"Live" Transparency Within PDF 1.3

i went on a rant earlier about adobe indesign createing PDF 1.3
compatible files with live transparency. in response to that statement
a number of people assured me this was not possible as indesign
"flattens" those elements in PDF 1.3.

as a service i have posted an example of one of these files. i do not
have the specifics of how this was created other than it came from
indesign. 

you will notice a HUGE difference if you open this file in acrobat 4
opposed to acrobat 5 or 6. why live transparency exists in a file that
can be opened in acrobat 4 is a bit disturbing to say the least. like
i've said before, i have received at least a half dozen of these from
different customers over the last few months.

the hi-res original PDF file has been stuffit into a 9.2mb .sit file
and it my be downloaded from the following location.

http://www.nrgsoft.com/asian_moon.sit

note: i will only make it available for approx.1 week.

if anyone who can provide some insight into why adobe is allowing this
to occur it would be most appreciated. [no one has been able to provide
me an explanation]

best regards,
dfire
0
7/24/2004 2:31:41 AM
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In article <230720042129048173%dragonsfire_eq@excite.com>,=20
dragonsfire_eq@excite.com says...
> i went on a rant earlier about adobe indesign createing PDF 1.3
> compatible files with live transparency. in response to that statement
> a number of people assured me this was not possible as indesign
> "flattens" those elements in PDF 1.3.
>=20
> as a service i have posted an example of one of these files. i do not
> have the specifics of how this was created other than it came from
> indesign.=20


Ahem, this is *not* a PDF 1.3 file. Here's the start of the header:

%PDF-1.4
%=E2=E3=CF=D3
201 0 obj <</Linearized 1/L 11440365/O 204/E 6152575/N 2/T 11436302/H [=20
6696 578]>>
endobj

So that's a PDF 1.4 file....

BTW, a smaller than 11 Mb file would have been nice...

=20
> you will notice a HUGE difference if you open this file in acrobat 4
> opposed to acrobat 5 or 6.=20

Naturally, Acrobat 4 will not be processing any of the (extensive)=20
transparency in the file. A quick browse reveals a large number of soft=20
masked images, several Form XObjects with Multiply blending mode, I also=20
saw a Luminosity blending mode in the file but can't find where its used=20
(not surprising in such a complex file).


> why live transparency exists in a file that
> can be opened in acrobat 4 is a bit disturbing to say the least.

You can open any version PDF file in any version of Acrobat, you should=20
just get a warning that features may not render as expected (or words to=20
that effect). Interestingly it looks like Acrobat 4 and below don't give=20
you that warning, though 5 and 6 certainly do.=20


> if anyone who can provide some insight into why adobe is allowing this
> to occur it would be most appreciated. [no one has been able to provide
> me an explanation]

An explanation of which ? Why Acrobat 4 opens PDF files of a higher=20
version? They've always done that I think, just because a file claims to=20
be of a higher version doesn't mean it *uses* those features. Many PDF=20
interpreters used to refuse to process versions of PDF higher than they=20
expected, however the number of files that would process successfully=20
was so large that manufacturers followed the Acrobat lead and opened=20
files of any version. With a warning if you were lucky.

Notice that Acrobat 4 *does* correctly describe the file as a PDF 1.4=20
version document.

I don't recall what your actual problem was, but PDF 1.3 files with=20
transparency doesn't seem to be it.

FWIW, we *have* been sent a file declaring itself to be PDF 1.3, but=20
which contained PDF 1.4 transparent elements. This file was produced by=20
InDesign CS (3.0), but had subsequently been edited with some other=20
application. The customer was unable to shed any light on what had been=20
used to edit the file (claimed it hadn't been edited, even though the=20
file had multiple xrefs, and a 'Modified' date in the document=20
properties).=20

Despite extensive attempts we have not so far been able to provoke any=20
version of InDesign into producing PDF 1.3 files which contain=20
transparency which is actually being used in the body of the file.

