How-to-fix: Disappearing or Strange Looking Elements in the PDF

2017-12-05 12:56:00 UTC

If elements disappear from the PDF after uploading to E-pages it may be because of the use of layers and layers with transparency in the PDF.

PDF versions later than 1.4 introduced the possibility to make transparency and more layers.


Unfortunately this can be interpreted differently on different PDF tools like rendering and rasterisation programs which is why printing houses prefer receiving the material in a single layer.
 
By using flattening you get only one layer, which is more easy to work with.
 
You can flatten the PDF in two ways:

1. Print to postscript and use Acrobat Distiller to make a PDF afterwards. The PDF version is not important - the postscript process will flatten the PDF.

2. From Acrobat Pro you can flatten layers by saving the PDF as an Optimized PDF. Pick "Files" -> "Save as" -> "Optimized PDF". Check "Transparency" (See screenshot below) and press "Save" 

Transparency_flatten.png

 
It is a well known problem in the graphical industry to handle PDF files with layers and transparency which is why Adobe and others have written some recommendations about this subject.
 
See examples here:
http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/creativesuite/articles/cs3ip_transp_18.html
or here:
http://www.creativepro.com/article/indesign-tips-printing-transparency

PDF Requirements

- E-pages accepts both full PDF files containing multiple single pages and single page PDFs
- The PDF must be 72 or 150 DPI
- The PDF must not have double-page spreads, i.e. 2 pages joined together as one
- The PDF must not have crop marks
- The PDF must have all text and fonts embedded. All text must be selectable - otherwise full-text search will not be possible and the text will not sharp.
- All pages in a section must have same page format/size
- The PDF must NOT contain layers or transparency while this might cause problems with disappearing layers or page elements
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