Photoshop CC 2017: Why can you not open a pdf with a transparent background anymore?

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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I am a graphic designer coloring architectural plans. I've always been able to open their pdfs in photoshop and have a transparent background, thus making adding any finishes or color a breeze on layers underneath the lines. Now when I open the pdfs it automatically adds a white background, in a sense flattening the pdf, so to add any color I have to basically paint bucket the worlds most detailed coloring book and its making my life a living nightmare. 
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Anna Geoghagan

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Posted 2 years ago

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Hannah Nicollet, Quality Engineer

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Hi Anna,

See the attached screen capture - opened a pdf with CC 2017, added a transparent layer and made it the background (after first adding a layer and making it the background, which made it opaque). If this method won't work for you will you explain why or why not?

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Cristen Gillespie

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Something's a little off here. Almost all my PDFs open with a transparent background, whether I created them in InDesign, or received them from digital resource/tutorial providers. The ones that are only 'sort of' transparent, are PDFs created from web pages where some of the area  around the edges is transparent, but the main article is against a solid white (or colored/black) background.

Obviously, I can't test all the sources, but is it possible that something has changed with the providers' settings when they create the initial PDFs?
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David Tristram, Employee

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Anna, until you resolve the issue on placing a PDF with transparency, would it help to do a global selection based on color range for all the white areas?  Then clear that to transparent and go back to your original workflow?
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Anna,

Could you share one or more of the documents that you're having trouble with, in case it's a setting within the document giving you problems?