You are here:

Adobe InDesign/drop shadows not printing correctly


Mercurystar wrote at 2008-09-03 13:22:15
I got four words for you:


I was having the EXACT same problem and it was driving me bonkers. I even asked on Adobe and got replies I tried and failed. No one explained to me that you could change the ISO standards that define a subset in PDFs. PDF/X-1a:2001 fixed the transparency problems I was having right away. Now only if I figured out to do the google search yesterday morning that lead me to this site today I wouldn't have been so flustered all day yesterday!

Nookeen wrote at 2010-10-04 18:30:42
I had a similar issue with InDesign CS3 5.0.4. MAC

All my Drop Shadow effects created a dark rectangle around the objects on my Monitor when I used PDF that were created with "Export." I tried all different Transparency Flattening Presents but it didn't work. I also tried "Print" instead of the "Export" and it actually worked but then objects that had an effect were outlined with think lines. That confused me even more.

Then, I thought OK, I am using CMYK, lets try RBG, and BAM! suddenly all looked great and neat. I am using this Document for online downloading mostly and possible print out. So for me it worked great, the print out quality was good as well.

Hope it may help some of you!

Mara wrote at 2013-03-20 19:51:51
Another possibility: We had the same experience when printing a job to our internal color laser printer. The culprit was an RGB color in the swatches pallet. When the RGB color was converted to process, the job printed correctly.

Adobe InDesign

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


InDesign Pro


As a professional graphic designer, I use Adobe InDesign every day and can answer all of your InDesign-related questions. I will give you easy-to-understand and precise answers, along with many tips and tricks to save you time while working on every project. I have spent years helping beginners learn InDesign, as well as helping professionals master the many features of the world's most powerful page-layout software. Thank-you for your submissions. Please include your operating system (e.g., Mac OS X 10.5.x) and InDesign version (e.g., InDesign CS4) with your questions. Thanks!


After starting my design career using QuarkXPress and PageMaker for many years, the release of InDesign instantly caught my eye. Being one of the reasons for Adobe buying Aldus, I knew this would change the publishing world very quickly. I started using InDesign's first release and haven't looked back. I have dedicated my work and much of my spare time using InDesign to its fullest—and it's paid off. My workflow is quicker, my computer runs smoother, and my files print cleaner and without problem.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]