In my time in this business I have found that many people are unsure of the difference between these two functions in InDesign. Typically the new users will have a tendency to use the Transparency function for everything. Several inquiries to the designers and marketing people creating these jobs revealed the reason why in most instances… they didn’t know about the tint function.
This post and a video tutorial on the same subject will go into the differences. Tint should always be used to achieve a percentage of a color whenever possible. The Tint function allows you to adjust the value of the color while keeping the opacity at 100% so if you have headline type that crosses a photograph the photo will NOT show through the type.
With Transparency you do not adjust the tint, you only adjust the opacity which can be hard to match at a later date and even harder to get to print without problems, especially with spot colors. The Tint function is located in the swatches palette in the upper right corner. If the effect you are after is transparency (or adjusting the opacity) then by all means use the transparency function! I hope this will help some of our valued clients be more aware of the correct way to set up tints in a file.
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