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FAQ: Why does ArcMap not support transparency in EPS, PDF, or AI export files?

Question

Why does ArcMap not support transparency in EPS, PDF, or AI export files?

Answer

ArcMap does not support transparency when exporting to EPS, PDF, or AI formats. To preserve the visual effect of layer transparency, ArcMap exports transparent vector map layers as raster.

EPS and the PostScript language, as well as the documented versions of the AI format, do not support definition of transparency on vector graphics. PDF does support transparent vector options, and ESRI plans to preserve transparent map layers as transparent PDF graphics in a future release.