Re: [artworks] problem with printing and transparency

  • From: Gavin Crawford <gav@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: artworks@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2012 20:20:35 GMT

In message <0b15cf6a52.iyojohn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
          John Rickman Iyonix <rickman@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> This morning I needed to print an ArtWorks drawing in a hurry.
> After 10 minutes waiting for the print to complete I gave up and went
> to my meeting without the hard copy.

> The drawing I was trying to print consisted of a few shapes and some
> text boxes. The file size was small and there were no bit maps in the
> document. However, it produced a PS3 file of more than 10 megabytes.

> Whenever a document contains a transparent object, every object in the
> drawing is affected even if the transparent object does not overlay
> any other object.

> The following data shows the effect of introducing a transparent
> object into an ArtWorks document. The shapes below were rectangles
> 90dpi square. The fill was black. The transparent objects had 50% mix
> and did not overlay any other object.

> AW file containing:                 PS3file size:

>  (empty file)                            108 k
> 1 shape                                  109 k
> 1 shape filled                           109 k
> 2 shapes                                 109 k
> 2 shapes filled                          109 k
> 6 shapes                                 110 k
> 6 shapes filled                          110 k

> 1 shape transparent                      444 k
> 1 shape transparent, 1 filled            635 k
> 1 shape transparent, 5 filled           1152 k
> 1 shape transparent, 5 empty            2457 k

> ArtWorks 2.XI.01      PostScript 3 printer driver 1.19

> This may not be a bug as such, but it is surely not ideal.

No it's not a bug, it's just the associated problem of PostScript not 
supporting transparency, and is fully explained within the Crystal 
Transparency help file. Click the 'i' icon in the transparency info 
window when the tool is selected.

As you say, every object in the document is affected and is converted 
to a bitmap image when it is sent to the PostScript output stream. The 
resolution of these bitmaps can be set in the Crystal choices. The 
default is 300dpi which can be lead to some very large PostScript file 
sizes - try lowering it to say 150 or 200 and see if your final 
document still looks as you require it. Or better still, don't use any 

One work around is export the objects with transparency as a JPEG and 
drop that back into the document[1] and turn off the Crystal display 
setting - that way, every vector or text object is sent to the 
PostScript stream as it should and the objects that were transparent 
are sent as JPEGs which will probably lead to smaller PostScript file 
sizes (depending upon what's in the document).

[1] a tip is to move the original transparent objects either off to 
the side of the document, or onto another non-visible layer, so you 
can still make changes or edit to them.


    To change, suspend or cancel your subscription go to

Other related posts: