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Old 06-19-2006, 03:06 AM   #1
Jas Mandla
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Default pasting a gradient Excel chart into InDesign

Hi,

I have created a chart in excel which has some gradient and when i paste it into Indesign it looks fine. However when I go to PDF the page to send to the printers the chart that has the gradient in it gets covered with a box.

Can anyone shed some light onto this/

Im using a PC.

THANKS IN ADVANCE
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jas Mandla
I have created a chart in excel which has some gradient and when i paste it into Indesign it looks fine. However when I go to PDF the page to send to the printers the chart that has the gradient in it gets covered with a box.

Can anyone shed some light onto this
More than likely that Excel gradient is not capable of being rendered by PostScript, which sees it as a solid object of some sort.

Usually, I would create gradients in a bézier-drawing program (Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc.) or a bitmap program (Photoshop, etc.) — then import them to InDesign. In fact, I dimly remember being able to import an Excel chart into Illustrator and have it auto-magically turned into PostScript elements.


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Old 06-22-2006, 10:20 PM   #3
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As Kathleen mentioned, you could try pasting the Excel chart into Illustrator or other drawing program. I have often copied Excel charts into Illustrator and gotten pretty good results.

But I've had no luck with gradients -- when they are copied into Illustrator, they break up into millions of separate bands of color. I don't know if or how well that would work in your PDF.

You might need to get rid of the gradients in your Excel file, copy into Illustrator, and redo the gradients there.

If you don't have a drawing program, or want to try something else first, you could try creating PDFs of the Excel charts and placing those PDFs in your InDesign file. I don't know if it would work, but it might be worth a try.

Another experiment would be to copy the Excel charts into Photoshop, and then place the Photoshop files in your InDesign document.

mxh
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:21 PM   #4
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I know what you mean.

I don't know ID ... can it do gradients? If so, your best bet is to open the chart in Excel, note the gradient values, then fill with flat colors. Move it into ID and fill it with gradients there. Or in Illo, CorelDraw or any reasonable drawing program.

Or if you don't need to do any further work on it, you can paste special, As PNG and get a bitmap image.

   
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:24 PM   #5
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I don't know ID ... can it do gradients? .
Yeah, but like other Adobe apps, it is all PostScript.

Excel, on the other hand, seems to be anti-PostScript. I suspect the problem lies somewhere in there . . .

   
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:41 PM   #6
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>>Yeah, but like other Adobe apps, it is all PostScript.

And ...? ;-)

Point being that if you're working in ID, wouldn't you rather the gradients be expressed in whatever language it (and ultimately the output device, most probably) are comfortable with?

>>Excel, on the other hand, seems to be anti-PostScript. I suspect the problem lies somewhere in there . . .

Anti, no. Blissfully unaware, yes. For all practical purposes it's using WMF/EMF, which is the vector graphics format that underpins Windows, much as PICT used to be on Macs.

WMF/EMF doesn't do gradients natively. Nor does PostScript, for that matter.
It has to fake it by drawing a bunch of shapes that, taken together, look like a gradient to the wetware.

To make that happen inside some curved shapes, some apps seem to make a series of rectangles to fake the grad, then clip them to the shape of the curve that they're supposed to be filling. You could do the same thing in PostScript, in fact.

Sounds like somewhere along the way ID's misinterpreting the WMF.

Be that as it may, w/o even having SEEN ID running on a PC, I'm willing to bet good money against long odds that its gradients translate to PS *FAR* better than anything that comes out of an MS app by way of WMF.

Which brings us back to the original point. Lose the MS gradients, let ID do it.

   
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg
Anti, no. Blissfully unaware, yes. For all practical purposes it's using WMF/EMF, which is the vector graphics format that underpins Windows, much as PICT used to be on Macs.
Is that what Excel uses on Macs? Hard to imagine that . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg
. . . w/o even having SEEN ID running on a PC, I'm willing to bet good money against long odds that its gradients translate to PS *FAR* better than anything that comes out of an MS app by way of WMF.

Which brings us back to the original point. Lose the MS gradients, let ID do it.
Yep.

   
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:02 PM   #8
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>>Is that what Excel uses on Macs? Hard to imagine that . . .

PICT? On older Macs, what else would it use? I mean pre-OSX. I'm not sure what OSX uses as its native graphics format for the clipboard now.

   
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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PICT? On older Macs, what else would it use? I mean pre-OSX. I'm not sure what OSX uses as its native graphics format for the clipboard now.
TIFF, I am pretty sure. Or PDF.

   
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