Using - Illustrator CS5

I have created an image which has a shadow behind it. This shadow is a shape with a gradient applied that is black to transparent.

I have saved this Adobe Illustrator file out as a PDF file and printed it. However when I print it out the tranparent part of the shadow has ended up printing out light grey instead of clear?

Any idea why this is the case?

  • What's the shadow falling on? Another coloured object or image?
    – e100
    Jul 11, 2012 at 16:23
  • As you print it, are you able to adjust the properties of the printer such that any automatic color adjustment ("Vibrant Photo", "Unicorns and Rainbows" etc.) if OFF? Most consumer color printers have driver settings that will silently adjust the color.
    – horatio
    Jul 11, 2012 at 17:45
  • @e100 - It is falling onto a dark grey (road/tarmac image).
    – bbacarat
    Jul 12, 2012 at 22:22
  • What aren't you sharing? How do you know it's a dark grey? Are you placing the file into an Indesign page on top of a color? Or some other application? Printing to a colored paper? Because strictly printing to white paper would not show a difference.
    – Scott
    Sep 9, 2012 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


It's possible that you need to update your printer drivers. It's an oft-neglected step to take if your printer's acting up.

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