Change colors of linked Illustrator image from InDesign


I'm trying to link Illustrator line drawings, that are made of shapes with black strokes and white fills (hiding parts of other shapes behind them), to an InDesign document. The images will sit on a background color, and I want the white fills to be transparent, and the strokes to be white.

Is there any way I can do this without:

  • copying and pasting into InDesign [harder to manage and update]
  • or adding the background color to the Illustrator file [want the flexibility to change the color or use different colors]
  • or using pathfinder and changing the fill to none and strokes to white in Illustrator? [maybe the best option, but will be time-consuming]

Using multiply blending mode in InDesign, I can get black lines with the background showing through fine, but I need the lines white. I don't mind changing the colors of the Illustrator line drawings.

Picture worth a thousand words

11/20/2015 6:42:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Change the Illustrator files.

To do this effectively you need to set up the Illustrator files correctly. You don't want to use the old "white fills make it look transparent" working method. You actually want the areas transparent in Illustrator.

How you go about adjusting the Illustrator art depends a great deal on the artwork.

In your sample images, it would be a very easy thing to select all, expand, Pathfinder Merge, then delete the fills.

However there are many questions here regarding making white areas transparent:

Removing a section of a stroked path in Illustrator

Transparent path/stroke fill in Illustrator

I don't know if the above questions will specifically help you without seeing the artwork, but they should provide some general direction.

If the Illustrator artwork is set up so they actually only contain areas you want to be visible, then it's an easy matter to set the strokes/fills to white and place them over any background color in InDesign.

4/13/2017 12:46:00 PM