagging glitch in the file around that text. If so, then select all of the offending text plus a few paragraphs before and after it, then set both the Paragraph and Character styles to [None]. Then change the font to anything else at all without a style sheet. Then save the file. Restart InDesign. Reopen the file, select all of the affected text, and reapply the style sheet and clear all overrides. If there is an tagging issue with applying the style correctly, that should fix it. If it still doesn't work, then it may be glitch within InDesign itself. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 19:50
  • Okay, yes, I copied the offending text into a different box on a different page and it stayed the wrong color.
    – Jain Lemos
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 20:01

I just got a solution. In my case this problem was caused by an image file that wasn't flattened.

Using the "Flattener Preview" -panel set to highlight Transparent Objects, I was able to pinpoint the image file that was causing the problem.


If you are using Paragraph Styles, the style for the two troublesome paragraphs must have Overrides. These are indicated by a "+" to the right of the style name when you have the paragraphs selected:

Hold Alt and Left click the style to remove overrides.

If this doesn't help, your paragraphs might have an unwanted Character Style applied.

Select the paragraphs and set the Character Style to [None].

If this doesn't help (you might not be using styles or your styling isn't consistent) one of the following could be the problem:

  • The paragraphs has another color than [Black]. For example [Registration], RGB black or a custom Rich Black.

  • The paragraphs has Text Stroke applied.

  • The paragraphs has the wrong Font Size.

  • The paragraphs has the wrong Font Style.

  • 1
    Thank you for all of these suggestions! We finally determined it was an anomaly with the Word document import which placed some type of fragment left over in a style sheet. The author "designed" the book in Word (I know!) and even though I did my best to strip it all out and match to my ID styles before importing, this was just too deep. The way we figured it out was by exporting the Word doc to PDF where we could see that it had a deep style corruption.
    – Jain Lemos
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 16:58
  • Glad to hear you tracked down the error. But I don't understand why my suggestions didn't work. No matter what kinds of strange styling you import from a word doc, you should always be able to reset the styling in InDesign by clearing all character styles and reapplying the paragraph style. Do you think it's a bug?
    – Wolff
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 21:10
  • We had already checked all of the styles for paragraph, colors, characters, etc. and for any unwanted style applications before I posted my question here. We tried all the things anyone in Adobe Customer Care or I could think of but the text remained that dark color on that spread. So yes, it was a bug or some type of file corruption. Thanks again!
    – Jain Lemos
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 22:11

I had this happen and it turned out it was because a white background was turned on in the source image. Once I turned that off and updated the link, the text looked fine.

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