Printing Shape Transparency in Visio 2007

Started by Mazen, October 22, 2008, 10:18:30 PM

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I have been facing issues with applying transparencies in Visio, as the prints made do not come out good at all. I depend on Transparancies in placing a number of objects on top of one another but still be able to see through them. This problem becomes especially severe when you have a raster image underneath the transparent vector shapes, or when you have a number of transparent objects on top of one another.

For example, say I have a yellow circle with 75% transparency representing the area covered by a camera, with the circle placed on top of a Google Earth-extracted image representing an aerial shot of a street. I need to use the transparency and not just a no-fill circle.

On the screen it looks and works great, but once you print it to PDF or paper, it's just extremely slow to regenerate and the output is not good at all. The PDFs (even when generated) become extremely slow to draw on screen and prohibitively slow to print.

I've used Adobe PDF printer and Doro PDF printer, and have tried all the settings possible with them. These two printers work great otherwise.

Any ideas?

Thanks, and please keep up the good work.

Paul Herber

Try this as a test.
Save your page as a PNG file, then load this PNG into a graphics editor (I used PaintShop Pro) and export as PDF from there. What a difference. Not only is it fast but the fill colours work as well. (I also used PDF995)

Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -

Visio Guy

Hi Mazen,

Man, do I know your frustration!

I love to use transparency, especially when I'm doing more graphic-arts like stuff with Visio. I have a cheap HP laser printer,--it is a color printer and I'm proud of it--but it doesn't handle the transparency very well.

The solution I came up with was driven by the need to take drawings to service bureaus like Kinko's and get them printed out. These places usually don't have Visio installed, so you need a more universal format.

So, as you've done, I started with PDF, but that doesn't always get the transparency right. So I thought; "As long as I'm exporting, why not just do a high-resolution bitmap?"

And that is what works best for me. If your target printer is 600dpi, then export a bitmap at 600dpi. Your file will be HUGE, but you just need to print it, then delete it. Bmps also zip well, if you want to keep them around.

If you're worried about file size, then .jpgs or .pngs or .gifs might work well enough, although they tend to compress things, which might make your colors and filled swaths turn out garbly.

I've heard that the .tif format is intelligent and full of useful information, but I can't tell you exactly what that info is, and whether or not it will help with the transparency problem.

Good luck!

- Chris

[edit: Paul was faster!]
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Paul and Chris,

Thank you both for the replies. At least now I know there's no (known) way to produce them directly to PDFs. I need the PDFs because I use the drawings in production, so our clients usually like to have everything in electronic format and PDF is the standard.

I will try a couple of PDF printers and see how these come out. If I get good results, I'll post them.

Thanks again.



might want to poke at pdf995....I too have this issue,  but they have lots of useful tools for this kind of thing...I just have not gotten around to tryig them