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Losing some transparency when saving to PDF

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Sarah Peller
Losing some transparency when saving to PDF
on Nov 19, 2012 at 7:48:56 pm

I can't seem to figure out why I'm losing the transparency on some objects in this image when I save to PDF...
I am using Illustrator CS5 on a mac.

This is a screen show of how it's supposed to look:

And this is how it ends up after saving to PDF:

Notice the big white circles above the trees... They don't hold their transparency in the PDF version...

I was reading this article --
It seems to say that as long as I save it to PDF 1.4 and later (when Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities option is selected), it should keep the transparency. But that doesn't work either, so I'm at a loss.

Any ideas?

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Nevin Styre
Re: Losing some transparency when saving to PDF
on Nov 23, 2012 at 11:06:28 pm

generally blending modes and transparent gradients are a mixed bag when exporting pdfs.

I find it's a good idea to rasterize the transparency before exporting. You can do this by selecting your partially transparent layers and the layers that they are on top of and go Object->flatten transparency. Obviously these parts of your file will no longer be vector and are considered raster images, this can increase your file size. The flatten transparency option does let you choose the resolution it flattens at.

NOTE you will want to duplicate your art/layers that you are flattening before flattening if you want to retain future editing abilities of your shapes and opacity/blend modes.

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