How to see a PDF with transparency using Adobe Acrobat

One day, you find yourself needing to proof artwork from your favorite printer company. However, when they send you the PDF, you discover that it’s just a blank page. Given that you intend to print the artwork on a dark fabric, your initial thought is to provide the artwork in white or any other light color to ensure visibility.

As you stare at the blank canvas before you, you wonder what could be wrong. Is there a problem with your Adobe Acrobat software? Fortunately, the solution is straightforward – you can easily activate background transparency in Adobe Acrobat to see the content you’re expecting.

Here is how:

Open the PDF file that you have. You will probably see something like this screenshot:

So, where is the actual art? Why the background isn’t transparent?
Let’s jump to the fun part, which is applying transparency to this PDF file. 😁

On the Adobe Acrobat menu, click on Preferences.

Adobe Acrobat preferences menu screnshot on a MacOS

Now, click on Page Display, find the “Page Content and Information” section and click on the checkbox “Show transparency grid”.

That’s it. The result should be something like the following:

Example of an image with transparency in Adobe Acrobat

I hope this article helps you to see a transparent background on a PDF document using Adobe Acrobat.