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Haloed type in FreeHand/PDF/Illustrator

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#1
Dennis McClendon

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On the Chicago Transit Authority map we use a lot of "haloing" around type, which in FreeHand is called an "inline effect."

Posted Image

Curiously, FreeHand MX will not preserve this effect when exporting to PDF. We're also having other problems with things as simple as dashed lines.

A: Can anyone suggest a workflow that more accurately gets from FreeHand MX to PDF on Mac?

2: Does Illustrator support this kind of type effect?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#2
ELeFevre

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Dennis,
From the picture you included, it looks like those areas are being rasterized or flattened at a low resolution?? This typically means that an object below that portion of text is a raster or contains transparency. This could also mean you need a new driver: Read Here

Here's another bit of advice I found from an unknown author:
"Speaking from a Mac standpoint, don't use the obvious Export as PDF routine. You'll have one problem or another sooner or later. Just give up and accept the most common approach. Choose Print, then change your printer selection to Adobe PDF and choose Output Options. Put a check mark in the Save As File box, and then choose PostScript from the Format drop-down menu. Please try to ignore the PDF choice, and the large "Save As PDF" button at the bottom. Now, choose FreeHand MX from the main drop-down menu and make sure that everything is in order here - whether you want separations or a composite print, printers' marks, colors, page size, and so on. Then click Save. A PostScript file will be created. When it's done, you must run the file through Adobe Acrobat Distiller, and there you can select the degree of quality for the file. Note that you must have the "full" version of Adobe Acrobat to have access to Distiller - but it's more than worth the investment cost."

Illustrator does support the "halo". I typically create this appearance using the appearance palette. All you do is select the text, add a "new stroke" in the appearance palette drop-down menu and then drag the new stroke beneath the fill. You can then select the "fill" in the appearance palette and fill it with the color of your choice. Of course you can adjust the halo size by targeting the new stroke in the appearance palette and changing the stroke weight accordingly.


Nick posted a tutorial on how to do this once upon a time, but I can't seem to find the link.



#3
Matthew Hampton

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In FreehandMX can you convert the haloed text to outlines?

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Illustrator does support the "halo". I typically create this appearance using the appearance palette. All you do is select the text, add a "new stroke" in the appearance palette drop-down menu and then drag the new stroke beneath the fill. You can then select the "fill" in the appearance palette and fill it with the color of your choice. Of course you can adjust the halo size by targeting the new stroke in the appearance palette and changing the stroke weight accordingly.


Nick posted a tutorial on how to do this once upon a time, but I can't seem to find the link.


I think you mean this one...

In addition to that, I often use the "copy, paste behind, set stroke" method, although this effectively doubles up the number of text objects. CS2 seems to have the option to place the stroke totally on the outside of the object (rather than 50% in, 50% out), but I've had some trouble getting this to work with complicated polygons, so I'd rather not depend on it...

For halos around texts that are placed on top of 'busy' raster images, I've had a lot of succes with creating a 10% grey halo at ~75% opacity. This gets rid of the ugly white halos, but still visually separates the text from the background.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#5
frax

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See a thread recently where Martin posted some smart tips to do this in an even cooler way - using overprint, that way you could have an 'invisible' halo knock out only certain features (lines) underneath, while preservering a background (like shaded relief).

This was Illy CS2 btw
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#6
natcase

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In FreehandMX can you convert the haloed text to outlines?


Yes, and with font issues in Freehand MX, it is a good idea to do this before exporting (as PDF or EPS) or printing.


"Speaking from a Mac standpoint, don't use the obvious Export as PDF routine. You'll have one problem or another sooner or later. Just give up and accept the most common approach.


Another alternative I've found pretty foolproof is to export as an EPS and use Distiller to convert to PDF.

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#7
Dennis McClendon

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I guess I've gotten a little confused. Does Distiller still exist for OS X?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#8
natcase

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I guess I've gotten a little confused. Does Distiller still exist for OS X?


Yes, it comes with Acrobat. Or at least with Acrobat Professional. Not sure about the lower-grade versions. It's included in the application folder, and if you drop an EPS onto the Acrobat app icon, it automatically opens Distiller...

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#9
Martin Gamache

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Dennis in FH I always needed to create a duplicate copy of the text, convert to path and stroke with halo color as the effect did not output correctly.

This is something that appears to work (export) better in Illustrator.

#10
Polaris

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my $0.02...

FH export to EPS --> distiller is the way to go... FH's PDF export won't render this effect and others as well (e.g., postscript line styles)

e

#11
Dale Sanderson

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Resurrecting an old topic here... in Freehand, if one wished, one could apply the "inline text effect" (i.e. halo type) to selected characters only (as opposed to the entire piece of text). Similarly, one could also apply different color halos to different letters in a single piece of text. From what I can tell, this is not possible in Illy, correct? At least, not using the method described in Nick's tutorial? Instead, I'm assuming one would have to clone the text, convert to outlines, etc...
Dale Sanderson
professionally: cartographics manager for Dex One
personally: cartophile and road-geek (my website)




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