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Thread: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

  1. #1
    Rufus Firefly
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    Default Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    I have several overlapping data frames in a layout; the foreground frames are all clipped to a shape.

    Yet when I "export map" the result always shows these foreground frame's extents as white boxes - even if their background is made transparent (hollow) or "none" - obscuring large areas of the frame behind all of them.

    What gives?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Melita Kennedy

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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoDuck View Post
    I have several overlapping data frames in a layout; the foreground frames are all clipped to a shape.

    Yet when I "export map" the result always shows these foreground frame's extents as white boxes - even if their background is made transparent (hollow) or "none" - obscuring large areas of the frame behind all of them.

    What gives?

    Cheers
    Known limit, I'm afraid:

    http://resources.arcgis.com/content/...leShow&d=17336

    Melita
    Melita Kennedy
    Sr. Esri Product Engineer

  3. #3
    Rufus Firefly
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    Angry Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    Nine years later - should we assume ESRI has given up on this one then?

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    Cassandra Gray
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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    The known limit is actually in the graphics engine which was built by Microsoft. We are working on replacing the graphics engine which unfortunately it is not a simple task.
    Cassandra Gray
    NorthSouth GIS

  5. #5
    Rufus Firefly
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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    For anyone reading this post and until ArcMap becomes mapping software, a solution that Disco Duck uses to remedy this quacked up situation is:

    1) separate the foreground from the background data frames after building them all in one .mxd. This is probably best done by then preparing three .mxd's - one with just the background data frames and the other with the foreground data frames - by alternatively deleting all backs/fores (careful with dependent scale bars, north arrows, etc).
    2) export the background and foreground as separate "maps".
    3) Open both in Photoshop.
    4) Using the selection tools, isolate the desired area(s) of each foreground data frame.
    5) Copy/paste the foreground frames into the background as separate "Photoshop layers" (you will have to move the relic data frames into the original ArcMap position).
    6) You should probably merge all layers, then save as desired file format.

    Love live Freedonia,
    Rufus T. Firefly

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    Doug Campbell
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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    An only slightly less tedious means to this end is to export your output in .ai Adobe Illustrator format and then reform the layer clipping mask that is created for the data frame that sits on top of your lower data frames. Another possibility is to have your clipping mask/shape as a simple layer in your mxd and then after the .ai export convert that for use as the upper data frame's clipping mask (high in the mxd layer stack above any transparent layers). Cassandra, did ArcGIS Desktop 10 move us any closer to a fix for this?

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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    Export as PNG seems to work up to a point. I can export an 8 1/2 x 11 map at 149 dpi and my overlapping data frames are transparent. When I bump it to 150 dpi the same overlapping data frames are now opaque outside the shape I am clipping to. 149 dpi is not great, but will fly if the end user is not too picky - saved me from having to re-do what was already a very attractive layout

    From the PNG you can bring into XNView or CorelDraw and export to other more common bitmap formats.

  8. #8
    Jeff Howard
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    Smile Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    Oh this would be a great problem to remedy. Triple bonus points and the day off for whoever fixes this one.

  9. #9
    Marianne Habal
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    Smile Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    Adobe Acrobat has layers that you could work around with.

    -Export your map into PDF.
    -Open it with Adobe Acrobat.
    -Click on the navigation tab "Layers" on the left hand side.
    -Expand that layer's folder by clicking the plus sign.
    -Click on the 'eye' next to "Image". This would get rid of the white solid raster that was created in your map.
    -Print this map into another PDF and rename.

    Hope this helps!

  10. #10
    Jamie Kass
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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    Since this issue may not be fixed for a while, here's another quick fix:

    - Convert the rasters to polygon.
    - Save the color ramp you used for your rasters to a new style.
    - Remove the rasters and replace with the polygon, then symbolize with the style.
    - Remove boundaries on the polygon.

    This approach gives you a map that looks nearly identical without the rasters. Although the scale is identical, the way features are attributed between rasters and polygons causes the symbolization to vary, I've found. But aside from a slight color change (that can be fiddled with in the styles manager, which can be maddening), this is a nice clean fix that doesn't require a software change.

    Please note: floating rasters will need to be converted to integer, and large rasters will produce enormous polygons. To get around losing floating values, multiply the raster by a large number (1000), convert to integer, convert to polygon, then field calculate the values back by dividing by that number.

  11. #11
    Wade Lobb
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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    What a nightmare, first time I have used clip data frame and it looks great on screen but hold up, what's these white area's on print and export. Looks like I will have rethink my whole layout.

  12. #12
    Brendan Pauls
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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    Anyone have any luck with this one (other than using 3rd party software from Adobe)? This seems like a pretty major issue to me and can't believe ESRI hasn't moved on this in years. Not acceptable.

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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    Hi,

    I am not sure if this solution i came accross is acceptable to all but here it is what i've done without using much of a 3rd party software.

    1. Use any creen capture software you have and save the part of the background you would like in the second data frame as a graphic file.
    2. Go to the properties of the overlapping data frame and click the little icon next to the frame background called style selector.
    3. Click Properties button.
    4. Click Change Symbol
    5. Click Edit Symbol
    6. in Type pull down menu select Picture Fill Symbol and click the picture button to load the background you've saved.
    7. The picture will appear in preview window.
    8. Click all the applied and OK button you have to click at this point.
    9. Now your overlapping data frame has the background you want - it is almost perfect and only somebody who actually knows can see a faint difference at the border. (I saved my background without a border.).
    10. Export your map any format you want - i did it jpeg 500 dpi without any problem.

    I hope this will help at least some of you,

    Monica

  14. #14
    Sophia Walsh
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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    I have been working on a couple of projects where I needed to have a picture behind a map. One of them worked flawlessly, so I knew it was possible, but the other I was having major issues with. I think I figured it out. If you have any transparent layers, the program is actually changing them to rasters on the fly and that raster has a white background. Here is the source of my information:

    http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesk...00000007000000

    There is a bubble that explains transparency causes rasterization when converting to pdf.

    Solution: Take out all transparency, then set background to hollow or none and add your picture.

    I know it is not always possible to take out all of the transparency, but in cases where you can, this may help!

  15. #15
    Kate Johnson
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    Default Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    I've been able to get around this sometimes by making those data frames the same color as the main document background, rather than hollow or "none".

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