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If you work in a prepress department or in a print shop, you may want to define your own customized Transparency Flattener Presets, presets that are customized for the systems that you use. You may also want to export those presets and send them out to your clients so that they can use those presets as well. Let's take a look at how that works. Now, I'm here inside of Illustrator. You don't even need to have a document open at all. Simply go over to the Edit menu, and then choose Transparency Flattener Presets. By default, Illustrator lists me my Low, Medium, and High Resolution Presets. In Illustrator, when you create a new document, the default setting is the Medium Resolution setting.
Now, let's say I want to create my own new preset that's really the highest quality, even better than the High Resolution setting. I'm going to go here and start off with the High Resolution setting and I'm going to choose to create a new one. I'll call this one Highest Quality. I'll leave my Raster/Vector Balance slider set to 100. This basically disables that second level of rasterization that occurs during the transparency flattening process. Now, if I'm working with a rip that rasterizes artwork at 2400 ppi, I'm actually going to go ahead and change that right here to 2400. This means, by the way, that even if text does get caught behind some kind of a rasterized area, it still will get rasterized at the same rate of resolution that other text would be, so there really would be no difference.
In this particular case here, I don't have to worry about checking my file to make sure that the stacking order is correct. The downside to this though is that I really need to have a lot of memory in my rip; otherwise I may be waiting a really long time to process my files. I will leave the Gradient and Mesh Resolution set to 300 pixels per inch, because those elements are continuous tone and I'll leave these checkboxes turned off for now. I'm going to go ahead and click OK and I have now just created my own customized Transparency Flattener Preset. Now, if I want to go ahead and distribute this to others, what I may do is click on the Export button and then save that to my desktop, and then I'll email that to somebody else, for example, who may want to now go ahead and import that.
The way to import those is to simply go straight to your Transparency Flattener Presets dialog box, like we have here, and then click on the Import button and then import those files here. The Preset files themselves are actually cross-platforms, so there is no problem if you are on a Mac and you want to have somebody else actually import them onto a PC. Unfortunately, there is no way to set one of these to be the default setting that Illustrator uses for all documents, and even on top of that, you can't even set a new document profile to always use a specific Transparency Flattener Preset. However, the next best thing is to actually define your preset yourselves so that you can easily access them whenever you need to print or export your file.
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