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Creating and sharing flattener presets

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency

Video: Creating and sharing flattener presets

For the majority of the work that you do inside of Illustrator, you're probably okay with using the built-in flattener settings that Illustrator has. Meaning, the Medium Resolution setting, which is your default setting, can be used for almost all of your proofing tasks. If you need to print high quality output or if you're a printer and you want to be able to send high quality output to your RIP, you can probably use the High Resolution setting. However, it's certainly possible that you become familiar enough with these flattener settings to create your own presets. If you are a prepress operator, you might know your hardware, its limitations, and maybe what its strengths are and you could maybe build based on some testing a custom profile for the flattener settings that work best for your device.

Creating and sharing flattener presets

For the majority of the work that you do inside of Illustrator, you're probably okay with using the built-in flattener settings that Illustrator has. Meaning, the Medium Resolution setting, which is your default setting, can be used for almost all of your proofing tasks. If you need to print high quality output or if you're a printer and you want to be able to send high quality output to your RIP, you can probably use the High Resolution setting. However, it's certainly possible that you become familiar enough with these flattener settings to create your own presets. If you are a prepress operator, you might know your hardware, its limitations, and maybe what its strengths are and you could maybe build based on some testing a custom profile for the flattener settings that work best for your device.

Likewise, as I'll show you, you might want to create a real quick-and-dirty type of proofing preset that will allow you to print really, really heavy or complex files in a short amount of time. Let's see how to do that. I am actually going to start by creating a new document, because in order to define these presets you actually need to have a document opened. It doesn't make a difference what the document is. But then you go over here to the Edit menu, scroll down over here to where it says Transparency Flattener Presets, and you can see now that I have the Transparency Flattener Presets dialog box here.

Illustrator comes with a Low, Medium, and High Resolution settings, which I can't change, but I could use those as a base to create my own. So for example, I can click on one of them and then click New. This brings up my Transparency Flattener Preset options because it can help create a new one. So for example let's say I wanted to create a proofing type of preset that I can use for very, very complex files. So for example, I am going to create one here called Proofing. I am going to change my Raster/Vector Balance slider down to right now 25, because this way I am allowing Illustrator to rasterize just as much of it as it wants to and what I might do is if I know that I usually print to an inkjet printer, I might choose to keep my Line Art and Text Resolution set to 300 pixels per inch and my Gradient and Mesh Resolution set to 150.

So that would look pretty decent on just about any inkjet printer. I can probably go down to around 250 pixels per inch if I wanted to with probably almost no visual difference in the output. But for now I am going to leave it this way. I want to keep my Clip Complex Regions on because while I am allowing Illustrator to rasterize more content, I want to keep it within the bounds of a vector mask so I don't see those big blocky stitching problems. So I'll click OK and now I've created my own preset. Now, when I print my documents inside of Illustrator, which I'll show you in just a moment, I have the ability to choose that preset.

Now, if I am a prepress operator or a printer and I want actually to have other designers who work for me actually use my flattener settings, I can choose to export these values. Then when a user goes ahead and gets that file, it's just a simple text file. It's actually just a pretty straightforward file that you can just email to anybody else. They can then click on the Import button and choose to import that preset into their version of Illustrator and you can do this across teams at the same company or colleagues or so on and so forth. Now, I also here have the ability to delete or edit existing ones as well.

For now though I'm going to click OK. I am just going to show you that on a day-to-day basis when I want to use those presets, I can press Command+P or Ctrl+P to bring up my Print dialog box. If I go to the Advanced section of the Print dialog box, here I can choose from my different presets including the one that I just created called Proofing. So that's a way that you can create your own flattener presets, and you can share them as well, and you could use these if you want to go above and beyond the Low, Medium, and High Resolution flattener presets that Illustrator already ships with by default.

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This video is part of

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  1. 7m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. The history of vector transparency
      4m 2s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      26s
  2. 6m 21s
    1. Transparency living in a world of PostScript
      2m 56s
    2. Transparency...it's everywhere
      2m 13s
    3. Transparency across Adobe applications
      1m 12s
  3. 42m 20s
    1. Deconstructing the Transparency panel
      7m 48s
    2. Adding transparency to gradients
      4m 59s
    3. Using the Isolate Blending setting
      5m 20s
    4. Understanding how overprints and knockouts work
      6m 26s
    5. Using the Knockout Group setting
      6m 47s
    6. Using the Knockout Group setting without a group
      6m 2s
    7. Understanding the Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape setting
      4m 58s
  4. 36m 26s
    1. What is an opacity mask?
      3m 37s
    2. Learning from channels in Photoshop
      7m 20s
    3. Creating an opacity mask
      6m 44s
    4. Editing an opacity mask
      5m 31s
    5. Using a gradient as an opacity mask
      4m 44s
    6. Using image pixels as an opacity mask
      4m 4s
    7. Using a complex appearance as an opacity mask
      4m 26s
  5. 53m 30s
    1. Understanding transparency flattening
      5m 58s
    2. Learning the two rules of flattening
      8m 1s
    3. Understanding the concept of complex regions
      7m 47s
    4. Exploring the Transparency Flattener options
      11m 44s
    5. The relationship between flattening and stacking order
      8m 22s
    6. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      8m 3s
    7. Creating and sharing flattener presets
      3m 35s
  6. 24m 37s
    1. Working with PostScript (EPS) files
      7m 22s
    2. Placing Illustrator files into InDesign layouts
      3m 59s
    3. Copying graphics from Illustrator
      2m 41s
    4. Saving PDF files
      4m 41s
    5. Using the PDF/X standards
      4m 36s
    6. Printing files from Illustrator
      1m 18s
  7. 34s
    1. Next steps
      34s

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