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Preface: Although this article was originally written to answer questions about importing graphics into page layout software with a shadow, it also addresses the many questions we get from readers about importing graphics with a clear or transparant background.
. . . Joe Kling is a frequent writer and contributor on the Graphic-Design Network

Joseph Kling on:
Transparent backgrounds and
Drop Shadows for Desktop Publishing


With the advent of some of the newer plug-in technologies for Photoshop such as the Alien Skin “XENOFEX” filters, making really convincing drop shadows has become as easy as applying a filter from the pull-down menu. In many cases this technology is welcome and lets us work more productively. However, there are some cases when these filters are not appropriate and we need another method to produce really good looking drop shadows.

One such case is when we are placing photoshop images into a page layout program for publishing. You know.. when the drop shadow needs to fall outside the picture box and shadow underlying type OR when you have created a clipping path around a subject and need to place it onto a page with a color other than white. Well now.. it seems this might present us with a bit of a challenge. The answer is really pretty simple, 2 Image Files. One file will be our placed image and the drop shadow will be a separate file that resides underneath. Since I am personally most familiar with QuarkXPress that’s the page layout program I will use for our example. Other programs may differ slightly so check the documentation to be sure. Here’s how to proceed.

Next: Step One


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