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The Flattener Preview tool is a great resource for both creative professionals and prepress professionals. Let's go ahead and look at that now in InDesign. I am going to go under my Window menu and pick Flattener Preview. This allows me to see what transparent objects are in my file and where they are. So I am going to turn on Transparent Objects from the Highlight pop-up menu, and I can see every image that has transparency in it. I can also go through here and see is there any affected objects? I can choose Affected Graphics.
I can choose Outlined Strokes. Now the reason that this here is outlined is because it has transparency behind it. I am going to go ahead and choose Outlined Text, and I can see all my text there that's outlined. Again, it has transparency behind it, so InDesign is outlining the copy there. I can see Raster-fill Text and Strokes, and I can see All Rasterized Regions. So this is a great tool to not only see if I have transparency, but where it is. I am going to go ahead and look at the same feature in Adobe Acrobat. I have a PDF here, and I am going to go ahead under my Advanced tab > Print Production, and open up my Flattener Preview.
I can see from the Highlight pop-up menu, I selected All Affected Objects. I can go ahead and look at Transparent Objects as well. Now there's going to be times where you select this pop-up menu and everything is grayed out. That means your document contains no transparency. This particular document was exported out of InDesign as PDF/X4, which supports live transparency. If I export it as PDF/X-1a, everything gets flattened, so it means it either had no transparency to begin with or the transparency got flattened at the time of export.
I can go ahead and look at Outlined Strokes as well, and I see the same thing I did in InDesign. So we can use the Flattener Preview in Adobe Acrobat or Flattener Preview in Adobe InDesign to look at transparent objects and where they lie. We can also use it for troubleshooting any transparency output issues.
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