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Old 06-03-2009
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Location: San Diego
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Default Help with transparent images (PNG) files in Publisher when converting to PDF
Hello,

Ive searched and searched for hours to try to find a cause and solution for this, but have had no luck. Hope someone here can help.

I frequently make brochures using MS Publisher. Most graphics I use are JPG files, however every now and then I need part of the image to be transparent. I have opened some JPGs of logos in Photoshop Elements, carefully selected the parts I wanted and then made a new file with transparent background and saved as a PNG. (I do this because its the only way I know how. Im sure there are better methods to use to create transparent image files for advertising purposes).

When I use the PNG file in a photoshop creation, or in Publisher (as is), it prints beautifully. However when I convert a Publisher flyer to a PDF for my boss, the PNG file gets real ugly looking. It gets very choppy? It looses the smooth edges and looks terrible.

Does Anyone know why this is or what I should be doing differently if I need to create an image with transparent background that can be nicely converted to a PDF?

I know this is a more "Advanced" than general question. I'd be happy to buy dinner for anyone who can help me with a satisfactory solution! If you don't live near me, I'll send you a giftcard to one of your local restaurants as a Thank you for your time and sharing your knowledge!

Thank you

~Kim

(currently in Missouri, recently lived in Maryland, but spent most my life in California)
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Old 06-03-2009
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Company name: Your Organisers
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Maidstone, Kent, UK
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Default Re: Help with transparent images (PNG) files in Publisher when converting to PDF
Hi Kim

I'm not sure whether this will be of any help, but I found this article on Microsoft's support site.

Let me know if it works.

_____________________
Denise - Your Organisers
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Old 06-03-2009
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Default Re: Help with transparent images (PNG) files in Publisher when converting to PDF
Thank you very much Denise

Im on my way to check that article out right now!

I will let you know if it helps or not.
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Old 06-04-2009
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Re: Help with transparent images (PNG) files in Publisher when converting to PDF
I should have mentioned in the initial post that I am running Publisher 2007.

Denise, thank you again for the article. However it did not help with my situation. The article was written for a different problem people were having regarding PNG files with the Publisher 2000 version.

I am not having the problem they were discussing in that article. However at the bottom of that article there was a reference note about my problem, and its not good news. Here is what it stated:

NOTE: Pictures inserted from transparent TIFF and PNG files do not print correctly to many types of printers, especially those that use the PostScript (such as a PDF converter / printer) page description language. This is not a problem unique to Publisher, it happens with many other programs as well.

So that's what it said and it did not offer any solutions. However this article was for Publisher 2000. So maybe there is some more recent information on that site. Its 11:30pm and I need to give up on this for now, I'll search some more after Ive slept!

Oh and I did try the "work-around" they mentioned for the other PNG issues just to see if it would change / help my problem. But no luck there either.

I did however stumble on a "tool" that I hadnt noticed before in Publisher 2007. The picture editing toolbar has a tool (the icon looks like an inkpen pointing at a corner bracket) that allows you to "set transparent color". So if you have a JPG image and you just want the white parts (ie. behind your logo) to "dissapear", you can use that tool. Worked very nicely and I will use it in the future... BUT... once again, and despite that the image was a JPG file this time, when I converted / printed the flyer to a PDF file, the image did not look good anymore.

=(

Oh well. Its not the end of the world.
It is frustrating though =I

Im off to get some sleep!

~Kim
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Old 06-04-2009
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Company name: Your Organisers
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Maidstone, Kent, UK
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Default Re: Help with transparent images (PNG) files in Publisher when converting to PDF
Hi Kim

I'm sorry that didn't work. I have done a little more digging around and found some hopefully useful information in the knowledge base on the Adobe site. It looks quite fiddly, this is what it says:

7. Combine fragmented images. (Acrobat Pro, Pro Extended only)

When you use PostScript to convert documents that contain transparent images (for example a Word document containing a transparent GIF), the transparent image is broken up into tiny fragments in the PDF. This may lead to an increased file size for the PDF, which might cause problems when you print. In Acrobat 9.0, it is possible to merge these fragments.

To detect and merge image fragments:

1. Make a backup copy of your PDF file.
2. Open the copy and choose Advanced > PDF Optimizer, and then choose Discard Objects.
3. Select Detect And Merge Image Fragments and click OK.

8. Merge or flatten layers. (Acrobat Pro, Pro Extended only)

If you print a PDF file that contains layers, only the content that is visible on-screen is printed. Acrobat Professional, however, lets you specify which layer is visible and printable. Merge or flatten the layers in the PDF file to determine if a layer is causing the printing issue. Merged layers acquire the properties of the layer into which they are merged. Flattening layers discards any content that isn't visible.

Note: Merging or flattening layers can't be undone.

To merge or flatten layers:

1. Make a backup copy of your PDF file.
2. Open the copy and choose Advanced > PDF Optimizer, and then click Discard User Data.
3. Select Discard Hidden Layer Content And Flatten Visible Layers, and then click OK.
4. Open the Layer panel (if the Layer panel is not visible, choose View > Navigation Panels > Layers), choose Options, and then select either Merge Layers or Flatten Layers.

9. Adjust the transparency flattening. (Acrobat Pro, Pro Extended only)

If a document contains transparent objects, Acrobat flattens the document before printing it. Flattening removes transparency information and converts images to a format the printer can interpret. Adjust the transparency flattening to determine if transparency is causing the problem.

To adjust the transparency flattening:

1. Make a backup copy of your PDF file.
2. Choose Advanced > Print Production > Flattener Preview.
3. Adjust the Raster/Vector Balance:
* If you print to an inkjet printer, drag the Raster/Vector Balance slider to the lowest setting.
* If you print to a PostScript printer, drag the Raster/Vector Balance slider to the highest setting.
4. Select Convert All Text To Outlines.
5. Deselect Clip Complex Regions

Note: This option is only available if you select values between 1-99 in step 2 above.
6. Select Apply to flatten the PDF and close the Flattener Preview dialog box.
7. Choose File > Print to print the document.

The link for the page is here

Good luck and I hope this one works!

_____________________
Denise - Your Organisers
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Old 06-06-2009
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Maine USA
Posts: 15
Default Re: Help with transparent images (PNG) files in Publisher when converting to PDF
Kim,

Here are a couple of quick thoughts.

(1) Can you place the image on the same background as the flyer, then save it as a jpeg for use in your flyer?

(2) Save the entire flyer as a jpeg before converting it to PDF.

(3) Try enlarging the png image & using a small brush to erase the edges pixel by pixel, then apply a smoothing filter.

Let me know if any of this works for you.
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