I'm creating a picture book in Indesign. I've placed ai illustration files in the document, and in front of them a png image. My printer wants the work flattened. When exported to pdf and flattened, the outlines of the vector graphics show as grey outlines through the image. No help from Adobe representatives. Desperate for suggestions.... outlines of door and clothing showing through the face

  • if you zoom in the PDF, do you still see the outlines?
    – Luciano
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 8:48
  • If you zoom in a lot you see it stitched instead of one line, but still there.
    – Aviva
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 2:23

3 Answers 3

  1. Try to adjust the PDF output settings in the dialog that appears when you choose to export. Or get the output settings from your printer. They should be able to supply you with a PDF preset that they use when the rip files themselves. Otherwise try using "PDF/X-1a:2001".

  2. Open the illustrator vector file, select everything and covert paths to outlines, then merge everything so the file doesn't have a gajillion points.

  3. Check to make sure you don't have a transparent stroke set on the paths.

That's all I have. Good luck. Hope those work for you.

  • Hi, I tried x1a, didn't work.... I just don't understand why if indesign is meant to host both vector gaphics and images, it isn't letting me do just that?!
    – Aviva
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 2:29

This sort of looks sort of like the old transparency flattener bug, which was a real nightmare in early versions. You wouldn't by chance be using an old version like CS1 or CS2, would you?

If so, you can spend hours trying to fix it with uncertain success. The simple workaround is to composite your graphics in Photoshop, save a JPEG and place the composited image in Photoshop.

  • Hi, I'm using the newest versions. Signed up to the cloud. It seems that the printer wanting me to save it with pdf 1.3 that is flattening the transparency is making it happen. something in the flattening isn't going right. When I upload the file to the rinter's (Lulu's) site, they flatten again, and it makes it even worse....
    – Aviva
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 2:28

I would not let the pdf exporter make the process for me.

In my opinion it is "bad" planning. I insist that an output document should contain one layer of texts, and some simple vector elements and the rest on a flat, non transparent bitmap.

I do not know how many images you have, but I would export them in Ilustrator and link a bitmap version.

One option to skip the "re-link" option is to save a copy of your Ilustrator's editable artwork, and convert internally the ilustrations to bitmaps.

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