I know others have asked similar questions, but the answers don't seem to be working for me.

If I have an Illustrator file open and am also working in InDesign, I often copy/paste the vector image into a new layer in InDesign. Today, one of my vector images started showing up with a partially solid background. I can tell that it is behind the vector art, so I went back to the original thinking a fill colour of white must have been set. Not so. In fact, as demonstrated by the two images below, in InDesign there is a white box, and in Illustrator it is transparent (proven by the light blue box I drew behind it). The strangest part is that portions of text outside of the "area" that logo occupies ARE transparent.

InDesign with white filled box Illustrator with no fill, as proven by blue box drawn behind

I've ticked the "Show Import Options" box in InDesign, but the "Transparency" tick box is not always available.

Some of these logos come from other companies as .eps, so I don't have access to the original .ai files. Regardless of whether they're placed or copy/pasted, the same thing is happening.

Some files aren't giving me an issue while others are. I thought maybe if one document's settings were RGB while the other's were CMYK it might cause a problem, but changing the document settings and saving isn't fixing the issue.

1 Answer 1


EPS is a flat file format - something is either transparent or it is not - there's no in between. Blurs, shadows, and glows must be expanded and flattened when saved as EPS. In that heart image, the shadow is what is generating the background because it has to be flattened for the EPS format.

You can try re-saving the as .ai then place into InDesign. However, if the original EPS files already contains that background, there's little you can do other than to reconstruct elements or request the original .ai file rather than the flat EPS format.

  • Gotcha. The only thing about the heart image is that it is actually an illustrator file. (I've just been having similar issues today with eps files). Usually copying and pasting vector art from Illustrator into InDesign works like a charm, but this is what happens when I paste or place that .ai file. Are you suggesting there is an effect on the logo that needs to be removed first? Oct 14, 2014 at 20:24
  • Is there a white box behind the heart in the ai file? Then yes, you need to remove it there first. Switch to Outline Mode (View > outline) in Illustrator and see if there's a box there. Actually.. the box may be due to that colored image behind everything -- I suspect that's a placed linked or embedded raster image in the AI file. In which case, you need to alter the raster image or convert it to vector.
    – Scott
    Oct 14, 2014 at 20:34
  • In outline mode that entire coloured image disappears (the only thing left is a bounding box). Does this mean it was likely an embedded raster image? How can I best convert it to a vector format? Oct 15, 2014 at 0:02
  • Yes. That means it's a raster image. You can copy/paste it to Photoshop, remove the white background and then re-place it in Illustrator or you can try the Image Trace feature in Illustrator on it, or you can recreate the image with vector paths yourself.
    – Scott
    Oct 15, 2014 at 16:01

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