For the present we have altered the behaviour of our product to allow=20
this anyway, and added a transparency scanner which determines whether=20
any given page has transparency before rendering it (for performance=20
reasons). But we don't at present consider this to be an InDesign bug.=20
If you can provide an InDesign-produced PDF file which hasn't been=20
subsequently edited, and does contain transparent objects, we'd be=20
interested in looking at it.

=09=09=09=09=09Ken
0
ken161 (743)
7/24/2004 11:50:42 AM
Recently, Ken Sharp <ken@spamcop.net> posted:
(great analysis mostly snipped for brevity)
> dragonsfire_eq@excite.com says...
>> i went on a rant earlier about adobe indesign createing PDF 1.3
>> compatible files with live transparency. in response to that
>> statement a number of people assured me this was not possible as
>> indesign "flattens" those elements in PDF 1.3.
>>
>> as a service i have posted an example of one of these files. i do not
>> have the specifics of how this was created other than it came from
>> indesign.
>
>
> Ahem, this is *not* a PDF 1.3 file. Here's the start of the header:
>
> %PDF-1.4
> %����
> 201 0 obj <</Linearized 1/L 11440365/O 204/E 6152575/N 2/T 11436302/H
> [ 6696 578]>>
> endobj
>
> So that's a PDF 1.4 file....
>
(rest snipped)

Thanks for taking the time to go through this and settle the matter. Your
conclusion that ID's PDFs are what they claim to be is consistent with my
experience, as well. There's no telling what some "downstream app" might
do to invalidate the original output.

Regards,

Neil


> BTW, a smaller than 11 Mb file would have been nice...
>
>
>> you will notice a HUGE difference if you open this file in acrobat 4
>> opposed to acrobat 5 or 6.
>
> Naturally, Acrobat 4 will not be processing any of the (extensive)
> transparency in the file. A quick browse reveals a large number of
> soft masked images, several Form XObjects with Multiply blending
> mode, I also saw a Luminosity blending mode in the file but can't
> find where its used (not surprising in such a complex file).
>
>
>> why live transparency exists in a file that
>> can be opened in acrobat 4 is a bit disturbing to say the least.
>
> You can open any version PDF file in any version of Acrobat, you
> should just get a warning that features may not render as expected
> (or words to that effect). Interestingly it looks like Acrobat 4 and
> below don't give you that warning, though 5 and 6 certainly do.
>
>
>> if anyone who can provide some insight into why adobe is allowing
>> this to occur it would be most appreciated. [no one has been able to
>> provide me an explanation]
>
> An explanation of which ? Why Acrobat 4 opens PDF files of a higher
> version? They've always done that I think, just because a file claims
> to be of a higher version doesn't mean it *uses* those features. Many
> PDF interpreters used to refuse to process versions of PDF higher
> than they expected, however the number of files that would process
> successfully was so large that manufacturers followed the Acrobat
> lead and opened files of any version. With a warning if you were
> lucky.
>
> Notice that Acrobat 4 *does* correctly describe the file as a PDF 1.4
> version document.
>
> I don't recall what your actual problem was, but PDF 1.3 files with
> transparency doesn't seem to be it.
>
> FWIW, we *have* been sent a file declaring itself to be PDF 1.3, but
> which contained PDF 1.4 transparent elements. This file was produced
> by InDesign CS (3.0), but had subsequently been edited with some other
> application. The customer was unable to shed any light on what had
> been used to edit the file (claimed it hadn't been edited, even
> though the file had multiple xrefs, and a 'Modified' date in the
> document properties).
>
> Despite extensive attempts we have not so far been able to provoke any
> version of InDesign into producing PDF 1.3 files which contain
> transparency which is actually being used in the body of the file.
>
> For the present we have altered the behaviour of our product to allow
> this anyway, and added a transparency scanner which determines whether
> any given page has transparency before rendering it (for performance
> reasons). But we don't at present consider this to be an InDesign bug.
> If you can provide an InDesign-produced PDF file which hasn't been
> subsequently edited, and does contain transparent objects, we'd be
> interested in looking at it.
>
> Ken


0
neil9133 (816)
7/24/2004 3:07:14 PM
In article <MPG.1b6c320d6760d9ba98978e@news.eclipse.co.uk>, Ken Sharp
<ken@spamcop.net> wrote:

