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Export PDF with transparency

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This is driving me nuts. I am sure I managed to do this before, now I cannot figure out how to export a PDF with transparent background.


- Document Setup has "Transparent background" enabled.

- I am seeing the document with the classic checked background.

- During export I set "Compatibility" to PDF 1.7 (supposedly only 1.4+ support transparent backgrounds).


The files I export have a white background.


What am I doing wrong? All help appreciated.

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Hi Gatada,


There could be several reasons why transparency in the image is not showing. 


You are quite correct to indicate that PDF 1.4 up does supports transparency. i have tried it with some of my files and the export is working correctly 




Have you checked the settings (Preferences in Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Pro)?


CONTROL+K for preferences then activate Transparency Grid Checkbox. This will help you see what is transparent in your file.


If you are exporting from Affinity Designer to PDF You can re-import the PDF into Affinity Photo and turn on Background Transparency (Document/Transparent Background) To again display what parts of the image are transparent.


Layer effects can effectively 'destroy' parts of an image when converted to PDF if unsupported they are get rasterised by default (toggling this can have weird results!) 


Hope this helps..if not I am sure their will be more contributions soon... :)

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Dammit. I think the PDFs had transparent backgrounds, just all my viewers decided to be kind and render a white background.


Even Preview did this, toggling View > Show Document Background did nothing.


The exported PDF worked in Xcode however, which is the only thing I need.

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Old thread, but I feel its the same issue. There seem to be PDFs where viewers do not agree whether they are transparent or not. I exported a document with transparent background from Affinity Designer to PDF, (1.7), and all looked well some time ago. Now I exported again (after a few changes in the document), and the resulting PDF shows as follows:

  • OSX Preview shows white background (despite setting is "show the background" (grid))
  • Importing it in PowerPoint -> appears transparent
  • Opening the PDF with Affinity Designer: white background (can switch it to transparent again)

Another PDF (same artboard from the same document, other PDF settings) shows white background in all 3 situations, despite the export some time ago has been transparent.

Any ideas?



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