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Exporting transparent layers to Adobe Illustrator

March 19 2010 | 1 comment
Categories: Publishing

I have a map that will be completed in Illustrator and printed by a graphics company. I have transparent mask boxes under annotation text to make the text more readable against a busy background. I could not get the whole map layout to export - it would get hung up in the export process. So, I exported the entire layout except for the masks and annotation. I then exported the masks and annotation separately, hoping to combine the two files in AI (CS4 version). When I brought in the file of masks and anno to go on top of the other file, the background is not transparent and I cannot see the map underneath. I exported the anno (without transparent mask) and the same issue occurred. How do I correctly export the file so only the anno and boxes are drawn. I have tried exporting as EPS, AI and PDF files.

Mapping Center Answer:

Does the map contain any layers with transparency, picture marker symbology or raster layers? If so, take a look at this: If not, please get back in touch with us.

Opaque background of file with just anno? posted by Howard Weinberg on Mar 22 2010 10:06AM
OK, I think I understand why my transparent masks are doing what they are doing. I can create them in Illustrator if I have to (won’t be fun, though). I still need to put my annotation over the rest of the map and the masks. I have a layout that has nothing in it except for the annotation layer. When I export that as a PDF, AI or EPS file the background is opaque, not “null” or transparent. Why is that?

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