> In article <230720042129048173%dragonsfire_eq@excite.com>, 
> dragonsfire_eq@excite.com says...
> > i went on a rant earlier about adobe indesign createing PDF 1.3
> > compatible files with live transparency. in response to that statement
> > a number of people assured me this was not possible as indesign
> > "flattens" those elements in PDF 1.3.
> > 
> > as a service i have posted an example of one of these files. i do not
> > have the specifics of how this was created other than it came from
> > indesign. 
> 
> 
> Ahem, this is *not* a PDF 1.3 file. Here's the start of the header:
> 
> %PDF-1.4
> %����
> 201 0 obj <</Linearized 1/L 11440365/O 204/E 6152575/N 2/T 11436302/H [ 
> 6696 578]>>
> endobj
> 
> So that's a PDF 1.4 file....
> 
> BTW, a smaller than 11 Mb file would have been nice...


i apologize for the error on my part. i wasn't aware of an issue with
acrobat 4 reading PDF 1.4 and 1.5 without a warning.  i incorrectly
pegged the problem as something it wasn't and really should of taken
some additional time to fully check this over after i pulled it off of
backup.

i also apologize on the file size, but i wanted to use the original
file in it's unaltered state from the customer.


------------
> > why live transparency exists in a file that
> > can be opened in acrobat 4 is a bit disturbing to say the least.
> 
> You can open any version PDF file in any version of Acrobat, you should 
> just get a warning that features may not render as expected (or words to 
> that effect). Interestingly it looks like Acrobat 4 and below don't give 
> you that warning, though 5 and 6 certainly do. 


which helps explain adobe's position on people using older versions of
their software. [they don't care!]



> > if anyone who can provide some insight into why adobe is allowing this
> > to occur it would be most appreciated. [no one has been able to provide
> > me an explanation]
> 
> An explanation of which ? Why Acrobat 4 opens PDF files of a higher 
> version? 

thanks ken for your detailed description of the testing you have done
in regard to this situation. [very helpful and appreciated]

it sounds like there is a programming flaw in acrobat 3 and 4 that
adobe realized when creating acrobat 5, but never bothered to go back
and fix with acrobat 3 and 4. if adobe 4 is only 1.3 compatible why on
earth is it able to open PDF 1.4 and 1.5 files?  [just because a PDF
1.4 file *may* contain only PDF 1.3 information is ridiculous. it
should be *all* or *nothing* when you upgrade]

i have been browsing the tech notes on adobe's site about the issue and
everything that i can find explains something to the following.

Support Knowledgebase 
Document 323854
-------------------
Additional Information 
-------------------
Acrobat and Acrobat Reader may be unable to read PDF files created by a
later version that has the Compatibility option set to a later version;
instead, Acrobat or Acrobat Reader returns an error when you open the
files.

You can create PDF files that an earlier version can recognize by
choosing the Compatibility option that matches that version; however,
the resulting PDF file doesn't retain new, version-specific features.




> I don't recall what your actual problem was, but PDF 1.3 files with 
> transparency doesn't seem to be it.

the problem is that these files can be imported directly into quark 4
using pdf filter 1.6. that's a HUGE problem in that they obviously do
not process correctly.

please note: this is not a prepress procedure but a practice used for
importing supplied ads for magazine and newspaper layout. at the
present the best we can hope for is opening these in acrobat 5, saving
them as an eps and then redistilling them with acrobat 4.0
compatibility. [using the eps from acrobat doesn't always work because
they have to be in a postscript level 1 format for quark 4]

i realize our current operations don't have the ideal setup for
handling this but the company isn't a point where they want to purchase
25 new computers and software upgrades for mac OSX.



> For the present we have altered the behaviour of our product to allow 
> this anyway, and added a transparency scanner which determines whether 
> any given page has transparency before rendering it (for performance 
> reasons). 

what *product* are you refering to? sounds like it might be worth a
look.

thanks again!
dfire
0
7/24/2004 3:43:54 PM
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