When I first switched from Quark, one of my first questions about InDesign was about the missing White Swatch in the Swatches palette. I quickly learned that there is a “white” Swatch that just happens to be called “Paper.” Double-click on the Paper Swatch in the Swatches palette and see for yourself. In the Swatch Options dialog that opens, C=0, M=0, Y=0, and K=0. That’s sure seems like white. But when it comes right down to it, Paper is a clearer name for how the Swatch will color an object. It’s not adding white ink to the object. It’s adding no ink all. So the object takes on the color of the “paper” on which it’s printed. If it’s newsprint, it’s definitely not white.
Tip provided by Jeff Witchel, Certified Adobe® Training Provider.