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Convert old graphic documents into an editable form Classic
I'm still hamstrung by old graphic files from OS 9 / OS 8.1 in lots of different formats, such as ClarisDraw. I still use these documents because they have value, and there's a lot of inertia to convert some of them into Illustrator. Yeah, I'm lazy!

So I've been trying to figure out how to convert these files to Illustrator 10 in an editable format, so I can still optimize and edit objects etc. in OS X, and never have to run Classic again. Well I've found a way, and I'm not sure it's been published here so here it goes. First, the downside, you'll need Adobe Acrobat 5 (not Acrobat Reader), your original OS 9 graphic software of choice, and an OS X graphic application as well. I used ClarisDraw with Illustrator and Freehand in this test.

  1. Start Classic, make sure all your printer extensions are enable such as Laserwriter8 and desktop printer spooler etc. Restart Classic if they're not.

  2. Go to the Applications -> Adobe Acrobat 5.0 -> AdobePS folder. Start up the Desktop Printer Utility and assign a new desktop printer using Laserwriter 8 and Translator (Postscript). You'll then see a dialogue box indicating the PPD file (printer description) and destination. I left them as is, and simply clicked on "create" and assign a name to the printer, in my case "convert".

  3. Now start up your Classic graphic app. and load up your file, simply print and choose the new "convert" printer, your file will be saved at your set location.

  4. Go to Illustrator in X, now open your file with its .ps extension. Voila! You now have a graphic file which you can manipulate and edit in Illustrator.
I only found one file (out of 25) which didn't convert 100% well, and the difference was so small as to be insignificant. I know this is probably a very unique problem I had, and pertains to a small percentage of users, but it would be interesting to see if other users can do this with old figures/graphic files on antiquated formats.
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Convert old graphic documents into an editable form
Authored by: robmorton on Feb 21, '03 10:46:36AM

I am confused as to why you need Adobe Acrobat (full version) for this hint. Apple's Desktop Printer Utility should have no problems doing the exact same thing. Am I missing something?



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Convert old graphic documents into an editable form
Authored by: bass on Feb 21, '03 11:05:51AM

Yes that's right!! Apple's desktop utility is one and the same. You don't need Acrobat. Excellent feedback.



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Don't need Acrobat, download AdobePS
Authored by: mikerose on Feb 21, '03 11:20:21AM
robmorton says:
I am confused as to why you need Adobe Acrobat (full version) for this hint. Apple's Desktop Printer Utility should have no problems doing the exact same thing. Am I missing something?

Ditto. Of course, AdobePS may produce 'cleaner' PS files that Illustrator can read more easily, but you don't need Acrobat to get it; it is readily downloadable from Adobe's site at http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=1494 -- not to mention, it ships on the installer disks of nearly every HP printer with a PS interpreter.

Of course, if you do have Acrobat, you could make PDFs from your Classic apps instead of PS files... smaller and more portable, and Illustrator will read them just as happily. If you don't have Acrobat, you could buy PStill, download and install Ghostscript, or just install ps2pdf -- all would convert your new PS files to PDFs quite handily.

On that point, the hidden PDF routing feature in this hint really shows the power of the all-PDF, all-scriptable, all-the-time OS X imaging model. I am eagerly looking forward to some insanely cool workflow tricks built around this feature and clever AppleScripts & shell scripts, CLI tools, or cheap/free tools like ghostscript and PStill.

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Convert old graphic documents into an editable form
Authored by: Beernd on Feb 22, '03 06:17:43PM

I use this method a lot to overcome the problem of authors sending their figures pasted in a Word file, even though I always ask them explicitly not to... I had a hard time getting the figures out of the Word files until I thought of this method. I just print to postscript in Word and open it in Illustrator. (Printing to PDF often gives mutilated pictures, with very fat lines.) I use the method for Powerpoint files as well. And of course, it should work for any programme.

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\"Perhaps nothing is true, and not even that!\"
Multatuli, Ideen 1



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