Is there anyway I can generate a version of a pdf which shows on screen, simulated overprint. I essentially want to send my client there artwork back showing the overprint simulated. I don’t want them to have to use acrobat and enable the overprint preview. We usually place there artwork within a indesign template (using a script) and save this so anything that could be incorporated into this process would be helpful.

  • Is the overprint on black only? or they are two different Pantone colors.
    – Rafael
    Nov 29, 2023 at 15:19
  • It could be on any colour, stroke or fill. We receive a lot of files from designers who have used logos or elements within the artwork which they’ve copied so on most occasions they aren’t aware they’ve done it.
    – Mark mark
    Nov 29, 2023 at 19:05
  • 2
    Export as jpg maybe?
    – Scott
    Nov 29, 2023 at 19:11
  • Screen shot of the artwork with overprint preview on in Acrobat or a preflight program?
    – user8356
    Nov 29, 2023 at 21:33
  • This works for exporting as jpeg but ideally need the pdf. Thanks for this though, it wasn't something I'd considered. I currently use pitstop to identify and fix but a screen grab or outputting as a jpeg isn't quite what I'm looking for.
    – Mark mark
    Nov 30, 2023 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


I've managed to find a way around this. When I save from InDesign I have a PDF Preset which uses the PDF/X-4:2010 Standard.

This automatically enables Simulate Overprinting when the PDF is opened in Adobe Acrobat.

The PDF also gets an Output Intent so Acrobat automatically can choose the right Simulation Profile.

  • Hi and welcome to GDSE! I took the liberty to edit your answer. Added a bit of formatting and fixed some typos. I'm italicizing terms from Adobe programs so they are easier to spot, that's just my preference. I also tried to make it clear that only Adobe Acrobat can be trusted to display the PDF like you intent. Feel free to revert the edits if you disagree.
    – Wolff
    Nov 30, 2023 at 16:20
  • Thanks for taking the time to correct this. Would you be willing to expand on this for me and explain the possible consequences of converting a pdf to a different standard. Could this change anything which would affect the appearance of the file on screen? Anything you could help with my understanding would be greatly appreciated.
    – Mark mark
    Nov 30, 2023 at 21:20
  • It sounds like something you should ask as a new question. I honestly can't answer right now without googling. Even though I'm in the print business I seldom meet demands for a standard. But I know that, as you can see for yourself, all other standards than PDF/X-4:2010 forces Compatibility to be set to Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) which, among other things, splits images into tiles, flattens transparency and doesn't look too good on screen.
    – Wolff
    Dec 1, 2023 at 18:36

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