[scribus] Transparency Simulation if your commercial printer does not allow transparency

Andreas Vox avox at arcor.de
Wed Nov 9 20:12:42 UTC 2011

Stefan <stmstmstmster at ...> writes:

> Most printers do not accept transparent vector art in a pdf.
> Scribus cannot "flatten" a file so it look transparent, so:

> My workaround for simple transparency stuff like
> half-transparent background over a picture, for easy readable text:

> use a special png-graphic
> The resulting PDF is accepted by all offset printers i use.

> There some are WYSIWYG-probs. Always check the pdf before printing from it.

Interesting. AFAIK png-graphics with alpha channel are still outside the PDF 1.3
spec, so your approach might as well result in a 100% white box on top of the
background image. The correct approach would be to combine the background
image and the white transparent box inside Gimp and place that image in

The best way is to create a PDF with transparency (1.4) and print that from
Adobe Reader (or Adobe Acrobat if available) to PS. AR includes a very good
transparency flattener that will transform any transparent objects into pieces
of non-transparent objects where transparency is already blended with the 
background. When you have the PDF, you can transform it back to a PDF with

When you use Ghostscript's ps2pdf13 on a PDF 1.4 file it does something less 
sophisticated that results in large bitmaps (That's also the program Scribus 
uses when it creates version 1.3 PDFs)


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