Ghosted images when exporting to a PDF issue again

This Topic picks up on one started in April '18(same title) and is a repeat or rather return of the same issue.
That when I export from Layout as a PDF the preview page that pops up in Adobe Acrobat is “Ghosted”
The issue started this week, and following the theme of the previous thread is coincidentally when I updated to the new Apple operating system: Catalina 10.15.1
No amount of tweaking settings in PDF or jpg improve the situation, neither does print pdf and then save through that route.
However what I have noticed is that the preview window in my folder structure shows the exported PDF as unghosted. This made me think that it mighty be an Adobe Acrobat display issue?
When I open the same PDF in Adobe Illustrator (2020) the image displays perfectly.
I will try to get feedback from those that receive my PDFs to see how they are viewed.

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You could also post here an example PDF together with a screenshot of your model.

Try Foxit Phantom PDF, free. Same results?

Apologies for getting an image posted, we had a Broadband outage here.
I have tried several combinations and nothing improves the situation. Here is a test I put together.
The Layout document uses a template that has been fine for +2yrs. It has a jpg logo.
The main image is a png screen grab from SU showing a bench under trees and the photo is a jpg low res image. The grey scale bench iso was sent to LO from SU.
When this is exported as a PDF the jpg and png images grey out/ ghost. This is also evident on the thumbnail view, although this doesn’t always happen. The setting used for the export are shown in the screen grab. I use reference images on most drawings so this is proving a frustration. The problem occurs when exporting “old” drawings to PDF and newly created sheets.Ghosting images test 1.pdf (909.2 KB)

I don’t think this makes your problem go away, but I always use the High output resolution option and turn off JPEG Compression. SketchUp models often display large areas of flat colour, and JPEG compression creates very ugly artifacts in them. I find that I can then compress my PDF to something like 10% of original file size without apparent quality degradation with the Reduce File Size option in Adobe Acrobat.


Looking at your PDF:
It looks ghosted in my PDF viewers (PDF X-change Editor and Chrome).
When I open it in Illustrator it looks normal.
I wonder if this is a color profile issue like the one described in

I am not familiar enough with Illustrator or the PDF format to know where to look…

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I have just repeated the export to PDF with the default settings(med res/ jpg compression to medium) and the ghosting is consistent across 5 different drawings.
When I switch off the jpg compression… problem cured! I have used your suggested high res, no jpg compression and that also gives a perfect export without ghosting. Tried on several new and several older drawing sets and no ghosting.
I have also found that whilst Acrobat shows ghosted images, Adobe Illustrator does not. When sent to a commercial printer, they ghosted images (test files) have so far printed without ghosting.
Thank you for the suggestion and solution, even if we are not sure why the effect has cropped up.


I’m glad this went away for you. It has given us some additional things to suggest to others who might come along and report the issue.

Out of curiosity, which version of Acrobat are you using?

I am running Acrobat DC, see screen grab for version information.

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FWIW…& Just because I was curious…in .pdf document…copying image to Adobe Acrobat clipboard and then paste clipboard image as stamp tool actually extracts a clean/un-ghosted image(s).
Certainly not a fix/or solution.

Ghosting images test 1_stamp.pdf (8.8 MB)


I would guess that the exporter treats JPG images differently from images without JPEG compression. Again, I am not smart enough to diagnose which format the images without lossy compression are.
@Barry, I wonder if you would have a clue…

My LayOut skills are long in the tooth, fwd’d internally.

Hi all, yes for some reason a color profile is being attached again to certain images during the export. We had previously fixed this but now has resurfaced with the Catalina release. This could be caused by a timing issue, so the level and way of compression may have some effect on the outcome, but not one format works better the other.


Please download this file and let me know if it displays correctly for you.
Ghosting images test 1 fixed.pdf (909.2 KB)

I’ve made a few tiny corrections to the data in the file.

@trent - this patched file does work. Only four bytes were changed (luminosity values I think). sWilliams might let us in on what the fix was!

@colin I’m following a up a little more research on the subject and I’ll fill yous guys in soon. The attached file has a slightly different patch. Would you please test this also?


Ghosting images test 1 fixed 3.pdf (909.1 KB)

The adobe PDF file specifications are available if anyone cares to read along.

It works too.

Sorry to take a few days to look at these…
yes they both display in preview/ as an icon in Finder and in Adobe Acrobat itself.

We’re trying to determine whether the version of macOS you’re on makes a difference. One colleague running Mojave cannot make the problem happen, and another on Catalina can, with the same document. Your profile says you’re on Mojave, is that true?

Also, can you post the simplest LayOut file that shows the problem for you every time?

I am now on Catalina and it was immediately after the upgrade that the problem appeared.
I’ll try and create a file for you this afternoon