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David Blatner brings his knowledge of and passion for InDesign to the latest release of this state-of-the-art publishing program, showing how to harness its power and functionality. InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics covers the process of publishing with an eye on the program's latest nuances: optimizing page layouts, automating InDesign with Data Merge and XML, exploring interactive documents (including making movies), and exporting publications to a variety of formats. Exercise files accompany the course.
I can see that this page contains transparency, because I see this little checker board icon next to the page in the Pages panel. But which object is transparent? This sort of thing happens all the time when you are working on files created by someone else. Now, wouldn't it be great if you could see where the transparent areas are at a glance? Even better, wouldn't it be nice to figure out which elements on the page are going to be affected when the document gets flattened? Well, you can do just that with the Transparency Flattener Preview panel. I am going to close the Pages panel and I am going to the Window menu and scroll down to Output. Then I will choose Flattener Preview.
Now, I just have to complain about something for a moment here. This panel was named incorrectly. It does not preview your transparency flattening. It simply alerts you to transparency issues. It really should be called the transparency flattener alert panel. Okay, I am done complaining. I just had to get that off my chest. So how does this panel work? First, we choose a type of highlighting from the Highlight pop-up menu. There is a number of different flattening issues listed here including all the Transparent Objects, All Affected Objects and so on.
I am going to start with Transparent Objects. I will select that and we can see that anything that is transparent, anything that has transparency on the page, gets highlighted in red. Anything where there is no transparency is gray. Now, if I go ahead and select this object and change it, maybe I will change its Opacity to 50%, we can see that everything grays out again. That's because the Flattener Preview panel does not automatically update unless you turn on Auto Refresh Highlight, but most of the time I like just clicking the Refresh button whenever I want to see it.
So I will click Refresh, and now I see that all of those objects, which were already transparent or highlighted, and the text that I just made transparent, is highlighted as well. Let's try some different highlighting here. How about All Affected Objects? Wow, now I can see there is a lot of objects affected on this page. But if I zoom in here a little closer, I can see that some objects are not affected. So this logo back here is not affected by transparency. This text, this text, in fact, all the text in this document is not affected by transparency, except for the type that we just made transparent. So that's a good thing to know when you are dealing with transparency, because you know you don't have to worry that the type is going to heavy up in the RIP or something like that, or any of the other issues that sometimes happen with transparency effects.
I can also change the Transparency Flattener Preset that's being applied to this page. Right now I only have the basics: Low, Medium, or High. Those are the default Flattener Presets that come with InDesign. I always use High Resolution, so I will just leave it set to High Resolution. But just in case you wanted to see, well, what would this look like if I flattened it with Low Resolution, I can choose that and then click Refresh. As it turns out in this document there is really no difference at all between Low and High, it's all staying just the same. But I will set this back to High, click Refresh, and I like looking at it in High Resolution because that's what I always use for my final output. However, this Flattener Preview panel is also useful when you are building new custom flattener settings. You can audition your various flattener settings to see which one makes the most sense in a print situation. You don't know how to make your own flattener settings or why you would want to? That's no problem. That's what we are going to be covering in the next movie.
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