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Why do thin white lines appear around objects when I export an InDesign file as a PDF

When building a display file in InDesign, exporting as a TIFF typically is not available so the best option for print is sending DoTradeshow a high resolution PDF file. Although this is the best option for print there can be some issues within the file because of the way InDesign handles certain elements.

One of the most common issues with the print ready PDF file is having thin white lines around any object that has a glow or drop shadow. These white lines may be hard to see without zooming in but are very visible when the full size graphic is printed.

If you notice these lines within your pdf file or simply want to avoid having them try one (or all) of these solutions:

Export as PDF 1.4 or later

When exporting the final pdf file double check the version by going to the General settings and selecting Acrobat 5 or higher from the Compatibility options.

Turn off the Smooth Line Art option in Acrobat.

1.Choose Edit > Preferences (Windows), or Acrobat > Preferences (Mac OS) to open the preference dialog box.

2.In Categories > Page Display deselect the option Smooth Line Art, and then click OK.

Convert spot color to process color.

1.Choose Window > Swatches to open the Swatches palette.

2.Double-click the spot color to open the Swatch Options dialog box.

3.Choose Process from the Color Type pop-up menu.

Move the spot color to the top of the layer.

Change the stacking order of the objects, so that the object with the spot color is at the top, before flattening the image.

1.Select the object.

2.Choose Object > Arrange > Bring to Front.

Use layers to arrange the colors.

Place the spot colored object on a different layer, then arrange that layer above the layer that contains the transparent objects.

Set the opacity for the spot color to less than 100% and export to PDF again.

If your print shows dark lines on the printout of a created PDF file, then lower the opacity and create the PDF file again.

1.Select the object that contains the spot color.

2.Choose Window > Transparency to open the Transparency palette.

3.In the Opacity field, enter a value like 99.9%.

4.Export or print to PDF again.

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If you still have some concerns or simply have questions about your artwork, feel free to give us a call to discuss them. We have designers on staff who can answer most of your design-related questions.




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DoTradeshow® is a registered trademark of Trade Show Displays, Inc., the experts in portable trade show displays exhibit. At DoTradeshow, you will get the most value for your next trade show booth. @Trade Show Displays, Inc. Last Updated: 4/27/2018