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Part: IV Appendix > Understanding Transparency

Understanding Transparency

The transparency features in Illustrator and InDesign have gotten a bad rap since they were initially introduced—and rightfully so. The technology was too new for the older systems that most printers were using, and, above all, there was very little information on how it worked, leaving many printers and designers to struggle with the settings. Most people didn't even know that transparency existed, and printers who suggested that users save their files as older Illustrator files ended up causing even more issues. At the end of the day, it was all quite messy.

But transparency has come quite a way since then. Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat now all share the same flattening technology (necessary to process files with transparency), and, more important, the transparency features and settings across all of these applications are identical. Adobe has also been extremely proactive in helping print service providers and printers learn about transparency, and numerous guides and whitepapers are also available (I reference these later).


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