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Suddenly when I download a Google Doc as a PDF, the image PNGs come down with a black background. They used to be transparent. What has happened here? Can I change it back?

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  • The issue also happens with embedded "drawings" created in the Google document. Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 16:02

5 Answers 5

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This is a known bug (https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/docs/0FQWIziLhAQ) To workaround the problem you can try to print the document, and choose to save it as PDF. This will make your images look right in your PDF.

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  • This issue isn't resolved by making a PDF first. The PDF looks fine, but the same issue appears when printing the PDF.
    – Jim B.
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 21:13
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Having the same issue while not having changed anything to the document I'm trying to convert since the 14th of this month. It does indeed seem limited to png files. I'm going to assume this is just a temporary thing, and will be fixed in a timely fashion.

For the time being you could export a .docx version and convert that to a pdf locally.

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  • 1
    Well, it's May 2020 now and still not fixed...so much for "timely fashion" Lol Commented May 14, 2020 at 23:23
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From what I gather, this new issue is related only to exporting docs to PDFs which have embedded PNG images with transparent backgrounds.

The documents I wanted to export all had a white background, so I solved the problem by replacing the transparent background PNG files with ones that have a white background.

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Now, in September 2020 this is still a problem.

I found two workarounds for this.

Solution 1:

  • Open the PDF in OS X Preview.
  • Export the PDF and use the Reduce File Size Quartz filter.

The new PDF is fixed and transparency will not be printed in black anymore.

Solution 2:

Convert the PDF into .jpg images using https://smallpdf.com/pdf-to-jpg and then print the .jpg images.

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I was having the same issue. I tried a lot of different things with no luck. I ended up reformatting the image to jpeg with matching background color instead. If you're having this issue and you can reformat the image, just do it. I wasted a ton of time.

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