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How to remove invisible parts of an image from PDF

Posted on 2014-09-17
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Last Modified: 2014-12-08
Hi

I have an Indesign document with an image on the page that I have from a linked image file.  Only a part of the linked image is displayed based on a clipping path made in Photoshop.  When I complete the work and export the page to PDF, the whole image is really there, just not visible.  How can I crop the invisible parts of the image without destroying the original linked file?  If it is possible, should I process the file before / on export, or can I do a clean up in Acrobat after.  I have tried optimising but that doesnt remove the invisible parts of the images and I can see that about 90-95% of the file space is taken up with image data. Using CS3. Any suggestions much appreciated.

Thanks

ps. There doesnt appear to be a an Indesign category so tagging with associated applications.
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Question by:space_time
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 40327640
In Acrobat Pro, go to Tools>Preflight>PDF Fixups and select Flatten Transparency (High Resolution)

This should do the job.

capt.
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Author Comment

by:space_time
ID: 40327657
I just tried this and also tried on a copy of CS6 although the commmand is in a slightly different UI location.  No luck unfortunately.  The file size came down a little, but I can still click on an image and copy-image, then paste it somewhere else, revealing the full image and not just the cutout / visible portion.
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 40328475
Can you try using the [Press quality] preset when exporting, but selecting compatibility with PDF 1.3?
In theory, this should flatten all your images and keep only the visible parts.

A much longer explanation here: http://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/flattening-transparent-artwork.html

HTH,
Dan
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 40328755
Hm, this is strange I can do this here and it works fine.

I take there is no option to see the PDF in question?

capt.
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Expert Comment

by:jmpg_70
ID: 40329823
Here is a bunch of steps to run through to resolve this problem. Have you define the clipping path correctly in Indesign?

In  Indesign you have to apply the clipping path under the object menu>clipping path> apply the correctly named PS path.

Have you tried making and defining the clipping path in the paths menu (palette pop-out) and saved the file as a TIF or a PShop EPS?

In Photoshop have you closed the clipping path so it has no gaps between points.

Can you use an image mask/alpha channel mask instead to test if things are working correctly.

Have you viewed the indesign file with over print preview on to see if the file works properly.

If you are using CS3 do you have access to Acrobat distiller? Are you able to print a postscript file and the Postscript.

Are you using spot colour on the page you have a the placed file on, is the image over spot colour. If so convert the spot colour to process.

Can you upgrade as CS 3 still had issue with transparency that were resolved until CS 4 versions of the Creative Suite
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Assisted Solution

by:space_time
space_time earned 0 total points
ID: 40341290
Sorry for the delay in response.  Please note that I am a novice at DTP but have to make a lot of documents recently for my work.  I have been trying the above suggestions, but the processing doesnt seems to get the result I am after.  I have created an example of the problem and an example of a workaround/solution (although not keen on solution as involves more work and storage.)

First file - problem (test jpg.pdf) - Open pdf. Click image. Copy image. Paste image in to paint. Behold lots of extra data.
Second file - solved (test psd.pdf) - Copy and paste image etc. The result is just the visible parts that is in the pdf.  

Was able to do this by saving the original image file as a psd.  Created a copy layer in photoshop, inverted the cliping path and deleted everything else - note: I do not want to permanently destroy any content from the image, but this was stored in the first layer.  In indesign I chose to only make visible the copied layer where I had deleted the parts of the image i didnt want to see.

End result:  Using a lot more space on image storage. Using less space on indeisgn and pdf file.  Overall a lot more space is required but the PDF is tidier.
test-jpg.pdf
test-psd.pdf
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 40341354
Weird. I cannot replicate your problem.

In the attached file, using any PDF presets, the image is trimmed to the bounding box.

Can you post a sample indesign file?
sterge.pdf
sterge.doc
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Author Comment

by:space_time
ID: 40341421
I couldnt open the .doc file but I could the PDF.  I copied the image and saved it as a jpg and attached here so you can see what I mean.  There was obviously more to the image. Although it was hidden in the PDF, it was still accessible to a viewer, still using up space - all sorts. My goal is to remove the hidden from the PDF.
full-image-from-pdf.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 40341560
Yes, the image will always be trimmed to the bounding box, not the clipping path. The image in the original document is much larger, but only the part contained inside the bounding box was retained.

You could not open the doc file because it's an Indesign file. Rename it with an indd extension, like the comment says.
Please note that it's an CS6 indd.
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Author Comment

by:space_time
ID: 40341629
So is it not possible to remove content outside the clipping but still within the bounding box.  How about an action or script something along this logic: Save image as PSD > Duplicate layer > Inverse clipping path > Delete content outside path > Save layer > re-insert in to indesign - in exact same location?
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Accepted Solution

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Dan Craciun earned 500 total points
ID: 40341677
You can do that directly with the pdf: open the pdf in illustrator, then select the image, go to Transparency and change the mode from Normal to Darken, then go to Object->Flatten Transparency, move the slider from Raster/Vector all the way to Raster (0), check Preserve Alpha Transparency and click OK. The resulting image will have everything outside the clipping path removed.
After that, just save your optimized pdf.
Flatten-Transparency.png
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Author Comment

by:space_time
ID: 40349695
I followed these last steps and it does work.  There are therefore 2 ways I now know of to hide invisible portions of the image from the PDF.  2 questions then: firstly, are there any advantages of 1 method over the other and secondly, if I have a document 200 pages long with 200+ images, how can I automate the process so I dont have to manually check each image?
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 40349945
All Adobe products support scripting using JavaScript or VBScript.
But I'm not familiar with the syntax, so unless someone from this thread will say he wants to try, your best bet is to post the automation as a new question.
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Author Closing Comment

by:space_time
ID: 40486370
Have pointed to the 2 methods that can achieve the result requested by the question. Using Illustrator or PSD files with layers.  PSD is probably slightly longer winded but a the solution I have started to use in practice.
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