DesignMerge Print Drivers and Transparency Effects

If your document has transparency effects (including Drop Shadows) applied to any objects, examine the document to determine which objects must be printed together to produce the transparency effect. This will determine which DesignMerge Print Driver you will prefer to use for this job.

This precaution should be taken because several DesignMerge Print Drivers provide the ability to produce industry-standard optimized VDP output. This reduces the size of the output and enhances the performance of both DesignMerge and your digital print controller. However, this optimization may prevent some transparency effects from printing successfully. In that case, you will prefer to use a DesignMerge Print Driver that produces non-optimized output, such as the DesignMerge PostScript Driver.

To select an appropriate DesignMerge Print Driver, consider the following:

  • If the transparency effect involves an interaction between fixed objects only (none of the objects are variable), you may use the PPML or Creo VPS or Xerox VIPP Print Drivers. The transparency effect can be applied to the printed pages because fixed objects can be printed together in the optimized output. To assure this, confirm the interacting fixed objects are together on the same page and confirm they do not have any other objects positioned between them in the Back-to-Front order of objects on the page. Also, set the Print Driver to apply the VDP Converter to the Document Pages (and Master Pages if this content is on a Master Page). TIP: If you are using DesignMerge for InDesign, you can use the DesignMerge Create Fixed and Variable Layers Utility to automatically "re-layer" the objects in the document. 
  • If the transparency effect involves an interaction between fixed and variable objects, you will prefer to use the DesignMerge PDF Driver, if available and if your digital print controller supports the PDF format. When using the PDF Driver on this type of job, select a PDF Preset that will retain transparencies. Additionally, you may need to select "Off" for the PDF Driver's "VDP Optimizer" setting. Otherwise, use the DesignMerge PostScript Driver, which allows you to print the output in a non-optimized manner. Please note that non-optimized PostScript output will be much larger, will require more time to be produced by DesignMerge, and will require more time for your digital print controller to process it, however the transparency effect will then be retained in the printed pages. To minimize the size of the non-optimized PostScript output and to enhance the performance, you may prefer to use a workflow that involves either printing on pre-printed shells or using a feature on your print server, if available, to automate combining a preprocessed PostScript file (that contains some of the fixed content for the pages) with other PostScript files (that contain the other content for the pages). For example, an EFI Fiery digital print controller provides a VDP (FreeForm) feature to automate combining two PostScript files. For more information about using the DesignMerge PostScript Driver, see the PostScript Driver Manual, which is available in PDF format in the DesignMerge product folder on your system.